TV news tightens its budget

Anxiety is roiling newsrooms as every outlet has announced staff reductions, budget cuts, and a pullback on all spending.

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TV news tightens its budget


The Future. Anxiety is roiling newsrooms as every outlet has announced staff reductions, budget cuts, and a pullback on all spending. While the cuts are timed with the midterms winding down, expect every outlet to ramp up again when the presidential election goes into full swing in 2024… and they could be met with some new digital news startups created by recently-released employees.

Breaking budgets
Depressed stock, ad rollbacks, inflation, and just a general downturn in viewership are leading top news stations to get frugal, per THR.

  • ABC News is set for cuts after Disney’s disappointing quarterly results led the CEO Bob Chapek to institute a hiring freeze and budget cuts, especially regarding travel and expenses.
  • CNN, under the leadership of newly-installed president Chris Licht, announced that layoffs are coming next month as Warner Bros. Discovery finishes finding $3.5 billion in savings.
  • CBS News is set for bloodletting as Paramount CFO Naveen Chopra foreshadowed a “meaningful and sizable” restructuring.
  • NBC parent company NBCUniversal is offering early retirement packages to employees with “10 years of service who are age 57 or older.”
  • CNBC president KC Sullivan said the brand is doubling down on its “core strengths of business news and personal finance,” so it would need to “shift some of [its] priorities and resources and make some difficult decisions” in the near future.

Talk about everyone covering the same angle.

Primetime punishment
What do cuts usually look like when it comes to the news?

  • Mark Feldstein, chair of the broadcast journalism department at the University of Maryland, says it usually hits foreign bureaus and units such as documentary production and investigations (they’re not on the air often).
  • Speaking of people, not on the air that often, off-camera producers also take a big hit.

And although Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav killed CNN+ about a month into existence, streaming is the one sector that is reportedly growing for every outlet — so don’t expect cuts to hit there too hard.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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