KSBY television, based in San Luis Obispo, will be closing its Santa Barbara bureau. While the station still plans to cover Santa Barbara news from time to time, reporter and bureau chief Leanna Orsua will be let go from the station, and her position eliminated as a result of the move, according to news director Dave Schermer. Photographer Juan Espinoza will remain with the station. “Basically, we decided to focus resources more on the bureau in Santa Maria,” Schermer said. The station is currently moving the Santa Maria bureau into a larger facility, where they are just finishing up renovations on the building.
There is no timetable for when the actual bureau will be emptied, as KSBY is still leasing its suite on N. Calle Ceasar Chavez, but the personnel changes are immediate, Schermer explained. The bureau has gone through some changes over the past year, when the popular Matt Cota, who had been the bureau chief for nine years before heading to Vermont last April, was replaced by former News-Press writer, Orsua.
KSBY, Channel 6 in Santa Barbara, is one of three in the San Luis Obispo/Santa Maria/Santa Barbara market, with KEYT based in Santa Barbara and KCOY based in Santa Maria. Each station, while trying to gather news throughout the market, has a “tendency to kind of really focus on their home areas, as well as the outlying areas,” Schermer said, which explains the elimination of the Santa Barbara bureau and the focus on North County and San Luis Obispo news.
The station will continue its unique segmented weather coverage - the only one of its kind in the market - which broadcasts the weather for a specific area to that area’s viewers. Meaning, Santa Barbara viewers will receive Santa Barbara weather news, Santa Maria viewers will receive Santa Maria weather, and San Luis viewers will see San Luis weather, all simultaneously during the broadcast.
And while the station won’t have a bureau here anymore, it doesn’t mean Santa Barbara won’t be showing up in the newscast here and there, Schermer promised