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Northwest Cable News To Go Dark In January

Northwest Cable News will air its last broadcast on January 6, 2017.

A short online post broke the story to viewers and readers that the regional all-news channel Northwest Cable News will air its last broadcast on January 6.

The channel was launched more than 20 years ago. Its small staff produces regional newscasts with content shared from sister TV newsrooms in Seattle, Portland, Spokane and Boise -- all owned by NWCN's parent company Tegna, Inc.

In Seattle, KING Broadcasting General Manager Jim Rose said the regional news channel's fate was sealed by declining ratings.

"It all boils down to audience,” he said. “The audience over the course of time for NWCN has gotten smaller. Much of that audience has migrated to digital platforms."

Rose said about 20 NWCN employees would lose their jobs in the shutdown, with many possibly landing on their feet elsewhere in the station group.

A broadcast director at the channel , Joshua Kelley, wrote in an email that NWCN workers started seeing "writing on the wall" after ownership changes several years ago.

"Ever since Gannett bought Belo, most NWCN employees have known this was a possibility," Kelley wrote. "More and more positions were going unfilled or eliminated as people left."

A Comcast spokesman said in email that it wasn't immediately clear what would happen to the valuable cable channel slot that NWCN now occupies.

This story updated on Monday p.m. with employee reaction.

Now semi-retired, Tom Banse covered national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reported from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events unfolded. Tom's stories can be found online and were heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.