ABC News Struggles With Challenges

abcnewsl.jpgThere’s a lot of news this weekend about the internal turmoil at ABC News, which for the second time in a year finds itself with stand-in anchors on the evening news.

On the plus side, things are looking better for injured anchor Bob Woodruff. “We have real reason for hope and for optimism,” comforter-in-chief David Westin tells Matea Gold.

That said, the emotional wear of the last week coupled with (much) longer work hours with the revamped show is causing staffers burn-out. A staffer tells our cousin TVNewser: “In addition to working 12 hour days, we now have a 3pm webcast, we seem to be crashing for everyday, which people really aren’t watching. Then the 6:30 standard evening news. And two more feeds after that. Longtime staff are getting burnt out. Producers, videotape editors, and graphics dept staff are overworked…When will get any better?”

And on yesterday’s Reliable Sources, WGBH executive editor Emily Rooney tells Howard Kurtz that she believes ABC is unwilling to let Elizabeth Vargas anchor World News Tonight solo. “Well, I hate to say it, but I think it’s because they don’t think she’s strong enough. I’m actually a fan of hers. I like her, I like her work, but I always have this kind of uneasy feeling that she doesn’t quite have the depth.

“You know, the other night I was watching the State of the Union Address, and the minute she tossed to Charlie Gibson, I thought, well, they’ve brought the adult into the discussion. And I think there’s no question about it, if this had been a reverse situation and, I hate to say, if Elizabeth had been wounded, I think Bob would be in the anchor chair solo.”