Columnist Bill Mann reports that KPIX CBS5 has begun having reporters shoot, report and edit their own stories on Saturdays as a cost-saving measure. KRON was the first to switch to VJs for all of its newscasts a few years ago.
Mann reports that the Channel 5 newsroom is in an uproar over the VJ switch.
Mann quoted one longtime “Eyewitness News” staffer as saying the training for the switch hasn’t gone well:
- “Even before they started, one of the VJs came back with a ‘negative roll’ tape (she thought the camera was on when it was off, and vice versa).
“Another was caught using her husband to help her shoot in the field.
“PIX’s first reporter proponent of VJs now says it’s a bad idea. The whole newsroom is in an uproar as reporters are rushed through VJ training, while editors and videographers are essentially ignored and left to worry about their jobs.
“Management here wanted money from CBS to pay for a computer server for digital video but was turned down — a corporate vote of ‘no confidence’ that put it into a tailspin and has staffers speculating on how long the boss (Dan Rosenheim) will last.
“Meantime, Rosenheim just hired a 28-year old female MMR (multi-media reporter) just as the age and sex-discrimination lawsuit by two veteran laid-off staffers (Bill Schechner and John Lobertini) goes up to federal court. It’s a mess.”
Rosenheim did not reply to an e-mail from the Press Club for comment.