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Rethinking the Local Model at WNBC

The New York Observer says the mood over at WNBC New York isn’t all that jovial these days. NBC Local Media president John Wallace called the staff together Tuesday afternoon to provide some details on how the NBC-owned stations will gather news in the future. 

Felix Gillette reports:
According to a staffer who attended the meeting, Mr. Wallace spoke of the challenges facing news organizations—problems compounded by the recent developments on Wall Street.

He called the situation a “perfect storm.” The way out, he suggested, was to focus on both journalism and aggregation and to do so on multiple platforms. 

On the whole, said our source, “the mood was somber.”

WNBC launches its Website Monday, and of course a 24/7 cable channel is to launch in the next few months. 

Station chief Tom O’Brien is bullish about the new digs and new approach, but Gillette quotes (unnamed) staffers saying they’re not psyched about training for the new content centers and re-applying for their jobs. 

“They’re pretending that this is a transformation to take local news into the next century,” said one former employee. “They think they can throw out a bunch of buzzwords and impress everybody. In the meantime, they’re cutting, cutting, cutting.”

The Observer story is quite similar to the one Crain’s wrote last month.