For the second time in a month, religious programming in Western New York has suffered a big loss.
WNYB-TV (Channel 26) Station Manager Sean Brennan confirmed that the religious station's owner, Tri-State Christian Television (TCT), decided to consolidate production to facilities in Marion, Ill., and and Akron, Ohio.
He said the decision was made "after two years of thoughtful and prayerful consideration."
As a result, local productions at WNYB ended more than two weeks ago. It began broadcasting Christian television in Buffalo and the surrounding market 28 years ago.
The local productions no longer being produced by the station include "Ask the Pastor," "Celebrate," "Public Report," "A Different View," "Living Epistle," "School of the Bible," "TCT Alive" and "TCT Today."
A "For Sale" in front of WNYB-TV (Channel 26) on Big Tree Road in Orchard Park last week was the first indication that things would be changing at the religion station.
Brennan said TCT network programming will remain available in Western New York, Southern Ontario and Northern Pennsylvania.
He will stay on board and work at home after the station building is sold, but the station's five other employees have been terminated.
In an email, Brennan wrote: "Consolidation of TCT's production efforts will afford the network the ability to produce more high-quality programs to meet the changing viewing habits of today's audience."
Besides broadcast and cable operations, TCT is available on all over-the-top services as well as online at www.tct.tv.
The TCT decision follows a recent decision by the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo to terminate its award-winning Daybreak TV Productions. The diocese announced that eight Daybreak TV employees will be laid off in July as part of an effort to cut costs.
The diocese's website posting about the cuts read in part:
"For various reasons parish income in recent years has been declining, and this has impacted the budget of the Central Administrative Offices of the Diocese of Buffalo. Thus, the Diocese has been forced to make some hard financial decisions.
"For many years, Daybreak has provided programming to help share the Good News. The diocese has been blessed to provide programming that most other dioceses in the nation could not provide. The Daybreak team members should be commended for how much their excellent work has been valued on a national level."