The cable news operation CLTV, a former corporate sibling of the Chicago Tribune, will shut down at the end of 2019 after almost 27 years, Nexstar Media Group said Monday.
Four or five staffers will be laid off, but about 10 to 12 others will be asked to apply at Nexstar’s WGN-Channel 9, company spokesman Gary Weitman said. Paul Rennie, vice president and general manager of WGN and CLTV, announced the closure in a letter to staff that referred to vast changes in the media landscape.
CLTV began when there were only four networks, hardly any internet and limited local news programming, he said, “Unfortunately, with news now available 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week across a variety of multimedia platforms, it has become increasingly difficult for CLTV to hold on to its audience and remain competitive, despite the high quality of the local journalism it products,” Rennie said.
He said WGN, which now has more than 70 hours of local news per week, will increase local programming devoted to sports, politics and weekend news.
CLTV, which stands for Chicagoland Television, was based in Oak Brook for years but had relocated to WGN’s studios at 2501 W. Bradley Pl. It started broadcasting on New Year’s Day 1993. Nexstar took over WGN in September as part of its acquisition of Tribune Media, a spinoff from Tribune Publishing.
Media columnist Robert Feder first reported the CLTV shutdown.