Multimedia journalists only at WUSA-TV

It’s the first major market station in the country to do away with all of its two-person reporting teams.

Under a new agreement reached this week with its labor unions, WUSA, Channel 9, will become the first station in Washington to replace its crews with one-person “multimedia journalists” who will shoot and edit news stories single-handedly.

The change is also coming with cuts in salary.  According to the Washington Post, WUSA’s multimedia journalists will earn 30 to 50 percent less than reporters at the station have in the past.  Salaries will top out at around $90,000 a year.

The changes are scheduled to take effect in early 2009.  At least one veteran reporter, Gary Reels, has accepted a buyout from the station rather than deal with the new requirements.