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TV3 Winchester ceases operations

By Ryan Cornell

TV3 Winchester, an ABC news affiliate that has broadcast shows to viewers in Frederick, Clarke, Shenandoah and Warren counties since 2007, said good morning to the region one last time during its 5 to 7 a.m. timeslot on Thursday.

The station announced on Thursday afternoon that it has decided to close its local news and sales operations, effective immediately.

Vice President and General Manager Teri Lloyd called the shutdown a "business decision."

"The station was launched [by Gray Television Inc.] with an expectation to be able to support the revenue that we needed from local advertisers," she said. "As time has gone on, we've realized that has not been possible in this market."

She said the station's website, tv3winchester.com, would shut down on Thursday and shows from Harrisonburg-based WHSV-TV, TV3's sister station, will broadcast on the channel for an "indefinite time."

TV3 Winchester staff learned of the announcement on Thursday and will be compensated, she said, but will be looking for new employment.

Lloyd said that there was no legal action or lawsuits that affected the decision and that it was strictly a business decision.

TV3 Winchester is located on Millwood Avenue across from Shenandoah University. The Daily reported in 2006, when ground was broken for an upgrade to the Shenandoah University Television Center to accomodate the new station, that TV3 Winchester would be providing internships to students at the university.

This statement was posted on TV3 Winchester's website on Thursday:

"TV3 Winchester announced today that it has reluctantly decided to close its local news and sales operations in Winchester, Virginia, effective immediately. Despite the efforts of many great people and an investment of several millions of dollars over the past six years, TV3 concluded that it could no longer effectively serve the Northern Shenandoah Valley.

"TV3 Winchester Vice President & General Manager Teri Lloyd said, "We are grateful for the professionalism and dedication that our wonderful staff exhibited here in Winchester. They used their best efforts to cover local news, sports and weather in the Northern Shenandoah Valley as well as serve the local business and civic communities. We regret that all their efforts and all of our investments were simply insufficient to make this hyper-local station a viable long-term operation. To our loyal viewers and local advertisers we say thank you for your support.

"TV3's local broadcasts ceased this morning."

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rcornell@nvdaily.com

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