Starting today, March 1st, local newscasts at Estrella TV’s Channel 62 are no longer produced and anchored in Los Angeles. Instead, they have been outsourced to Mexico’s Multimedios, according to multiple sources.
About two dozen staffers were laid off. Many of them had worked at the station for decades, sources tell Media Moves.
Most of the personnel who lost their jobs are photographers, producers, editors and other production staff. At least two on-air talent got pink slipped.
Among those laid off, whose names were confirmed by multiple sources: cameramen Marcos Navarro, Rafael Taboada and Julio Cesar Alas; anchor and reporter Victor Cordero and weather anchor Sanelly Quintero.
Four reporters, two of them MMJs, will continue to produce stories for the now Mexico-produced L.A. newscasts.
Staffers were first notified of the company’s plan to ship off local news production and cut jobs about 10 days ago at a meeting led by Ivan Stoilkovich, EVP of Television Content for Estrella Media. Some of the layoffs were executed last week, with others taking place yesterday, the last day of local newscast production.
A company spokesperson would not provide an official statement about the outsourcing of the local newscasts or the layoffs, but told Media Moves that Estrella Media was leveraging Multimedios to supplement its news operations, the company was committed to local news and reporting, and that most of the local reporters and anchors in L.A. have been retained.
Estrella TV began producing and airing local newscasts in L.A. 20 years ago, under the company’s prior owner and founder, Lenard Liberman, CEO of LBI Media.
The company also shut down local operations of its Dallas news hub and outsourced its newscasts to Mexico in November 2021. According to sources, more than 40 people lost their jobs.
Liberman exited the company following bankruptcy restructuring. First lien lender HPS Investment Partners, LLC, which sponsored the reorganization plan, acquired 100% ownership of LBI Media in 2019 and rebranded the parent company to Estrella Media in 2020.