Author Topic: DC staff irked as NBC News eyes cuts (woes at 30 Rock)  (Read 199 times)

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DC staff irked as NBC News eyes cuts (woes at 30 Rock)
« on: December 22, 2013, 08:52:02 AM »
That's a shame.  ^-^
NBC News boss Deborah Turness is spending the last few days of the year eyeing cuts — moves that could include axing some senior on-air talent, The Post has learned.

Turness, brought on in August to shake up the moribund news division — where “Meet the Press” and “Today” had stumbled — is in the midst of a host of end-of -year buyouts and cost reductions, sources said.

The current moves are not the first time Turness has irked journalists under her command. NBC veterans have complained privately that Turness is not serious enough, sources said.

“Instead of getting better, NBC News has been getting worse,” said one executive. “It’s a mess.”

The grumblings are centered on Turness’ more aggressive tabloid style. One senior NBC News executive was so outraged by her changes that he went over her head to complain to her superiors that the two simply can’t work together.

NBC News has been accused of checkbook journalism for landing key videos and interviews. The network denied paying for interviews.

NBC News paid to secure footage of a group of skydivers involved in an accident and also gained exclusive rights to access the youngster Hannah Anderson, who was kidnapped by a family friend.

Turness was drafted during the summer with a mandate to drag “Today” out of second place behind ABC.

The move to cut jobs has morale low, sources said.

Particularly distressed by the changes is the DC bureau team, whose duties include providing political coverage to “Nightly News with Brian Williams” and Sunday talk show “Meet The Press.”

Turness has been trying to figure out the future for David Gregory’s “Meet the Press,” with options including bringing in MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” team of Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski for a Sunday show, or blowing up the entire franchise and trying something completely different, sources familiar with the situation said.

The jury is still out on what to do as Turness still hasn’t decided, these sources added.

An NBC spokesperson, in a statement on Friday, said, “We offered a handful of voluntary buyouts in the DC bureau back in early November. Discussions are ongoing.”

The spokesperson refused to elaborate.

Turness has drafted a new chief financial officer, Nicolina O’Rorke, and a new public relations chief, Ali Zelenko, and named a new chief global correspondent, Bill Neely.

Neely hails from Furness’ former employer, British news organization ITN.

Turness also tapped Julian March as senior vice president, editorial and innovation. March is another former ITN executive.

While “Today” has been fighting back in the 25- to 50-year-old demographic and not losing every week to ABC’s “Good Morning America,” other shows have waned.

“Meet the Press” finished in third place in its latest week, falling behind “Face the Nation” on CBS and “This Week” on ABC.

NY Post
« Last Edit: December 22, 2013, 01:04:25 PM by mountaineer »
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