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The end of Title 42

 May 12, 2023 at 11:47 AM PDT

S1: Welcome to KPBS Roundtable. I'm Matt Hoffman. After three years , the pandemic era immigration policy , Title 42 has ended. What it means and the potential impact for San Diego. We're taking a look back at the origins of the policy , as well as talking about what will be replacing it.

S2: We have done all we can with the resources that we have and within the system that we are operating under.

S1: And local independent TV station KUSI is being sold to the national media company Nexstar. What that means for media in San Diego. Don't go anywhere. Roundtable is coming up next. Immigration policy is fundamentally changing. After three years , Title 42 is gone. That was a pandemic era health order that allowed border agents to quickly turn away migrants on the grounds of stopping the pandemic. Now there's new rules , as San Diego officials expect to see a lot more migrants and asylum seekers arriving at the southern border. Joining us to break down all these latest developments in this three year long saga is KPBS border reporter Gustavo Solis. And Gustavo , welcome back to Roundtable. Hey , thanks for having me back. Great to have you here. I know we've had a lot of different discussions with you over these past couple of years. So let's start out with we've been hearing about an increase in migrants along the US-Mexico border , not just here in San Diego , but elsewhere. And this all leading up to the weeks where Title 42 was ending.

S3: So they're a lot calmer. It kind of feels like the calm before the storm. But but things are tense out there and there's a lot of uncertainty right now. We do know that on the Mexican side of the border in Tijuana , the migrant shelters are at capacity. And they've been like this for the last couple of years , mostly because Title 42. Right. We also know that Customs and Border Protection has created this makeshift migrant camp in the space between the two border walls in San Ysidro. I was there yesterday and I saw 400 men , women and children there just kind of being funneled and kept there. And we know that on the San Diego side of the border , migrant shelters are preparing as best as they can. I talked with Catholic Charities who said they increased staff and food and clothing donations in anticipation of what will happen.

S1: And Gustavo , I remember from some of our previous conversations when we talked about this buildup of migrants on the southern border waiting to come in , You would talk to people that said that we shouldn't necessarily be surprised by this because it's sort of a self made issue.

S3: I mean , it's kind of what happens when you close access to to an entry point for a long time , like the analogy I like to use is closing a highway , right ? If we close a highway , the traffic doesn't go away. The traffic is going to get backed up. And when you reopen the highway , that traffic is still going to be there. And that's kind of what happened with Title 42. I mean , with Title 42 , you. Closed off a lot of access to the country. And in the last three years , that access has been closed. But the original reasons of why people are fleeing and then the push factors of driving people to migrate in the first place , those things haven't gone away.

S1: So Gustavo , Title 42 has ended. So simple question , Maybe not a simple answer.

S3: So you're right about it not being a simple answer. Part of it will go back to how the US created migration before Title 42 was enacted in March 2020. But there will also be a new set of restrictions to asylum. We should expect to see things like Title eight and expedited removal. Generally speaking , it means that migrants will be vetted given a chance to request asylum , go through a brief interview and those who can establish a legitimate reason for having it can continue on to the process and those who don't will be deported. There's other things at play like the CBP one mobile app that we've talked about before that will play a bigger role. One of the biggest changes is this the new asylum transit ban that the Biden administration put in place. It's very similar to a ban that Trump tried to implement and Biden criticized when he was a presidential candidate. But it creates this presumption of ineligibility for asylum if migrants don't apply for asylum in a third country that they pass to before getting to the US. This is probably the biggest historical shift in the asylum process.

S1: Before we get too far into recent changes in immigration , let's step back a bit. Title 42. As we mentioned , it's been in place for a few years And Gustavo , you've been there covering its seemingly ever changing implementation.

