Santa Barbara Stations Relocate Anchor Desk to Monterey Sibling

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Cowles-owned KCOY and KKFX of Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-San Luis Obispo is laying off 12 people, reports the Santa Maria Times, as the stations are moving their anchor desk to sibling KION in the Monterey-Salinas DMA. KCOY is a CBS affiliate and KKFX airs Fox.

It’s around 175 miles from Santa Maria, where KCOY is licensed, to Monterey, where KION is.

The shift happens Jan. 13. Kevin Harlan, general manager of the two stations, cited the tough economic times.

“We did lay off people yesterday. The economics of the television business have changed,” he said. “We continue to pick up market share, but the market is getting smaller.”

Harlan compared the reorganization to watching national news, which covers the country but is anchored in New York.“The good news is, we’ll have more reporters on the street for our evening newscast, but they’ll be anchored out of our Monterey (County) station,” he told the local newspaper.

The Fox affiliate’s news is being expanded from 30 minutes to an hour.

“What we’re trying to do is economize but still give the community the news it needs,” Harlan said. “We will cover sports; we will just not have a dedicated sports segment.”