Monday, July 6, 2009

Local News Service (LNS) Will Cause ENG Crew Layoffs

The stated goal of the Local News Service (LNS) is to cut costs at multiple stations in each market by limiting the number of crews going to cover standard news events and free them up for more substantial stories.

Each station contributes personnel and gear to the pool in the form of photographers, assignment editors, talent, ENG equipment packages, and trucks. An independent managing editor determines the stories to be covered each day by the Local News Service and arranges the collection and delivery of footage for each participating station.

Conceptually, the press conference, mayoral address, and the ribbon-cutting type of pre-scheduled events don't require five different camera crews. According to management, those freed-up resources can do much more good when redirected toward stories that have a lasting impact on the community.

In reality, since the service officially began in New York on June 22, LNS crews are being dispached not only to scheduled pressors, but to breaking news for WNYW, WWOR, WNBC, WCBS, and WPIX as well. This concept is just another way to cut staff at the stations by allowing the elimination of up to 75% of union ENG crews at each shop.

The managements at WNYW, WWOR, WNBC, WCBS, and WPIX have joined together for their mutual benefit in their efforts to shrink their staffs and weaken their collective bargaining agreements.

The broadcasting unions can do no less if we are to stop the eroding of our jurisdiction, wages, conditions, and benefits. IATSE, IBEW, and NABET-CWA must band together for our own mutual benefit.

As Benjamin Franklin said; " We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately. "


Bob Daraio


Anonymous said...

WABC should be commended for refusing to be a part of this union busting consortium. Since the start of LNS freelance outlets providing breaking news on the outskirts of NYC have also taken a hit. Some have completely shut down. These are mom and pop outfits that have been destroyed by big business at it's worst.

Shame on the management who have lost the drive to be the best but rather are happy to justbe on the air. This truly makes all NY news look exactly the same. It doesn't matter who you watch, it's the same camera. Except for WABC.

Anonymous said...

LNS in Philadelphia, starting January 16th or there about, will have Ch.10 (NBC), Ch. 29 (FOX) and newcomer Ch. 3 (CBS) participating in this "work in progress". Management at Ch. 3 have continually expressed the mantra, no layoffs to the IATSE membership. But the history of LNS speaks differently.