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KEYT and KCOY Merge News Operations

keyt logoNoozhawk looks into the changes coming to local news on the Central Coast of California with the merger of KCOY and KEYT, the CBS and ABC affiliates for Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-San Luis Obispo:

While Cowles Media still holds the license for KCOY-TV and controls general management, programming and sales, [News-Press & Gazette] picked up about everything else, including equipment, buildings and about 30 employees.

KEYT has retained KCOY’s news operations and is hiring a half-dozen new reporters, anchors and producers in anticipation of a significant change — separating the news operations in Santa Maria and Salinas within the next six months.

For the past two years or so, KCOY reporters in Santa Maria have been sending all news content up to Cowles’ Salinas facility, whose staff has produced two different newscasts for each coverage area. “We’re not going to continue that model,” [KEYT general manager Mark] Danielson said. “To serve our viewers, we have to focus on local news.”

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