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Three Nightline Staffers Laid Off

ABC last week laid off three long-time stage managers who had worked on Nightline as well as the This Week Sunday show.

According to a source, the two men and a woman had 20-plus years apiece at ABC News. Their last day will be Nov. 27.

Disney had said it would try to avoid layoffs in the wake of the Nightline remake into a show with more input from New York, Hollywood, and perhaps London, but it was clear there would have to be some reshuffling and the company had begun talking to D.C. staffers about what else they might do for the news operation, while posting job openings in New York.

Nightline's main studio is being moved to New York, with a switch to a multi-anchor format Nov. 28. Anchor Ted Koppel and Executive Producer Tom Bettag will be moving on to produce documentaries for HBO.

When he is not traveling, Washington anchor Terry Moran will broadcast from a small, third-floor studio, with ABC employing a kind of camera (a "flash cam") that does not require a stage manager, lighting director, or even a camera operator, since it is in a locked-down position.

ABC had no official comment, but according to an insider, the three stage manager positions will be re-hired in New York so there will be no net loss of jobs. The source did not know whether the D.C. staffers had been given the option of moving to New York.