Entravision continues to shrink news production teams in its stations, continuing a push towards hubbed news and potentially opening the door for Telemundo newscasts to gain ground in the cities where they compete.
According to multiple sources, Entravision executed massive cuts nationwide last Friday, April 6, affecting Las Vegas, McAllen, El Paso, Denver, Washington, D.C., and Laredo.
The local newscast at KINC Las Vegas was effectively shut down and “shipped” to El Paso. The Texas station will produce a newscast for Las Vegas. Entravision did the same at its Laredo station just one month ago.
Almost all Las Vegas news staff was laid off. Among them: anchor Nathaly Alcalá, reporters Jasmina González Janette Mata, Juan Juárez and Carolina López (in Reno), producer Yazmin Beltrán, editor Jairo Aguilar, technical director Evelyn Pardo, and news director Angel Covarrubias, as well as two engineers.
Five staffers were kept on board to produce stories for the Vegas newscast produced from El Paso: anchor Benjamín Zamora and Gabriel Preciado stay on as reporters, cameraman Jorge Avila and Eddie Vargas, editor/photographer/sports reporter, as well as Anya Arechiga as an MMJ in Reno.
A source says news, sales and promotions staffers in Las Vegas were called into a mandatory meeting at 2:45 pm, where VP of sales Rene Morales informed them the company was losing money and not enough revenue to continue operations, so they would be doing lay offs. Sales and promotions staffers were moved to a conference room to “talk more about the changes.”
VP of News Luisa Collins then told news staffers the cuts were necessary for the company to survive, called out the names of the people that would keep working at the station and told the rest to go with the HR manager.
KINC 15, a Univision affiliate for over 20 years, has been the No. 1 Spanish-language station in Las Vegas. January and February 6 and 11 pm newscast ratings shared with Media Moves show a strong lead over Telemundo.
Entravision cashed in big in the FCC incentive auction, making $263.6 million for giving up spectrum in Hartford, Monterey/Salinas and Washington, D.C. It used $3.75 million of that money to buy independent KMCC, the short-lived MundoFox affiliate in Las Vegas just last month.
A source says about 9 people lost jobs in Denver. Another source says KINT El Paso cut 7 people, including weekend weather anchor Adriana Valles and weekend sports anchor Alejandro Nava, while at KNVO McAllen, about 7-10 people lost jobs, including reporter/VJ Marlen Sosa. Jazmine Rico anchor at Fox station KFXV in McAllen, also got hit in the layoffs.
Laredo, which went through a huge layoff in early March, cut two more people: General Sales Manager Jeannette Puig and receptionist Brenda Vazquez.
The Washington, D.C. station laid off three: sports anchor José Ignacio Garza and weather anchor César Flores, as well as business operations manager Jacqui Brebnor.
Sara Suarez, Entravision’s News Director for the Northeast was named news director for Orlando and Tampa. The Orlando station also had a round of layoffs several weeks ago that included news director Jenny Ash, who held the position since 2015.
Entravision also laid off full and part-time employees at radio stations across every market where it owns stations.
When asked about the layoffs, Entravision, through a PR agency, sent Media Moves the following statement:
“As part of an extensive review of our business, we have taken a number of steps to more efficiently align our operations and reduce costs, including reductions in staff.”