Little appears to be new, or improved, when it comes to newsroom investment at the networks.
Staffing and Workload
The news about staffing and workload in network newsrooms is again not good. By anecdote and by statistic, all evidence points to people being stretched thinner.
For 20 years, some of the most carefully drawn data on network newsroom investment came from Joe Foote at Arizona State University. In 2003 Foote decided to end his project.1 
For 2004, we have turned to similar data collected by Andrew Tyndall of the Tyndall Report, who is also a contributor to this study.
There are echoes in the two sets of data over the years that allow us to make comparisons. The specific numbers sometimes vary, (Foote's are based on seven days a week, Tyndall's on weekdays) but both trend lines move in the same direction through 2002 - fewer reporters and more work.2 
Tyndall's data, using an approach similar to Foote's, go back to 1994 and fairly closely track Foote's.3  His data through 2002 show workload increases similar to Foote's. The number of stories filed per year per correspondent was at 42 in 2002, up from 35 in 1996.
For 2003, Tyndall found a slight uptick in the number of correspondents appearing, and a slight decrease in workload. The average number of correspondents who appeared on the newscasts rose to 45. The average number of stories filed dropped by 2 to 40.
In 2004, Tyndall found the number of correspondents basically unchanged (dropping from 45 to 44), and the workload also unchanged (the average number of stories filed per correspondent remained 40).
But there are differences by network - or at least at one network.
The CBS Evening News had notably fewer correspondents than NBC or ABC (about 15% fewer) doing substantially more work in 2004. NBC had 46 correspondents averaging 39 stories each (to be counted, a correspondent had to produce at least five stories during the year), and ABC had 47 correspondents producing on average even fewer pieces, 35 a year. CBS's correspondents had a heavier load; only 39 correspondents, with an average of 46 stories. That is 30% more stories than for ABC correspondents and 18% more than for NBC.
There were several retirements: At NBC, Robert Hager, know as "the rabbit" internally, was by many counts the most productive network correspondent for many years. CBS lost the top London-based correspondent Tom Fenton as well as Bruce Dunning, the network's veteran correspondent in Tokyo. There were no announced replacements for those departures.
It should be pointed out that while the trend lines over time in both the Foote and Tyndall data are clear - more work for fewer reporters - there are up and down movements year to year. Thus it would be premature to say whether the 2003 changes indicate anything more than one of these temporary blips.
While there are no comparable data for off-air personnel, most people in network TV whom the authors of this report have talked to over the years acknowledge that the cutbacks in these unseen staff members are probably comparable or even greater.
1994 to 2004
Source: Unpublished data from ADT Research
Last year's report also detailed cutbacks over time in network bureaus. Since their peak in the 1980s - about the time that network news divisions began to feel the impact of cable and began to be viewed by owners as profit centers - the number of international bureaus have been cut roughly in half.4  In the last year, CBS and ABC report that they have added one bureau each, in Baghdad. NBC told the Project it had added four bureaus over the past year: Cairo, Germany, Beijing and Tokyo, while not closing any.