Chicago Tribune Shuts Down Broadcast Side of Washington Bureau

The Chicago Tribune reports that the company has shuttered the broadcast side of its Washington news bureau, which means the elimination of 10 positions.

According to Tribune, it does not affect the newspaper staffing of the bureau.

Kerry Luft, an associate managing editor of The Chicago Tribune, will take over as bureau chief from Cissy Baker, who had headed up the broadcast side.

Several station groups, such as Hearst-Argyle and Belo, leaned heavily
on their DC bureaus for coverage of the recent election and
inauguration. Like Tribune, many have been trimming DC costs in the
wake of the economic meltdown. Baker had been a fixture in the bureau,
housed in the old Woodward & Lothrop department store on F Street,
for the last 15 years. She spoke to B&C just after the
election about the shrinking Tribune TV crew producing 71 live shots
for the various Tribune stations on Election Day.

The financially troubled Tribune has been paring back costs as part of a general cost-cutting. Tribune filed for bankruptcy last year.

Tribune said it would use existing resources bolstered by CNN for Washington coverage. Baker was part of the crew that helped launch CNN. when, as  B&C once reported, "the office was just Baker and  Bernie Shaw with a rotary phone on a couple of  boxes." 

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.