ashland.news
July 24, 2024

KTVL Channel 10 to lay off most employees, cut local news

KTVL vehicles in a parking lot at 5th and Fir streets in Medford. The current KTVL studio site is in the building that formerly housed the Mail Tribune.
April 27, 2023

Sinclair Broadcasting employees given notice at Thursday morning all-hands meeting

Rogue Valley Times staff

In a surprise announcement Thursday morning, KTVL News 10 told employees of the Medford TV station it would be laying off most of its local staff and switching its format.

KTVL management could not be reached for comment, but Medford Alert, a local social media news operation, said it received a statement from Sinclair Broadcasting, which owns the CBS-affiliated station, which said, “We are changing the way we produce news in Medford to ensure our long-term success. Beginning May 15, The National Desk, which provides real-time national and regional news from Sinclair’s television stations across the US, will air during KTVL’s regularly scheduled news time periods. TND offers an alternative choice for news, and there will be an opportunity for local news cut-ins in the newscast.”

Several KTVL employees speaking off the record said they were told Thursday that local news would largely be eliminated.

Taylar Ansures, the station’s digital producer, said she could not remain silent. 

“I’m a journalist. It’s my job to inform the public about what’s going on. I went into that meeting with a lot of questions that they refused to answer,” she said. 

Ansures moved from Redding with her toddler son for the job in November of last year. She has family in the Rogue Valley, and as a single mom, she was looking forward to the support. As an employee with the Sinclair company since 2021, she expected more than one week of notice, two weeks severance pay and an order not to talk. 

“I will never work for Sinclair again. A lot of what I posted as a digital producer, the stuff I put on our website or our social, it doesn’t necessarily reflect our stances as journalists. We dislike Sinclair propaganda as much as our viewers,” she said of the company. 

Staff at the station felt a coming change in recent weeks, but they expected the station to merge with KVAL, a Sinclair-owned television station in Eugene.

Instead, staff received an email Wednesday evening notifying them of a 9:30 a.m., mandatory all-staff meeting Thursday morning that would include a regional human services representative and a regional news manager. 

Staff were told one multimedia journalist will remain along with sales staff at the building at 111 N. Fir St. That journalist will be responsible for providing breaking news big enough for a national audience, such as large wildfires. Those broadcasts will be folded into the “The National Desk.” Staff were also told not to post anything on the news website or to otherwise share the news.

“This is not what our viewers deserve,” Ansures said. “Our viewers deserve good regional journalism — we won’t be able to do that anymore.”

Ansures said she believes 17 employees will lose their jobs when the change takes effect.

“We’re all hurting now, we’re all extremely close — we’re like a family. Not knowing where people are going to go, what they’ll do, if they’ll leave the area, it’s hard,” she said.

As a member of the Cow Creek Tribe, she said she feels a deep connection to the Rogue Valley’s history and culture. She hopes to stay in the area but she also wants to remain working in journalism, but her position as parent and single breadwinner may force her to make other arrangements. 

CBS has been trimming affiliate stations in recent months. On April 2, Today.com reported the company was losing revenue and slipping behind in ratings, leading to cuts of prominent news anchors in large cities across the country and the potential shuttering of smaller local outlets.

In March, Sinclair Broadcasting confirmed it was planning changes to some of its local stations, according to AdWeek.com.

A spokesperson told AdWeek the station group was not planning mass layoffs or closing newsrooms, but would be making changes to the way it produces news in a few of its markets.

“In addition to our local news coverage, we will be adding The National Desk, which provides real-time national and regional news from Sinclair’s television stations across the US. TND will feature local news content from the market in every hour of the newscast,” according to a Sinclair statement given to AdWeek. “TND, which offers an alternative choice for news, has grown exponentially over the last year, reaching more than 2.5 million viewers per week, across all dayparts, and will bring something uniquely different to our community.”

This story first appeared in the Rogue Valley Times

Picture of Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

Related Posts...

Obituary: Patricia Ann Wixon

Obituary: Patty Wixon, 89, passed away peacefully July 17 at home with her children and Vince Wixon, beloved husband for nearly 50 years, by her side. She asked that those remember her by doing something kind for someone else in her name — from giving food to a homeless stranger to volunteering at an organization in your community or donating to a scholarship fund at a favorite school.

Read More »

Butler-Perozzi Fountain work moves ahead

The fundraising campaign for the restoration of the historic Butler-Perozzi fountain in Lithia Park is nearing completion following a $20,000 grant awarded by the State Historic Preservations Office’s Preserving Oregon Grant Program.  

Read More »

Latest posts

Obituary: Patricia Ann Wixon

Obituary: Patty Wixon, 89, passed away peacefully July 17 at home with her children and Vince Wixon, beloved husband for nearly 50 years, by her side. She asked that those remember her by doing something kind for someone else in her name — from giving food to a homeless stranger to volunteering at an organization in your community or donating to a scholarship fund at a favorite school.

Read More >

Butler-Perozzi Fountain work moves ahead

The fundraising campaign for the restoration of the historic Butler-Perozzi fountain in Lithia Park is nearing completion following a $20,000 grant awarded by the State Historic Preservations Office’s Preserving Oregon Grant Program.  

Read More >

Poetry Corner: Where we’re from, where we live

Poetry Corner: Both of today’s poems speak to the importance of community and identity. Louise M. Paré’s poem tells how the connection to her ancestral homeland of Ukraine continues to shape her persona. Seth Kaplan’s recent move from the Applegate to Talent describes how he has easily become attached to his new place and discovered the “us” in his community.

Read More >

Explore More...

The fundraising campaign for the restoration of the historic Butler-Perozzi fountain in Lithia Park is nearing completion following a $20,000 grant awarded by the State Historic Preservations Office’s Preserving Oregon Grant Program.  
Poetry Corner: Both of today’s poems speak to the importance of community and identity. Louise M. Paré’s poem tells how the connection to her ancestral homeland of Ukraine continues to shape her persona. Seth Kaplan’s recent move from the Applegate to Talent describes how he has easily become attached to his new place and discovered the “us” in his community.
Shakespeare’s "Coriolanus" hit the stage Tuesday at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Directed by Rosa Joshi, the play tells the story of a powerful yet starving population and a war hero turned politician.
Childcare providers have until Friday, July 26, to submit applications for Early Childhood Affordability Grant Program grants, according to an announcement by the city on Monday, July 22. The application period opened July 12, the release said.
A master plan tailor-made to guide the city of Ashland’s approach to homelessness was unanimously approved Thursday evening by the final committee standing between the plan and a review from Ashland City Council. A review of the master plan is scheduled for the Aug. 5 council study session. 
ashland.news logo

Subscribe to the newsletter and get local news sent directly to your inbox.

(It’s free)

Don't Miss Our Top Stories

Get our newsletter delivered to your inbox three times a week.
It’s FREE and you can cancel anytime.