Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Networks consolidate, cooperate

Good piece in the NYT today about television networks adapting to budgetary and technological imperatives with increasing use of "one-man band" style bureaus. We're looking for similar consolidation, cooperation and efficiencies too, of course.

A taste:

Today, as they confront new competition on the Web, television networks are increasingly embracing portable — and inexpensive — methods of production. Decades of budget cuts have forced the news divisions to reduce their global footprint, shutting bureaus and abandoning the old norm of four-person crews.

NBC, ABC and CBS now pool most of their international resources in London and deploy reporters to other countries as needed.

But a new breed of reporter, sometimes called a “one-man band,” has become the new norm. Though the style of reporting has existed for years, it is being adopted more widely as these reporters act as their own producer, cameraman and editor, and sometimes even transmit live video.


  1. Anonymous6:30 PM


  2. Anonymous7:11 AM

    On one of these threads a while back, someone suggested that the newsroom of the future will in fact be Howard and one reporter, with Howard giving pep talks about burning bridges and the lone reporter running around like a lunatic trying to cover stories, take all the photographs, design the site, create the video, post the blogs etc.

    Wage freeze, anyone?

    Welcome to the future Howard is creating for us. Now which of you wants to be the last man standing, filling that solitary newsroom job?

  3. I guess this means it won't be you, huh? Good luck with your future endeavors.

  4. Anonymous8:22 PM

    typical comment howard. thanks. you should actually think about NOT posting anything anymore and ditching this blog. you are doing far more harm than good.

  5. Anonymous8:27 AM

    He doesn't realize how out of touch he is with what is happening in McClatchy newsrooms. Let's enlighten him.

    Reporters in their 20s and 30s are fleeing, because the industry can't pay them or promote them, and why hang on to a dying business model? They're either going to grad school, or they're taking their IT skills where they'll get paid what they deserve.

    Newsroom people in their 40s are more of a mixed bag -- lots are leaving, just like their younger counterparts, but a handful are thinking, golly, I might just be the last guy in the newsroom with Howard, won't that be fun.

    The people most locked into staying are in their 50s and older. They've either already qualified for their pensions or they're close enough that they don't want to leave if they don't have to. And even in that age category, the employees with ambition and talent are looking to retrain into other fields.

    So who's likely to be in the newsroom of the future with you, Howard? The mediocre journeyman reporter who's cranky and nearing 60, who's seen it all and writes as best he can, moves at the pace he wants. He showed a flicker of promise back in 1975. Since then, not so much.

    Good luck to you with that. Lots of us have already left. And lots more of us are trying to.

    One last thing. There tends to be a lot of talk coming down from your braindead executive editors about how newsrooms are changing and change is hard and people fear change etc etc. Sometimes, this is cloaked as a pep talk, sometimes as an outright threat. Basic message being: Change or die.

    Well, we are. We don't fear change. If we did, we wouldn't be looking to take our talents elsewhere.

  6. Anonymous6:31 PM

    weeeeeeeeeehaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!! that was awesome. well said and the most truthful post this blog has ever had. wake up howard!