S3: Title 42 uses the pandemic , and the stated goal of the policy is to slow the spread of COVID 19. So it uses the pandemic to restrict people's legal right to access the asylum system along the border. We know now through the reporting that former President Trump aide Stephen Miller , he wanted to use Title 42 as early as 2018 to keep migrants out of the country. The pandemic just gave him the the opening that he needed to do it. We also know through through more reporting that the Trump administration pressured doctors from the CDC to issue the public health order in the first place , even though those doctors knew there was no public health basis for it. We've heard a lot about Title 42 in the last couple of weeks , and it's telling that all the arguments in favor of keeping it and all the concerns are about it as a border enforcement policy , not so much as a stop the spread of COVID policy.


S3: And I think how we frame that is important because a lot of the media gets this wrong. They say that it was used to turn 2.5 million people away. But no , it was used 2.7 million times. And a lot of the time multiple people were turned away. One , So it kind of it it led to this situation where there were repeat people being turned away , but they were kind of counted as individuals. And it really made it seem like the record number apprehensions , which they were I'm not saying they weren't , but it made it higher than it really were because there were a lot of repeat offenders. But how it looked on the ground , I mean , it kind of looked like a bouncer keeping people out of the club. Right ? There's just Title 42. Sorry , you can't come here. Like border is closed for you. And over time , we did. And we reported on racial disparities in how it was used specifically like Title 42 , it gives border officials the discretion to grant exemptions on a case by case basis. Right. Let's say a year in asylum seeker and you're in a particularly vulnerable situation. It's like life and death and you can't wait. Someone at the border has the discretion to say , okay , you're exempt from it , come on in. In practice , that exemption was used predominantly on white migrants. Specifically , last summer , a Russian nationals were fleeing the Russian War. I remember seeing border officials just let white people in and turn away black and brown migrants from Latin America. And just that the visual optics of that were really , really hard to ignore.

S1: And also something with Title 42 was the speed in which people could be turned around. Right. And we'll get into it a little bit later , but it's a much longer process. Whereas with Title 42 , I mean , they could be turned around like an hours or even less maybe. Yeah.

S3: Yeah. I mean , people called it the revolving door and for that reason that's why you had. People trying to cross multiple times over and over again , driving up those apprehensions numbers. There was really no legal consequence for crossing illegally with Title 42 , not the way that there is with some of the other measures like Title eight.

S1: And we sort of talked about this a little bit earlier. Some people listening to this might be thinking , wait , title 42 , it's a public health order. Has the pandemic been fairly calm for a while now ? And I remember when you were on before , there's been efforts to remove it before , just this week.

S3: I mean , people thought the Title 42 would go away as soon as Biden became president. And that's because he ran on a platform to get rid of Trump policies and restore a safe and humane immigration system. But but he didn't really do that. Now , when he came to Title 42 , he waited a couple of years to end it. When he did finally try to end it , a federal judge blocked him and he actually expanded Title 42 to cover more nationalities. But he he kind of he waited to end it. And then once he did try , he got blocked by Republican attorneys , generals who got federal judges to issue orders that prevented him from blocking it.


S3: And the federal government can't keep it around and get rid of all the other pandemic era restrictions. So it's basically just kind of through the virtue of the rest of the orders expiring. This also expires along with it.

S1: So now we have some new rules. Well , we're kind of actually back to something we used to have called Title eight. Here's what the Homeland Security secretary , Alejandro Mayorkas , said on what immigration officials are expecting moving forward.

S2: I have said for months and months that the challenge at the border is and is going to be very difficult. And we have spoken repeatedly about the fact that that difficulty may actually only increase at this time of transition. It is going to take a period of time for our approach to actually gain traction and show results. And I've been very clear about that. The fundamental reason , the fundamental reason why we have a challenge at our border and we've had this challenge many a time before is because we are working within the constraints of a broken , a fundamentally broken immigration system. And we also are operating on resources that are far less than those that we need and that we've requested.

S1: There's a lot to unpack there , Gustavo , But the secretary mentioned this time of transition and this new approach.

