Hubbard Broadcasting is shutting down news operations at KSAX, its ABC-affiliate in Central Minnesota, and 17 employees are being laid off.
“Although this has been a difficult decision for our company, we will be streamlining operations at KSAX-TV beginning today,” Hubbard Broadcasting president Rob Hubbard announced in an email to staff Tuesday morning.
Hubbard plans to maintain KSAX’s studio in Alexandria, MN but the station will no longer produce local news. Instead, KSAX viewers will receive all of their news from sister station KSTP in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
In his announcement, Hubbard promised that the 17 employees being laid off would “receive severance pay and benefits, along with outplacement assistance.”
“We’re grateful for the service that KSAX and its employees have provided to west Central Minnesota for the past 25 years,” Hubbard added.
The move means that there will no longer be a truly local TV news presence in the Alexandria area. Twin Cities CBS O&O WCCO used to operate a satellite station in Alexandria–KCCO–but shut down operations there several years ago.
Last August, KSAX gained national attention when it posted a photo on Facebook that appeared to be of the mythical Chupacabra. The photo, and resulting reports, sparked a record amount of traffic for the station’s website.
In another twist of viral content, KSAX hired the “Boom goes the dynamite” kid as a reporter in 2010.