Production company lets employees go, issues final checks, disconnects phones.
The entity providing local television programming for Santa Clarita has closed its doors.
Lauren Broadcasting, which contracted with the city to provide locally-produced content, including SCVTV News and Your SCV on Channel 20, gave employees their walking papers last week, handing final paychecks out on Monday.
The company’s news hotline has been disconnected and calls to their primary number are referred to the owner’s cell phone.
According to a Memorandum of Understanding approved by the Santa Clarita City Council in September 2007, Lauren Broadcasting Corporation was contracted to provide four hours of new programming per week for Channel 20. Expenses for the company, which were completely borne by Lauren Broadcasting, were projected at $85,000 per month, with anticipated advertising revenue (allowable to cover production expenses) of $69,000, a shortfall of $16,000. The memorandum was to expire April 1, 2008.
Sources who requested anonymity said that they saw the end coming and thought the shortfall was greater than projected. The closure does not affect the websites scvtv.com, scvtv.org or scvtv.net, which are all owned by a different entity. Calls to Lauren Broadcasting owner Richard Budman were not returned.