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Baltimore’s WMAR-TV Regroups

BALTIMORE: ABC affiliate WMAR-TV is making yet another transition. The station is reorganizing responsibilities and workflow after cutting about 18 percent of its staff. Those left standing after a companywide buyout will be doing double- and triple-duty in some cases. Among them, Norm Lewis, the station’s weatherman for 30 years, retires tomorrow, The Baltimore Sun said.

The cuts have left WMAR with eight reporters, all of whom will have to learn to set up their own cameras and edit their own stories, while the 15 remaining videographers will be charged with learning to report. E.g., WMAR’s field staff is being transformed into a small army of one-person bands.

Station general manager, Bill Hooper, told The Sun that all would receive training to become “multimedia journalists,” or MMJs, including the anchors. WMAR is one of 10 Scripps-owned TV stations converting to one-person newsgathering. The unions had to agree to the changes.

Deborah Potter of NewsLab in Washington, D.C., told The Sun that WMAR’s changes represented the direction a lot of TV stations are taking.

The full article, “At WMAR, the likely wave of the future in television news” is available at The Baltimore Sun.