Rick Quan (pictured), one of 14 KPIX staffers let go this week in a budget cutting move, says he’s concerned that other Bay Area stations might follow CBS 5’s cost-cutting ways.

    “You can bet that they’ll be keeping an eye on this situation,” he tells the Contra Costa Times’ Chuck Barney. “They’ll be checking to see if KPIX can put out a decent product with fewer people. It’s like, ‘Hey, if they can do it, we can do it.’ “

Barney also notes that while local news has long been a cash cow for station owners, ratings were down for the second year in a row as the Internet, 24-hour cable news and DVRs grab viewers. “Local television news, as an industry, is actually losing its audience faster than newspapers,” said Tim Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism. “… [I]f the audience losses pile up, you get to the point where you have to deal with it through budget trimming.”

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