When News Breaks, We Bust It.




(ROCHESTER, NY) May 30, 2005 - Time Warner Cable unveiled a new plan to scrap local news and weather coverage at its cable systems in Syracuse, Rochester and Albany.

"Because of the new structure, there will be some consolidation of staff in areas such as weather, anchors and technical production," company vice president Steve Paulus told news employees in a memo. A copy of the memo is available (Page 1, Page 2).

The company announced to employees it will no longer produce news at its Syracuse station, News 10 Now. News content will be piped into Syracuse from Albany. A source inside the company says 30 jobs will be cut at News 10 Now.

"Local news…my ass," said a company insider via e-mail.

Under the plan, the Syracuse facility will be used to produce weather reports for the entire upstate region. The move means that meteorologists in Albany and Rochester will no longer be locally-based.

The plan gives few details about the fate of the company's Rochester news outlet, R News. Time Warner Cable is expected to expand into Buffalo, if a proposed buyout of bankrupt cable provider Adelphia moves forward. A source inside R News says that employees are worried about what the expansion may mean for news coverage in Rochester.

Time Warner is asking affected workers to stay in their positions until it is convenient for the company to let them go.

"The changeover won't take place for several months and until that time those who will be laid off will be asked to continue in their current jobs until that time," Paulus wrote.

NEWSBREAKERS is a nonpartisan media watchdog group. It offers comment and critique on the role of television news in informing the public.

The group is currently planning future events and accepting applications.



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