Gary Reals took at look at the future and decided he’d had enough. The veteran WUSA/DC reporter, who’s covered stories in Washington and around the world for Channel 9 since 1980, tells the Falls Church News-Press he had no interest in becoming a backpack journalist. “It kind of hastened my decision to leave the news industry, which was the difficult choice I made in October, so the decision to take the buyout was quite easy,” Reals told the paper.
WUSA plans to make all its reporters into one man bands, saving money on field crews and lowering salaries for reporters in the process. Reals, who still considers local TV news a “noble profession,” felt the product and the work had been “a lot less noble in recent years.” He told the News-Press’ Natalie Bedell the decision to go backpack was the final straw. “If you’re involved in the shooting and then subsequently the editing, you can’t be thinking too much about the journalistic aspect of gathering additional information. There’s going to be less substance,” he said.
Read up on Reals’ remarkable career in Bedell’s piece at fcnp.com.