Debating the Merits of Web-Only Staffers

Not surprisingly, newsrooms across America are discussing the CBS O&O cuts, and debating how much budget should be allocated to digital. WKRN Nashville, which has certainly seen as much cost-cutting as any station, has such a debate on its Nashville Is Talking blog. 

Reportedly a station employee posted the following on KRN’s "Volunteer Voters" blog.

This is a tv station not a blog station. I saw a lot of tv employees lose their jobs while Internet people remained. Before Adam was let go we had 3 Internet people and only 4 directors. For a TV station that is just not smart. Blogs are a luxury for a tv station not a necessity and this station can’t afford any luxuries.

NIT’s "Christian" comments:
Veterans of broadcast and print are no more in the television and newspaper business than Wal-Mart is in the trucking business. Our business is no longer the industry that surrounds distribution. It’s the final product. The market in an on-demand world for news and information where people have to wait to receive a highly produced product is steadily shrinking. At the same time, the online audience for news and information is growing significantly…

Last year, WKRN’s online audience grew significantly. In the first quarter of this year, our daily average online audience often rivaled the on-air audience of a typical evening newscast. People with more time to ponder this shift can invoke lofty analogies or cliches to explain the prevailing winds, but the ratio of resources used online as opposed to on-air puts luxury in stark enough terms.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.