The owner of KTVL-TV, the CBS affiliate in Medford, is planning to end locally-produced newscasts and layoff most of its news staff. That’s according to reports from multiple news outlets. which also report that it is not the only Sinclair-owned station shutting down local news.
The station will reportedly move to nationally syndicated programming instead of local newscasts starting May 15.
Medford Alert reports the closure affects about a dozen employees.
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KOBI-TV in Medford, citing anonymous sources within the station, reports that a meteorologist in Eugene will do weather for KTVL and that the station will eventually have one reporter who will cover Southern Oregon. Northern California news will come from a reporter in Redding.
KTVL is owned by Sinclair, one of the largest independent television ownership groups in the country It also owns Portland’s KATU and KVAL in Eugene.
Reports indicated that Sinclair is doing the same to four other stations in Toledo, Ohio, Gainesville, Fla., Sioux City, Iowa, and Omaha, Neb.
WNWO in Toledo, Ohio, has an announcement about the move posted on its website. The other stations do not.
Oregon Public Broadcasting says it spoke to Taylar Ansures, a digital content producer at KTVL.
“They were planning to keep the entire community, all of Southern Oregon in the dark, all of our viewers in the dark, until our last day, until our last broadcast,” Ansures reportedly said.
The move comes three months after the Mail Tribune newspaper in Medford announced its closure. EO Media Group quickly announced it would start a new paper in the city.
The Medford-Klamath Falls television market is the 136th-largest in the country. For comparison, Bend is 180th. Portland is 22nd and Eugene is 119th.