CBS Local 2 will stand for you no more.
Gulf-California Broadcast Company has made big changes to the station, which will switch to the KESQ brand, multiple sources told Cactus Hugs.
While the news programming on channel 2, which was purchased by Gulf-Californias six years ago, will change starting Monday, the station will continue to carry CBS network shows. Some CBS Local 2 on-air talent will be “repurposed” (more details on that below) and several employees (both on-air and off-air) of both stations are being let go.
Sources tell Cactus Hugs that management met with employees individually to inform them of their status Friday morning.
KESQ News anchors Karen Devine and John White as well as Weather Guesser Haley Clawson will anchor evening newcasts which will now be simulcast on both channel 2 and 3, according to a news release (below). Longtime CBS anchor Brooke Beare will serve as a reporter and anchor a 6:30 pm newscast on channel 2.
Weather Guesser Patrick Evans moves to morning anchor – with that show also being shown on channel 2 and 3 at the same time.
Current CBS Local 2 morning anchor Tom Tucker will move to weekends as well as weather guesser Kelley Moody who will also report.
The news release does not mention current KESQ weather guesser Jerry Steffen, who we are told was let go by the station.
The move is far from surprising as the content and reporters on each station were basically the same from the moment Gulf-California took over operations of the station.
The change leaves the Coachella Valley with essentially just two broadcast news stations – both owned by out-of-town interests. Gulf-California Broadcasting is part of News-Press & Gazette Company, a media company based in St. Joseph, wholly owned and operated by the Bradley family. KMIR is owned by Entravision out of Santa Monica.
Here is a news release from KESQ obtained by Cactus Hugs regarding the changes:
Effective Monday, December 3rd, KESQ, News Channel 3 will begin producing local newscasts for CBS Local 2.
Gulf California Broadcasting (GCB) and parent company News-Press & Gazette Broadcasting announced the following Monday-Friday newscast lineup in a station meeting held November 30th.
KESQ News Channel 3
CBS Local 2
News Channel 3 in the Morning
News Channel 3 at Noon
Who Wants to be a Millionaire
News Channel 3 Live at Five
ABC World News Tonight
CBS Evening News
News Channel 3 at 6pm
News Channel 3 at 6:30pm
Eye on the Desert
News Channel 3 at 11pm
“With the belief that local news will remain an invaluable commodity, our goal is to continue to have the #1 brand in the Coachella Valley” said Jerry Upham, GCB General Manager. “We will unite all our resources into strengthening the News Channel 3 brand and making it an even more dominant ‘Desert’s News Leader’ on all platforms.”
As part of this strategy, John White, Karen Devine and Haley Clawson will continue to anchor the desert’s #1 ranked evening newscasts, which will now air simultaneously on KESQ News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 at 5, 6 and 11pm. In the morning, new anchor Angela Chen joins Jeff Stahl at 5 and 6am for the News Channel 3 newscast that will also be simulcast on both stations.
With this change, CBS Local 2 will have a half hour of additional news every day, and the familiar faces seen on that station will be an important part of the News Channel 3 team. CBS Local 2 evening news anchor Brooke Beare will join the News Channel 3 Investigative Team (I-Team), while continuing to anchor the 6:30pm News, which will now be branded as a News Channel 3 newscast that airs exclusively on CBS Local 2. Meteorologist and Eye on the Desert host Patrick Evans will continue to host the valley’s longest running arts and entertainment segment at 6:30pm, and will join the market’s #1 rated morning newscast as morning meteorologist. CBS Morning news anchor Tom Tucker will anchor weekends for the News Channel 3 newscasts and do weekday reporting. Kelley Moody will move to weekend meteorologist and weekday reporter.
“This move positions the Desert’s News Leader to be even stronger tracking severe weather, covering breaking news, and delivering more investigative and enterprise reporting” says Rebecca Johnson, GCB News Director.
In addition, GCB will move towards strengthening its’ local news presence on Telemundo affiliate KUNA, eventually developing more live local newscasts for the Hispanic audience at 6 and 11pm. The KUNA local news is currently the only fully locally produced Spanish speaking news in the market. This move gives KUNA the ability to provide more current Spanish speaking news for the entire Coachella Valley.
“In addition, this move allows our station group to give our community projects and partnerships more exposure”, adds Upham. “Previously each station had their own event sponsorships whereas now they will air across our platforms”.
Gulf California Broadcasting (GCB) and parent company News-Press & Gazette (NPG), are owners of local television stations KESQ (ABC), KPSP (CBS Local 2) , KUNA, KDFX, KCWQ and radio station KUNA-FM (La Poderosa).