Merry Christmas: ABC News Cancels LA Holiday Party

The New York Observer caught wind of an e-mail from David Westin, President of ABC News, that informed staffers of several cost-cutting measures to be implemented.

  • Executives are asked to fly one grade below what they’re entitled to.
  • Executives are asked to stay in “B” level hotels.
  • Any meals (or drinks) with ABC or Disney employees will not be reimbursed.
  • All newspaper and magazine subscriptions for executives and production employees will be canceled and moved to on-line.
  • Any convention or conference attendance will be kept to an absolute minimum.
  • All holiday parties will be cancelled this year. This includes company parties in LA.

I can understand ABC News tightening the belt during a global financial crisis. I would also be surprised if anyone was actually distraught at the idea that they won’t be forced to attend yet another awkward mixer with their co-workers. But, I think Westin missed a golden opportunity here. What if the e-mail read as follows:

“Dear Joe Newsman,

We’re canceling the holiday party this year because we want to give you a bigger bonus to help your family out during these tough economic times.

Happy Holidays!

– D-Dub”
Oh, well. At least ABC News peeps have one shiny consolation prize: Suits flying coach.