Sinclair Broadcast Group is readying plans to lay off the entire newsroom at Southern Oregon CBS affiliate KTVL next month, according to a journalist who works at the station.
Taylar Ansures works as a digital content producer at KTVL (Channel 10, CBS), and recently told Oregon Public Broadcasting that the station’s general manager informed all newsroom employees that they would receive pink slips in May.
KTVL produces local news under the “News10” brand, offering breaking news and stories of interest to suburban and small towns along the Southern Oregon and Northern California border. Areas covered by KTVL include Yreka (California), Midland (Oregon), Lakeview (Oregon) and Fort Jones (California).
The station produces the usual amount of local news for a CBS affiliate, including two hours in the morning prior to “CBS Mornings,” a noon newscast, evening news at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., and a newscast at 11 p.m. following the network’s prime-time programming.
According to a statement from Sinclair, KTVL will replace its morning newscast with “The National Desk,” a Sinclair-produced newscast that airs on some of its independent stations across the country. Local news “inserts” will be peppered through the broadcast, Sinclair says, though it isn’t clear who will produce those local segments for KTVL (there are unconfirmed rumors that KRCR, a Sinclair-owned ABC affiliate in Redding, will produce some local news content for KTVL).
The layoffs will affect less than two dozen workers at KTVL’s studios, which was co-located with the Medford Mail Tribune until the newspaper shut own earlier this year.
The decision to shut down KTVL’s local news operations comes about two months after the station’s general manager, Susan Connor, left KTVL for Sinclair’s Fox and CW duopoly in Fresno.
When KTVL’s newsroom closes, the Medford market will be left with just two TV stations producing local newscasts: KDRV (Channel 12, ABC), owned by Allen Media Group, and the family-owned KOBI (Channel 5, NBC). KOBI also produces a local newscast for Fox affiliate KMVU (Channel 26) in the market.