Tuesday, Dec 12, 2017
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WNWO Channel 24 to outsource local news, lay off employees

Bulk of programming to go to South Bend, Ind., station

Beginning early next year, WNWO-TV, Channel 24, will outsource the bulk of its news programming to WSBT-TV, Channel 22, in South Bend, Indiana, resulting in station layoffs, several sources confirmed to The Blade.

The station's network programming, however, will remain unchanged.

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Laura Rice and Chance Walser anchor the Channel 24 newscast in 2010.

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The Toledo NBC affiliate and the South Bend CBS affiliate are owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.

“We'll be hubbing our news product to South Bend, Indiana,” one source close to the situation said. "They're planning to keep a news coverage crew present here, possibly 11 people.”

Employees learned of the change at a mandatory staff meeting at 8:30 a.m. today. Station employees are learning throughout today, sources said, whether they will keep their jobs at WNWO. It is not known how many employees will be laid off.

Station management has not responded to several messages left by The Blade.

Employees have been braced for the announcement for several weeks.

“We all speculated that it was just budget [related] or that it could be a new news director. It wasn't until we walked in for the meeting this morning and saw people from corporate that we knew this isn't just something usual.”

The source added, “The news product we are producing, it will not exist for the long term and we are very sad about that.”

Contact Kirk Baird at kbaird@theblade.com or 419-724-6734.

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