Sinclair Pulls Plug on KTVL Medford Operations

Longtime Oregon broadcast company, KTVL-TV, will end most local news coverage by May 15th.

An inside source told Medford Alert that Sinclair Broadcast Group (KTVL’s parent company) will shutter nearly all local operations. Sinclair also owns approximately 200 television stations across the United States.

Locally, Channel 10 will move to “nationally syndicated programming” schedule, and will have broader Oregon news and information provided by a Sinclair owned Eugene area sister outfit. The station will still be billed as KTVL, just without the longtime, locally based news and community programming.

The new format calls for a single reporter to remain on staff to cover Jackson, Josephine, and Klamath Counties. While Northern California news will be taken over by KRCR out of Redding California.

A current KTVL employee, who wishes to remain anonymous, said the following regarding the closure news: “We saw it coming, but the constant miscommunication and lack thereof from Sinclair Broadcast Group is disrespectful to us and the community we’ve supported these years”

KTVL (formerly KMED 1961-1977) has been in operation since October 3, 1961. KTVL currently broadcasts over 20 hours of locally produced news per week. This closure will also affect dozens of local KTVL employees.

Medford Alert has reached out to Sinclair Broadcast Group for a comment, here is their statement:

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.

Sinclair Broadcast Group is expected to release a full, more detailed statement prior to the expected news closure. Once available, Medford Alert will pass along that information as well.

Evening Update: During a KTVL company meeting today, Sinclair announced they will offer severance packages to all contracted employees. While non-contract employees will receive just a two-week severance. Several staff members are close to, or have already signed with KOBI-TV here in Medford. Some contracted employees, including several on-screen reporters were offered positions at other Sinclair owners stations (such as KVAL in Eugene). According to our inside source, some of the local management of KTVL felt “blindsided” by this corporate move and are working diligently to address concerns from employees at KTVL. This includes reaching out to other area stations to help place some employees.


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