Alexandria television station KSAX has eliminated its local newscast in a cost-cutting move, laying off 17 employees.
The station said Tuesday it will substantially reduce its operations in central Minnesota effective immediately. Viewers will continue to receive ABC network and local programming from KSAX's sister station, Twin Cities-based KSTP-TV.
But KSAX will discontinue its regularly scheduled local news cut-ins. The last newscast was Monday night.
KSAX station manager Ed Smith says the decision "came down to economics." Smith cites the rising costs of technology, along with increased competition in viewing choices.
KSAX has been in operation for 25 years. The station is owned by Hubbard Broadcasting Inc. and will maintain its studio in Alexandria.
The laid-off employees will receive severance pay and benefits as well as outplacement assistance.