After finding out that he was being let go after 22 years at ABC News, Los Angeles correspondent Brian Rooney talked to Michael Schneider at Variety's On the Air blog and said he kind of saw the end coming.
ROONEY: Once the word got out they were cutting as many as a quarter of the employees, I knew I was vulnerable. My contract expired in the middle of all this, and often in these situations they fire the people they are able to fire quickly, regardless of value or skill. I don’t take it personally. They know I’m good at what I do and no one had fun firing me. So when they told me I took it like a man, although in private moments I have not.
ON THE AIR: What’s the mood in the bureau been like since the ABC News downsizing was announced?
ROONEY: The mood not just here in Los Angeles, but all over ABC News is dark. Friends are disappearing and few people know whether they will have a job or what their job might be at the end of this. Just as an observer, aside from my personal interest, I have never seen a corporate reorganization as drastic and immediate as this. It will have unintended consequences. They will and already have lost people they want to keep. But the amazing thing -- I just love journalists -- these people will do their jobs until they are told to leave the building.
But I want to say I do think, despite how hard this is for me, David Westin is trying to save ABC News from extinction. There are aspects to this that for him, must be devastating.
Rooney, by the way, says he expects print and broadcast journalism to survive the current upheaval: "Who will be doing it, I don’t know. When I grew up PF Flyers were one of the most popular sneakers kids wore. PF Flyers are long gone, but we still have sneakers."