S3: Right. And if you heard the rest of the press conference , he really through Congress under the bus , and not just this Congress , but every Congress for the last 20 years that has failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform. And he's not wrong. Right ? We have an immigration system that was created in the 90s and migration then was very different than what it is now , both in terms of why migrants are fleeing in the first place and the types of migrants who are coming to the US. We have this system of outdated laws that really fails to address the situation on the ground , and that's part of the reason why it seems like every other year there's a different border crisis. You know.

S1: Part of these policies is federal immigration officials will generally presume everyone entering the country illegally is not eligible for asylum. And Gustavo , you mentioned earlier that that was one big shift that you're noticing here.

S3: And the Biden administration is already getting significant blowback from progressive and pro-immigrant groups. I mean , it just to to talk about the shift a little bit , like since World War Two , which is sort of where our modern asylum system comes from , after the US turned away Jewish asylum seekers , the asylum laws in this country have allowed migrants to enter the country legally and still be eligible for asylum. Those laws recognize that migrants fleeing legitimate danger may have not enough time or resources to get a visa. They may not live in a country where a regime offers them a passport. They may have to flee overnight. This new rule is a big shift that people will be presumed ineligible for asylum unless they make an appointment through a mobile app. And that mobile app has a whole host of problems. It's been called the Ticketmaster of Asylum because of how glitchy and and unfair it seems to be.

S1: We'd like to hear from you. What are your thoughts on the ending of Title 42 ? Give us a call at (619) 452-0228. You can leave us a voicemail there or you can email us at Roundtable at When we come back , we're talking about the potential impact from these new immigration policies. You're listening to KPBS Roundtable. I'm Matt Hoffman. We're talking about changing immigration policy with Title 42 going away. Joining me is Gustavo Solis , KPBS border reporter. You know , Gustavo back with Title 42. I remember that you were reporting found that somebody could cross illegally be apprehended and sent back very quickly. And as you pointed out earlier , in some cases , a migrant might do that multiple times. But under the new policies we're talking about Title eight , there's stiffer penalties. Right. Can you break that down for us ? Yeah.

S3: Yeah , that's right. And that's actually why I think apprehensions along the border will go down with Title eight. As we mentioned , Title 42 created this revolving door because you could cross get sent back and there wouldn't really be any legal penalty for it. But Title eight does carry legal consequences. They take your name , your fingerprints , they track it. If you cross again , you could be sent to jail for five years and be barred from other forms of legal entry into the country. So it it is more severe.

S1: And we've heard about this backlog of asylum seekers and just in general and San Isidro , we've heard about maybe 16,000 or so people that are waiting to try to pass through there. And under these new rules , it sounds like many of those people might be processed under expedited removal.

S3: It's similar to the process I described earlier. You get a credible fear interview. If you pass , you start a more formal asylum process. If you fail , you get deported. How it will work in practice is that many of these interviews are going to happen in detention and the federal government is actually sending a lot of asylum officers to the border to conduct these interviews. We've heard that a fair amount of them will be done over the phone. So there are some it's kind of unclear how migrants who have photos and documents to prove their case will be able to present that evidence. And also , it's in the name expedited. Right. These are going to happen kind of quickly. So advocates are worried that migrants may not have enough time to connect with a lawyer and really prep for these interviews that have so much at stake for them.


S3: I know last a couple of years ago in Texas , they set up the tents like kind of the tent courts along the border. That was a way to try to increase this. I know they're getting a little bit of help from some migrant shelters in San Diego who are going to take some migrants in , but they're only going to be able to do this kind of detain and expedited removal with with as many people as they have capacity for. There's been some CBP memos out there that say that once capacity is at 125% and migrants are being kept in there a certain amount of time that the overflow , they will just be released into the country and be given notices to appear in court.

