Today ABC News, made the news, with massive job cuts. Please consider Job Cuts at ABC Leave Workers Stunned and Downcast.

If “Good Morning America” or “World News” look any different in the coming weeks, it might be because ABC News is employing nearly 400 fewer people.

Earlier this week, ABC News, a unit of the Walt Disney Company, largely completed one of the most drastic rounds of budget cutbacks at a television news operation in decades, affecting roughly a quarter of the staff. The cutbacks promise to change ABC both on- and off-camera.

The business of news is a particularly ugly one these days, and news outlets across the country have trimmed their staffs. But it is exceedingly rare for a newspaper or a network to shed a quarter of its employees all at once, as ABC has done.

For viewers, the effects will be felt on the individual broadcasts, like “World News with Diane Sawyer,” which lost two of its six senior staff members to buyouts. They will not be replaced.

In the future, more segments will be reported, filmed and edited by jacks-of-all-trades, called digital journalists, internally. They may lack the polish that a traditional four-person crew can provide, but they are much less expensive. Sometimes two of the digital journalists will team up for reports.

“We are now, as a work force, becoming much more flexible,” said Jon Banner, the executive producer of “World News.”

Inside ABC News, it is widely believed that the cutbacks were mandated by Disney. The cuts came shortly after CBS News, one of the other three network news divisions, lost about 70 staff members. The third division, NBC, is in a much better financial position because it has a cable news arm, MSNBC.

We’re all “digital journalists” now.

Need I say it? This is certainly not inflationary news.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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