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September 4, 2007
Channel 19's news director is gone

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Pedro Calderon (pictured), who oversaw many ratings successes but also saw many disgruntled employees leave during his tenure, is no longer news director at Channel 19 (KUVS), Sacramento's Univision affiliate.

The change at the top of KUVS' newsroom was confirmed this morning by Maryam Banikarim, Univision's chief marketing officer; Steve Stuck, Channel 19's general manager, directed all inquiries to the corporate office.

The search for a replacement will begin immediately, Banikarim says. She did not elaborate on Calderon's departure.

Under Calderon, who was elevated from anchor to news director in 2005, Channel 19 consistently finished first in the ratings for late news in the 18-to-34-year-old demographic. (Channel 19 is the only Spanish-language TV news outlet in Sacramento.)

But some former Channel 19 employees say Calderon's confrontational management style created rifts in the newsroom and led to the departures of more than 20 editorial employees - out of a newsroom of about 30 - in the past 2 1/2 years. Included among the high-profile departures: "Voz y Voto" hosts Xochitl Arellano, Pablo Espinoza and Arnold Torres; reporters Tatiana Bedoya, Catalina Martinez and Cristina Godoya, and Modesto bureau chief Alberto Godinez.

Behind the scenes, the producer of "Voz y Voto" and the evening news also resigned, as did three photographers. Perhaps the biggest loss: two-time regional Emmy Award-winning photo journalist Felix Mendoza, who left to join the satellite news service PacSat International.

Calderon could not be reached for comment.

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