S1: And now let's talk about CBP one. You mentioned it a couple times earlier. That's the app where people are supposed to apply for asylum now or at least begin the process there. We're hearing from federal immigration officials that about 740 people per day are being admitted through that process , and that's across the entire southern border. Here's the Department of Homeland Security secretary again , Alejandro Mayorkas , talking about the CBP one app.

S2: The greatest challenge with respect to the CBP one app is not a technological challenge , but rather the fact that we have many more migrants than we have the capacity to make appointments for the greatest level of frustration is actually being able to make the appointment , not the utility of the CBP one app itself. That is again , another example of a broken immigration system.

S1: Gustavo , you were recently down there in Mexico seeing how the CBP one app works.

S3: That's not what I've seen on the ground in Tijuana. The majority of the people I've spoken to and I've seen in myself say that the app crashes on them. They tell me that their phones need an update to use the app or the Wi-Fi is too slow or people with darker skin tones. The app doesn't recognize their faces when they have to take a picture. All of those are technical challenges. Our reporting shows that at least in Tijuana , the majority of migrants who are getting appointments are the ones with more money. They're migrants who can afford to stay in hotels who have. Strong Wi-Fi signals Who can afford newest generation iPhones and Samsung phones ? The appointments aren't going to the people who are most vulnerable. They're going to the people who are more tech savvy and have the technical side of it figured out.

S1: And in that response from the secretary , he again mentioned this idea of the immigration system being broken. You know , talking about going back to that lack of legislation from Congress. But this CBP one app that didn't come from an act of Congress. Right. That came from federal immigration officials. Yeah.

S3: Yeah. And that's kind of like what our federal immigration system is , is kind of policies and executive orders one on top of the other. When he was talking about a sign of the broken immigration system , I think that that was referring to the fact that the US and this is previous administrations going back to Clinton , Bush , Obama , Trump , Biden , they spend billions and billions and billions on the front end enforcement side of border immigration , Right. They spend a lot on border patrol and all these different methods that get people in detention and into the immigration court system. But they spend a fraction of that , you know , millions instead of billions on the actual immigration court system. So so we are have a great system that funnels a lot of people into court. But once they get into court , they are put in an immigration system that doesn't have enough judges , has a huge case backlog , doesn't have enough space. And that's why all these cases take so long to adjudicate. That's why we can't process these cases very quickly is because we haven't really funded or grown the the ability of that system to really work efficiently. Yeah.

S1: Yeah. This week I think they said there's a 2 million case backlog there and they did say that they're moving or trying to move more judges down , more of these case adjudicators down. But in terms of this whole idea that the immigration system is broken , on previous roundtables , you've been here , you've talked about everybody campaigns on it in Congress , but there's no action that ever really gets taken or substantial action.

S3: And I doubt there will be because we're coming up with another campaign. Right. And I think I've mentioned it before , the you know , after the 2020 election , the Democrats had the White House , Congress and the Senate , and we still didn't see comprehensive immigration reform. I think the Obama administration also had a two year window to see that. Now with with the Congress going to the Republicans , there's even less of a shot at it. And coming up ahead of a presidential election , I don't think anyone's going to want to touch this topic right now. I mean , both parties will campaign on it. We know that President Biden got elected partly for his rhetoric to reverse all the Trump era policies , which to his credit , he's done some , but he's kept some of them in place. So I don't I think the words and actions of of the political class in this country doesn't really inspire much confidence on that front.

S1: And I know you talked to a lot of immigration advocates or people that just work in this space working with refugees and so on.

S3: They. They don't like it. They see it as a betrayal of what Joe Biden ran on. They see it as restricting people's legal right to asylum and really President Joe Biden turning back. Turning his back on on immigrant communities. An advocates who really pushed and supported him during the campaign. So so there is and it's been building it's not new. It's not just because of the new policy , but there's just been kind of growing disillusionment with the Democrats on this issue.


