Layoffs At Channels 2, 31; Bjorkman To Become Vet Tech

Joint Operations at KWGN, KDVR Will Be 30 People Will Lose Jobs

An official overseeing the merger of two Denver-area television stations says more than two dozen employees are expected to lose their jobs as a result of the joint operation.

KWGN and KDVR have agreed to merge their resources and operate out of KDVR's studios in Denver. The consolidation is expected to be completed by March 31.

The general manager of KDVR, Dennis Leonard, will oversee the new operation. The two stations have competing newscasts in two time slots and Leonard says no decision has been made yet about what should happen to them.

He says the two stations will probably share a news desk but still have two distinct brands.

Leonard says more than 30 employees will lose their jobs.

KDVR operates a large broadcast facility at 6th Avenue and Lincoln Boulevard in Denver. It was built on the former site of KWGN's smaller building. KWGN moved out of the central Denver area when it sold the building and has a facility in the Denver Tech Center. It will share the KDVR's facilities under the new arrangment.

KWGN's veteran anchor Ernie Bjorkman is among those losing their jobs. His last day on air will be Dec. 31 and then he plans to begin a new career as a veterinary technician.

"After the first of the year I'll be working with animals rather than people," Bjorkman told the Rocky Mountain News.

Bjorkman's boss, News Director Carl Bilek, also lost his job.

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