The Republican National Committee is reassigning members of its new media department in an effort to better position its resources heading into the 2010 elections, officials with knowledge of the situation tell the Huffington Post.
On Monday, rumors began to surface that there had been major layoffs within the department in an effort to help cut costs for the financially-strapped committee. But an RNC spokesperson stressed that the rumors aren't true. Rather than laying staffers off, a small number were being re-assigned to 2010 "Victory" operations so that they can work in the field on race-specific operations. The staffers will still be on the RNC's payroll.
"No RNC staffer has been laid off or asked to take a pay cut," said spokesman Doug Heye. "Our priority has always been our Victory operations. Like every department, some New Media staff will be deployed into the field to make sure all our resources are being utilized for victory. These plans were outlined to RNC committee members, in a session attended by the media, at our summer meeting."
According to Heye, there was one new media department staffer who did leave the committee. But that was to attend graduate school. The only other staffers who have departed are individuals who were brought on board on a temporary basis to help with the committee's website launch.
The re-allocation of resources is not, Heye stressed, a phenomenon unique to the new media department. The political and communications shop will also be following suit (if they haven't already).
That said, several GOP strategists raised concerns on Monday that not having a centralized new media team will leave the national committee office in a weaker position as Election Day approaches.
"The communications team up until when Doug Heye came on board was the weak part of the RNC and new media was the strong part," said one Republican strategist close to the RNC. "They did really well with fundraising and with the "fire Pelosi" people. It is a big mistake [to send people out]. It was the one portion of the committee that was functional."