In an already shrinking field, Santa Barbara residents will lose another source for local news soon, with the closure of the KSBY’s in-town news bureau.
While KSBY is still currently still broadcasting in the Santa Barbara area, the station headquarters in San Luis Obispo confirmed that the news bureau in the city of Santa Barbara will close at an undetermined date. KSBY is comprised of its main station in San Luis Obispo and its branch stations in Santa Maria and Santa Barbara.
San Luis Obispo office News Director Dave Schermer said that the Santa Barbara bureau is closing so that the station can focus its resources.
“It was a tough decision,” Schermer said. “It is partially financial and partially because we will be expanding our Santa Maria bureau, creating more of a focus on northern Santa Barbara County. You see, the Santa Barbara bureau is over 100 miles from the home office in San Luis Obispo, which has always made it challenging.”
The bureau has provided Santa Barbara with local news coverage for over 20 years, Schermer said. It is currently the smallest of the three branches, operating with one cameraman and a small news crew. KSBY’s system of weather coverage, broadcasting weather updates to affected regions, will stay intact even after the station’s closure.
There is no time set for the closing of the bureau, though Schermer said the station will likely change hands before their lease at N. Calle Caesar Chavez Suite expires. Schermer also said that they are beginning updates at their Santa Maria facility.
Despite the scheduled closure, Schermer said that the station will still try to cover Santa Barbara happenings through KSBY’s other two outlets in Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo.
“We’ll still be covering news in Santa Barbara, and we are going to try to maintain live action shots,” Schermer said.