Thu 4 Dec, 2008 11:03 am
Miles O'Brien is one of the few CNN correspondents worth watching. How sad a loss. ---BBB
CNN drops science-tech unit and veteran reporter
By Kristi E. Swartz
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Thursday, December 04, 2008
CNN has decided to shutter its science and technology unit "- a move that will result in the loss of seven jobs including veteran space correspondent Miles O’Brien.
The other six jobs are producers, the Atlanta-based cable news network said Wednesday.
“Miles has made many contributions to CNN over the years. He is a terrific reporter, and we wish him all the best,” the network said in a statement. His departure date has not been set.
The decision to do away with science-and-tech reporting as a standalone unit is an editorial one, not an economic one, the media company said. Instead, those stories will be integrated into other parts of the network, CNN spokeswoman Christa Robinson said. For example, the bulk of the network’s environmental coverage is part of Anderson Cooper 360’s “Planet in Peril” occasional series.
O’Brien, who joined CNN in April 1992, was CNN’s chief technology and environment correspondent. At one time he hosted a weekly science-and-technology show.
He replaced Bill Hemmer "- who later left CNN for Fox News Channel "- in 2005 to co-anchor “American Morning” with Soledad O’Brien. The pair, who are not related, were given different assignments in 2007.
“In television news, a nearly 17-year stint at one shop is more than just a good run, it is an epoch. I can honestly say I have loved every minute of my time at CNN,” O’Brien said in a statement. “I see a lot of exciting opportunities "- and I look forward to exploring what is on the horizon.”
i understand that most "newssources' - TV , newspapers , radio , magazines ... - see their advertising dollars shrink and news reporting will be (greatly ?) diminished .
our local paper just laid off three people - don't know how much longer they'll survive - the "freebie" papers seem to suck up what little advertising money is left .
canada's second TV network (CTV) is also laying off staff and cutting back - the beginning of the end ???
Newspapers wanting bailouts. TV stations cutting power, All news sent in Morse code only. Its bloody Armageddon I tell you.
Miles to Go: CNN Fires Technology Unit, Keeps Ridiculous Technology
by Chez Pazienza - Huffington Post
Posted December 4, 2008
You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who's been screwed as thoroughly and with as much sheer audacity by CNN over the past few years as Miles O'Brien.
Yesterday it was announced that after 16 years with the network, Miles is being given the chance to "pursue other opportunities" along with six producers in a move that effectively dissolves CNN's Science and Technology unit.
For Miles, it marks a somewhat anemic end to an impressive tenure at CNN -- sort of like putting down a former champion horse that you yourself are responsible for running into the ground. Miles was once the proud owner of a very nice, largely secure gig as the co-anchor of a daytime show based out of Atlanta alongside Kyra Phillips. But that was before mercurial CNN President Jon Klein decided to inexplicably pull the affable Bill Hemmer off the anchor desk on American Morning and "experiment" with the team of O'Brien (Miles) and O'Brien (Soledad).
The experiment, apparently, wasn't a success. Less than two years later, Klein had another one of his arbitrary "Eureka!" moments, spun the Wheel-of-Anchors and replaced both Miles and Soledad with the current team of John Roberts and Kiran Chetry.
Miles returned not to the anchor desk in Atlanta, but to reporting duties and the occasional fill-in host slot. (He anchored The Situation Room as recently as last Wednesday, during the Mumbai terrorist attacks.)
In other words, Jon Klein offered Miles O'Brien a major promotion -- the chance to helm a flagship show in New York -- if he'd leave behind his stable situation in Atlanta; he uprooted Miles and disrupted the lives of his family only to then turn around 22 months later and say that it just wasn't working out.
That's not "strictly business" -- the nature of the beast.
It's an unwillingness to accept or a complete disregard for the fact that you're capriciously toying with people's lives.
What makes these lay-offs particularly conspicuous, though -- maybe even reprehensible -- is that they come less than two weeks after an article in the New York Observer detailing CNN's lavish spending during its election coverage: the celeb-studded parties, the new show launches, the pricey A-list pundits and, of course, that stupid pretend "hologram." In the piece, Jon Klein boasted to writer Felix Gillette:
"We can afford more people on our air and off our air. So, goddamn it, we're going to have more people."
Except that, obviously, they can't -- and they're not.
Which makes him entirely full of crap.
Although it's almost superhumanly ironic that Klein is willing to pay for the silly technology but not for the technology unit, it shouldn't really surprise anyone at this point. He's proven time and time again where his priorities lie -- and they're nowhere near the maintenance of true journalistic excellence. It would be amusing if it weren't so sad that Klein's pride in the ability to create a phony, "holographic" image of a human being now serves as a kind of metaphor for his entire way of thinking. He's become the George Lucas of the TV news universe: tinkering like a mad scientist to create a soulless, graphically enhanced feast for the eyes -- minus the actual people required to breathe life into it -- just because he can.
I'm not worried about Miles O'Brien; he's smart and talented and he'll likely find new work quickly -- even in this economy. After all he's been through over the past few years, he may even see this as a godsend.
What concerns me is the future of the rest of the excellent and now unemployed tech staff -- people like Peter Dykstra, who's been with CNN pretty much since the dawn of time. Or Alex Walker, who typically does most of the work while receiving none of the glory.
These are the ones who will really suffer.
Well, they, and you -- the audience.
But hey, at least you'll still have the pretty holograms.
what i miss very much is the weekend progranning on CNBC when they reported lenghty features from all around the world .
they have now been replaced by "paid programming" - advertising for dustcloths and george foremen grills - YUCK !!!
i wonder if it might be the cable outfit inserting those "features" ?
do we all need a new "dustcloth" as advertised by billy mays ?
NPR cuts staff , tribune newspaper group in chapter 11 ... ...
it's all going down the ...
pretty soon all we'll have left will be adverising flyers ... if we are lucky !
once the "big three" - they are getting mighty small - disappear , there won't be any flyers to wrap wet garbage in .