For the first time in its history, KSTS Telemundo 48 in the San Francisco Bay Area will have a weekend newscast. But in order to launch the Saturday and Sunday 5:30 and 11 pm shows, station management has decided to eliminate Telemundo 48’s morning newscasts.
In an email sent to staff, Richard Cerussi, President and GM of NBC Bay Area and Telemundo 48, acknowledged a lack of viewership and a desire to have a 7-day a week news operation prompted the move, which would allow the station “to dedicate as many resources as possible to the new weekend newscasts.”
The weekday morning shows will be discontinued effective Monday, June 27. The weekend newscasts will begin Saturday, July 2.
KSTS debuted “Noticiero Telemundo 48 Primera Edición” weekdays from 5 to 7 am and “Noticiero Telemundo 48” from 10 to 10:30 am in 2014.
Both morning shows are anchored by Lorena Domínguez and Juan Francisco Ramírez. Earlier this year, the station announced it would switch Lorena to weeknights and Blanca Garza to mornings, but the move did not materialize after deciding to cancel the morning shows.
The early newscast was downsized to one hour last year and currently airs from 6 to 7 am.
Blanca and Lorena and the morning and evening weekday news teams will remain in their current roles until the programming changes take effect at the end of June.
Management hasn’t yet decided who will be part of the weekend anchor team, but assures “we don’t plan on any layoffs as a result of these moves.”
Here’s Cerussi’s full email to staff:
From: Cerussi, Richard (NBCUniversal)
Subject: program changes
After much consideration and thought, we have decided to launch four new half-hour weekend newscasts (Saturday and Sunday) at 5:30 PM and 11 PM beginning Saturday, July 2. To dedicate as many resources as possible to the new weekend newscasts, we’ve also decided to discontinue our weekday morning newscast, effective Monday, June 27.
Since the morning newscast launched two years ago, the news team produced network-quality news programming every single day. Despite the stellar news product and outstanding commitment of the team, the viewership didn’t materialize. As a local news station, we are committed to delivering the news and information how our viewers want and in the way they prefer, and this mission helps to guide our day-to-day decisions.
I assure you that this was not an easy decision to make, but after a careful and introspective review of our local news offerings, we have decided to shift our resources to accommodate our audience.
The move to weekends will make Telemundo 48 a seven-day a week news operation and with our strong showing Monday to Fridays in the early evening and in the late news time periods, we will be in a much stronger position to challenge our local competitors on the weekends. Also, this will help strengthen our weekday evening and late newscasts, which continue to perform very well. Last September, Noticiero Telemundo 48 at 11 PM was the most-watched local newscast in any language (among Adults 18 to 34) and also outranked all of our Spanish-language competitors among two key demo groups.
Our morning and evening weekday news teams will not change and Blanca Garza and Lorena Dominguez will remain in their current roles until the changes take effect in June. We have not decided who will be part of the new weekend news teams yet and we look forward to sharing this information with you as soon as it is finalized. We want to assure you that we don’t plan on any layoffs as a result of these moves. We will make careful assessments of our current news teams and their individual strengths and see how we can leverage our collective strengths, to help us be an even stronger station.
Thank you for your hard work and your steadfast commitment in helping Telemundo 48 be our viewers’ station of choice.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach me directly.
3/30/16 – Story updated to reflect that KSTS did not go through in March with the morning and evening anchor switch it announced in February. It was postponed until late June.