Retrenching in Texas

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A cash crisis has forced a major reorganization at The News of Texas (TXN), the ambitious San Antonio-based television, radio and Internet network focusing on state news.

The network is dropping its radio and Internet services to focus on its core television affiliate business, in which it provides daily newscasts to stations in more than 20 Texas markets. Bureaus in Houston and Dallas will close, and nearly 40 full-timers will lose jobs.

"We were burning too much money," says CEO Bob Rogers, who himself lost his job in the realignment, although he will remain on temporarily as a consultant. He cites difficulties in getting ad agencies to place advertising on a statewide network and in getting affiliates to give TXN newscasts better time slots. CBS' established Texas State Network on radio made the radio business a tough go as well, officials say.

The network will be run by parent company Mission City Management, with marketing director and veteran Texas newsman Bruce Kates pulling double duty as news director. TXN continues to employ about 65, and officials say they are hopeful of reversing the network's fortunes.

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