Was CNN's "Expansion" A Cover-Up For Cutbacks?

09/21/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

What CNN is calling expansion will mean reducing the number of staffers assigned to its bureau in Chicago by 25 percent, to nine from a dozen.

Instead, it is scattering "all-platform journalists" across the map, each working solo in locales such as Columbus, Ohio, and Minneapolis until reinforcements are needed.

"What I want to get away from is [the idea] that this poor guy is going to be holding down the fort for all [CNN outlets] and at the end is going to fall down in a heap of exhaustion," said Nigel Pritchard, a vice president for CNN Worldwide. "When he needs the extra support, they're there."

CNN's expansion plan also calls for elimination of its Chicago-based position of Midwest bureau chief. Reporters here will answer to Pete Janos, the Los Angeles-based Western region chief.

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