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  1. #1

    Default ‘PBS NewsHour’ closes Denver office amid layoffs nationwide, effective July 1

    From The Denver Post:

    “NewsHour” anchors and correspondents. (PBS Newshour)

    Another sad sign of the times: The “PBS NewsHour” will close the Denver and San Francisco offices and lay off staff effective July 1 in a significant restructuring. The program will rely more on local video freelancers in the future, according to a memo circulated to the staff. Chalk it up to declining corporate revenues.
    In Denver, that means 10 production, technical and administrative positions will be eliminated. Patti Parson, the managing producer based here, will remain on staff and work from home. “In addition to leaving several open positions unfilled, in total 10 people were affected,” according to “NewsHour” spokesperson Anne Bell. “The changes will take place over several months in the first half of the next fiscal year – which begins July 1. This is unrelated to the current fiscal year finances.”
    Betty Ann Bowser, the “NewsHour’s” health correspondent, was primarily based here, but the office also served as a base for “NewsHour” correspondents working throughout the region. “NewsHour’s” team of anchors, including Judy Woodruff, Gwen Ifill, Margaret Warner, Ray Suarez and Hari Sreenivasan, have relied on the Denver production center as well.
    In addition to the Denver and San Francisco layoffs, the company will also eliminate several production positions in its Washington, D.C., office, while leaving two senior-level roles unfilled. The “NewsHour” is also planning to save money by streamlining and digitizing its technical process.
    “This difficult step comes after more than a year spent reviewing how the ‘NewsHour’ functions, and determining the streamlining necessary to address both the funding challenges (primarily a steady drop in corporate revenue) and the opportunities presented by new technologies,” according to the staff memo from “NewsHour” EP Linda Winslow and MacNeil/Lehrer president Bo Jones.
    The formal statement:
    The PBS NewsHour told its staff today that, during the new fiscal year beginning in July, it will be closing the offices in Denver and San Francisco and eliminating several non-critical jobs in Washington, D.C. In cooperation with WETA, we are also planning changes in our technical production processes in order to streamline and further digitize operations.
    These steps come after more than a year reviewing how the NewsHour functions and how to take advantage of opportunities presented by new technologies. We believe the staff restructuring and production changes, along with continuing web investment, will make us stronger and enable us to be more effective and nimble. Along with sending our own teams into the field, we will build new relationships with journalists around the country. Managing producer Patti Parson will remain.
    It is hard to be losing some colleagues who have been valued for a long time. However, we believe the changes will strengthen our ability to adapt and grow as a journalistic institution. The NewsHour remains committed to delivering the same kind of in-depth reporting our viewers and supporters expect from us.




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