S3: One of the things we try , or at least I try to do at KPBS and the other local immigration reporters here do it is to keep the focus and the center of the stories on people. Right. A lot of this is framed , especially out of Washington , D.C. is framed as a political story , as a wonky policy story that really ignores or forgets about the humanity of what's going on at the border. And it's very important , I think , for all of us to really keep that front and center , keep it the focus of our coverage , because at the end of the day , those are the people impacted by it.

S1: We're hearing about troops being sent down to the border in some parts of the US , and that's to help with an expected influx of migrants. San Diego County leaders are also preparing for some increases.

S3: There's been surges in migration , like thinking back to 2018 when we had the migrant caravans , that's what we saw. We saw a lot of people not necessarily rushing the border at once to cross illegally. They went to the ports of entry and waited in line and they wouldn't move because they didn't want to lose their spot in line. They wanted to as best as they could , even though they didn't have visas or passports or like other legitimate legal entries into the country. They wanted to go to the legal port of entry and ask for asylum and wait in line to do it. They didn't want to go to shelters because they didn't want to lose their spot in line. Which kind of makes sense. Like we're like just as humans , we whether we like them or hate them , we're actually pretty good at getting in line. And that's part of the reason why people expect that to happen now , right ? I mean , the app should take a little bit of pressure from that , but there's a lot of people who don't want to use the app or can't use the app and just want to know how to get in there just because and again , this is for the legitimate asylum seekers. I mean , they don't feel safe in Mexico. A lot of them are Mexican , so like they are in the country they're actively trying to flee from. We know our own government through the State Department's issues , travel warnings to to Americans to avoid certain border communities that these migrants are living in because of crime and kidnapping risks. These are dangerous places and these are poor , vulnerable people who don't feel safe. So instead of sitting there waiting for a phone , they're going to go as close to the border as they can and just wait as patiently as they can. And , you know , until they become so desperate that they think they have no other choice but to try to cross illegally.

S1: But talking in terms of some of the impact here , some of it sort of remains to be seen how it will work through. Right. I mean , like how many people are admitted for asylum claims or turned away , how many are detained , how many may even be released into the US while they wait for claims to play out ? Right.

S3: Yeah , Yeah , that's a really good point. I mean , I think you said it best like wait and see. I think the first few weeks are going to be a wait and see and it'll be interesting how some of Biden's new policies play out. I know on the San Diego side , the migrant shelters have been waiting for CBP to just tell them like , hey , we expect X number of people to to go to your facilities every day. They haven't gotten that number yet. I know a Catholic Charities , they have three shelters to an imperial county , one in San Diego. They have capacity for 1500. And if they get any more than that , they have no choice but to release them in San Diego. Drop them off at Father Joe's Village like they did in December. And that is when we'll start seeing the impact on the streets of San Diego. If that happens , which , as you said , we don't know. Until it happens , it'll be wait and see how the federal government and the NGOs kind of handle that flow.

S1: And CBP , of course , refers to Customs and Border Protection.

S3: Like with the new rules and policies , the impact will be just the length of time that people are here , right. Somebody who is starting an asylum court case today in immigration court is going to be looking at realistically 4 or 5 years until that case works its way through court. And a lot can happen in that time , right ? People can get married. They can have children. If you can marry an American citizen or your child could be an American citizen , you establish roots in the country and you become a pillar of the community that you're in. You know , a lot of life can happen in those 4 or 5 years. So it'll be kind of interesting to see how that plays out on an individual level and even on just like a neighborhood community level in places where these migrants end up. Because it is worth noting that even though a lot of them are entering through the border , through San Diego , the majority of them will not stay here. San Diego is not historically destination for these this type of migration. It is a stepping point. People who come here and stay at the Catholic Charities shelter , they told me the average length of stay is 0.8 to 1.2 days. They stay here and over 90% of them have relatives and sponsors and friends in other parts of the country. Chicago , New York , LA , San Francisco , Texas. Florida. They'll go elsewhere.

