In what it calls a "fundamental transformation" of its business, ABC News plans to cut about 20 percent of its workforce — or around 300 people — through buyouts or layoffs, the New York Post reported.
According to a memo sent to staffers late yesterday afternoon, the repositioning of ABC News will have six components, including combining the weekday and weekend operations of "Good Morning America" and "World News" and "eliminating redundancies wherever possible."
"All of us are good reporters," ABC News President David Westin wrote in the missive. "We can see that our entire society is in the middle of a revolution — a revolution in the ways that people get their news and information. We can have great success in the new world, but only if we embrace what is new, rather than being overwhelmed by it."
In an interview with The Post, Westin declined to specify how many workers would be let go, saying only that this round of cuts "will be bigger than any we've ever done since I've been here."
The last significant round of layoffs to hit the division occurred about 10 years ago, when roughly 130 workers were axed. A source familiar with the situation said the upcoming layoffs would be at least twice that number, amounting to about 20 percent of the 1,500 workers at ABC News.
Disney, which owns ABC, doesn't break out financial figures for ABC News. But the source said the division was hit hard financially last year, and managed to only be "marginally profitable."