Hubbard Broadcasting's KSAX Alexandria (Minn.) has eliminated its news department, reports the AP, laying off 17 employees. The station is an ABC affiliate operating in central Minnesota.
Hubbard owns KSTP-KSTC in the Twin Cities, around 130 miles away.
It is rare for stations to get rid of news altogether. WYOU Wilkes-Barre-Scranton did so in 2009. A year later, KOHD Bend replaced newscasts with shorter news "updates", amidst heavy newsroom layoffs.
KSAX station manager Ed Smith told the AP the decision "came down to economics."