WICS Springfield (Ill.) to Produce WICD News

Sinclair downsizes news department in Champaign, while launching newscast on Fox
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UPDATED: WICD Champaign (Ill.) is doing away with its locally generated newscasts, with sister WICS Springfield producing the news for both. Sinclair owns WICD and WICS. Both are ABC affiliates at opposite ends of Champaign-Springfield-Decatur, which is DMA No. 85, around 95 miles apart.

WICD's shift results in layoffs, which was first reported VermillionCountyFirst.com. "There are not a lot," said Rick Lipps, WICD-WICS general manager. "We'll move some people to Springfield, and there will be opportunities available at other stations in the group."

WCCU, the Sinclair-operated Fox affiliate in Champaign, will debut a 9 p.m. news April 7.

"We are realigning our resources to better serve our audience," said Lipps in a statement. "Rather than duplicate time periods with the other stations, we are offering alternatives in the market with a Springfield area-based 9 p.m. news and a Champaign-based 9 p.m. news. These will be more localized than any other local news offered in the market."

Last month, Lipps told B&C about "Newschannel 15/20", the joint WICD-WICS brand, tailoring news, and targeting advertisers, on both sides of the market. "No one else can do that," he said.

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