ABC News Lays Off DC Staffers: Read Bureau Chief’s Internal Memo (Exclusive)

The 12 or so jobs cut will be replaced with roughly the same number of new editorial positions

ABC News in Washington D.C. laid off about a dozen employees on Wednesday, TheWrap has learned exclusively.

Jonathan Greenberger, Washington Bureau chief, vice president and executive producer of “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” informed his D.C. Bureau of the reduction and forthcoming restructuring via an internal memo on Wednesday, which was obtained by TheWrap.

“Starting today, we launch a new approach to the way we operate, unifying the Bureau into a single team serving every platform within ABC News,” he wrote. “As part of this transformation, we will unfortunately have to redefine some jobs and say goodbye to some of our colleagues, as we’ll need fewer people in some operations, engineering and general assignment editorial posts.”

An insider told TheWrap that while the cuts total 12 employees, the department plans to add roughly the same number of positions being eliminated in D.C. — the first steps in the news division’s effort to unify the bureau and stay on pace with the rapidly changing landscape. The bulk of the jobs added will be editorial.

The ABC News D.C. model will follow that of its Global Affairs Team, shifting “away from platform-based teams and towards content-based teams,” in Greenberger’s words.

“Our reporting has never been stronger, and we will double down on that by investing in our editorial operation, reallocating resources towards our specialists — people with in-depth knowledge of specific areas, who are well-sourced in our most important beats,” he said to his staff.

Next week, the capital bureau will post more than a dozen job openings, Greenberger promised.

Read Greenberger’s internal memo to the D.C. Bureau:

D.C. Team,

It is our reporting and storytelling, across all platforms, that make our D.C. Bureau the envy of Washington and will make us a leader of ABC News now and well into the future.

Starting today, we launch a new approach to the way we operate, unifying the Bureau into a single team serving every platform within ABC News. As part of this transformation, we will unfortunately have to redefine some jobs and say goodbye to some of our colleagues, as we’ll need fewer people in some operations, engineering and general assignment editorial posts. This decision did not come easily, but we feel it is necessary for the continued strength of our Bureau in a rapidly changing landscape.

In concrete terms, here’s how we’ll further strengthen our reporting and storytelling while unifying our operation:

• We will shift away from platform-based teams and towards content-based teams, which will be responsible for reporting and storytelling across all of our platforms, in much the way that the Global Affairs Team is already doing.

• Our reporting has never been stronger, and we will double down on that by investing in our editorial operation, reallocating resources towards our specialists — people with in-depth knowledge of specific areas, who are well-sourced in our most important beats.

Early next week we’ll post more than a dozen job openings as we look to bring on board more of these specialists. We want to fill these positions as quickly as possible.

In January we took the first step in building and expanding upon our reporting when we set up the Global Affairs team — and it’s been a huge success. We’ve been producing smart, original content used across all platforms, from six-second Vines to Martha’s pieces on World News Tonight and This Week taking us — quite literally — to the front lines of the fight against ISIS in Iraq.

To form the Global Affairs team, we grew from three editorial positions to seven, and that investment in our editorial depth has been a key part of its success. We’ll follow that model to create several other teams, adding editorial jobs to a Pennsylvania Avenue Team (covering both the White House and Congress), a Transportation/Regulation/ Consumer Team, and a newly expanded Justice Team, in addition to our General Assignment Team.

As I said earlier, our reporting has never been stronger. In just the past three months, we’ve been on an incredible run: Martha Raddatz landing exclusives with General Allen and the Iraqi Prime Minister and reporting from Jordan, Iran, Iraq, and Turkey; Jon Karl moderating the first 2016 presidential forum and breaking new details of how Hillary Clinton’s email violated State Department rules; Pierre Thomas bringing us exclusive video of Hannah Anderson’s rescue and of a sting involving a homegrown radical bent on blowing up the Capitol; Jim Avila breaking the news of Alan Gross’ release from Cuba; David Kerley reporting morning, noon and night on every conceivable form of transportation; and James Gordon Meek’s investigation with Brian Ross into U.S.-backed Iraqi military units being investigated for committing atrocities and war crimes.

We’re building on an incredibly solid foundation — yet acknowledging that as strong we are, we must always be imagining and preparing for the future to continue doing the important work that informs our audience about the most significant issues of our time.

Thank you, as always, for your hard work, dedication, and talent. I look forward to seeing you at 1:30 in the Newsroom.

Jonathan