Reporters sent packing

Newscasts on Pappas Broadcasting stations KAZR (channel 46) and KREN (channel 27) in Reno have been shut down.

KREN’s newscast began running on Dec. 18, 2006. No date is known for the KAZR newscast. The two shared facilities. The shutdown is reportedly a product of an impending sale of some Pappas properties together with inadequate ad sales.

A company statement said the company was trying to relocate workers at other Pappas properties, but word seems not to have reached the workers themselves. One source says that seven journalists were put out of work by the shutdown, with no figure available on how many production workers, if any, are affected. Contracts of up to five years were involved. “Pappas is refusing to honor those contracts, and we are seeking some kind of a legal remedy,” said one news crew member, who also said that there had been a high level of pride among the staff members because they were working on the first Latino HDTV newscast in the nation. Workers have been meeting with lawyers to decide whether to sue.

At KAZR, the newscast helped satisfy a federal requirement for local programming.

Last weekend, the newscast was replaced by an episode of Cheaters.