Woodruff Injured: “An Extended Leave Could Also Upend ABC News…”

By Brian 

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An e-mailer (from ABC?) says: “Did anyone else cringe at Monday NYT’s article on Bob Woodruff by Jacques Steinberg and Richard Oppel? It focuses on how ratings might be affected. Of all the angles that could have been explored, this is surely the most crass and distasteful. Couldn’t they have waited at least 24 hours to put commercial considerations ahead of humanity? Or that asking too much?”

The story says: “At least in the short run, Mr. Woodruff’s recovery figures to focus even more attention on the three broadcasts, particularly if he makes a quick return, but an extended leave could also upend ABC News, at a moment when Katie Couric of NBC’s dominant Today show is mulling whether to further shake up the evening news race by jumping to the CBS Evening News.”

> Update: 11:52pm: “I wouldn’t get too exorcised over any piece that speculates on what happens now at ABC,” another e-mailer says. “Regardless of how distasteful it might be, it is a topic that is seriously being discussed. Let’s face it, Woodruff’s recovery is going to take some time. Vargas can’t do the five day a week, 14 hour day schedule alone. So someone will stand in for Bob and it’s a point that is not only worth discussing, it needs to be discussed.”

> Update: 12:35pm: An ABC e-mailer says: “To say that people at ABC News are outraged by the NY Times coverage of Bob Woodruff and Doug Vogt this morning is to vastly understate our feelings. Do NYTs reporters Dexter Filkins and John Burns report from Iraq as some kind of circulation strategy? To report this tragedy as a business story and diminish what our brave reporters do in the field as a ratings strategy is sickening. Shame on them.”