CBS News Cuts Jobs as Weekend Newscasts Targeted for Change

By Mark Joyella 

CBS News is in the process of restructuring its weekend newscasts, with some employees learning this week they would be laid off at the end of the month.

Thursday, the network notified a number of production staffers–believed to be fewer than ten employees, all currently assigned to weekend editions of the CBS Evening News –their positions would be eliminated. The network declined to comment on layoffs, saying in a statement “CBS News does not comment on personnel matters.”

The job cuts led to concern inside the CBS Broadcast Center about the network’s plans–and whether the network might be considering ending the Saturday and/or Sunday CBS Evening News, which have aired on the network since 1966.

A network spokesperson, however, tells TVNewser “our commitment to news on the CBS television network on the weekends is not changing, and remains strong.”

CBS News has in recent months launched a digital news operation, CBSN, and refocused CBS This Morning, with the longtime number 3 morning show gaining ground–and even hitting a 22-year ratings high.

CBSN, which itself expanded into weekends with live news last year, has been a focus of CBS News president David Rhodes.

Some of the employees affected by the layoffs may be relocated to positions elsewhere at the network, as units including CBSN have added staff in recent months. The weekend newscasts, like CBS This Morning, will face a top-to-bottom re-thinking that includes not just staffing changes, but changes in the way the newscasts are produced.