Reporting from New York — CBS News, seeking to hold down news-gathering costs as its flagship evening and morning news programs continue to trail in the ratings, is preparing a significant round of layoffs next week, according to people familiar with the situation.
The budget tightening is expected to affect every CBS News program, including "60 Minutes," the network's crown jewel, though the cuts on that show will be minimal. As many as 100 positions, or 7% of CBS News' 1,400-person staff, could be cut, these people said.
A news executive disputed that figure and said the layoffs would be considerably fewer.
The cuts are prompted by a need to reduce news-gathering expenses and position the division to be a bigger contributor to the bottom line of parent company CBS Corp., the executive said.
"This is part of the overall plan to make CBS News successful and vibrant and award-winning for a long, long time," said the executive, who would only speak about personnel matters anonymously. "It won't have any effect on the ability of CBS News to continue with what we think is the best coverage in the news business."