S1: And Gustavo , we've had a number of conversations regarding Title 42 over the last couple of years here on Roundtable.

S3: Like I said , it's something that that has its history and its roots back to the Second World War , and it's always been seen as a responsibility that the US has right as the world's superpower , as the richest country in the world , as this beacon of freedom. Part of what comes with all of that is the responsibility to take care of some of the most vulnerable people on earth. And. The last couple of years in Title 42 specifically has kind of shifted that narrative from asylum , going to being a responsibility to becoming a burden. That is something that large parts of of our society are trying to kind of get rid of and frame it as something we shouldn't be doing anymore. I think that is the long lasting impact.

S1: So you're in Tijuana today and we say that that's Friday , the first full day of the implementation.

S3: Right. I'll be there looking at where migrants line up , how they are treated by Border Patrol , whether they're turned away or not , how Tijuana reacts , because the last thing the city of Tijuana wants is another migrant camp like they had last year at the border crossing. So it'll be really interesting to see how the process works out , where the people move , where they're allowed to stay. And just like you said , the impact of these policies on the ground. So that's kind of what I'll be looking at to see how effectively or ineffectively the process is working.

S1: We've been speaking with Gustavo Solis , KPBS border reporter. Gustavo , always a pleasure to have you here on Roundtable.

S3: Yeah , thank you. I'm happy happy you're covering this. It's very important.

S1: We want to hear your thoughts on this situation along the US-Mexico border. You can email us at Roundtable at or give us a call. (619) 452-0228. You can leave us a voicemail there. If you do leave your name and what city you're calling from , and we might use your message in a future show. Coming up next , longtime independent TV station KUSI is being sold to a national media company. What it means for San Diego media when we come back. After 40 years local San Diego television station KUSI , his time as an independent news outlet looks to be coming to an end. KUSI is being sold to Nexstar Media , that's a national media company which also owns Fox five , San Diego. It's also the majority owner of the National CW Network owned by the McKinnon family since its founding in 1982. KUSI has been synonymous with local news coverage , and that's even as we've seen other local media entities become part of larger national conglomerates. But that's all likely changing with this sale. Here to tell us more about the situation is Natalie Rocha. She's the small business reporter with the San Diego Union Tribune. Natalie , thanks so much for being here on Roundtable.

S4: Thanks so much for having me , Matt.

S1: Great to have you here. So KUSI , it's being bought by Nexstar Media and we're talking $35 million for the sale.

S4: So KUSI is a long time station in San Diego. You know , people know it for their hyper local news coverage of high school sports , of politics , of community events. And so now they're going to become a part of a national network. And they were the last independently owned station in San Diego. So it might change their programming , we're not sure yet. But that is kind of what's going on right now.

S1: Yeah , you're going to have to wonder if they're still going to be doing things like the prep pigskin report , all those high school games. But before we get into some of that , what can you tell us about Casey's soon to be new owners ? We're talking about Nexstar Media there.

S4: So they also own the CW News Nation and they have a 31% stake in the Food Network. So they have a lot of reach on a lot of different platforms.

S1: It's got to make you wonder why they're interested in owning a second station here in San Diego. But part of it might be their stake in the CW , and that's next. STARZ It did say that they were exploring making KUSI a CW affiliate. Can you explain what an affiliate or affiliation is and how that could maybe change ? KUSI As as people know it.

S4: In the broadcasting world , an affiliate is a local station that has an agreement with a bigger network to carry their programming. So again , you might see this on some of our other local stations when they carry some of the morning talk shows or even the late night talk shows. Those are consistent with those stations across the country. So that could be what comes with being a CW affiliate is carrying those programs specific to that network.


S4: That's again , all about San Diego at the times that they want. But if you are an affiliate , you have to meet certain things in your contract. So again , you have to show the national news broadcast at a certain hour or that certain , you know , morning newscast from the talk shows. And so it might change again when you see those programs , but we're not sure yet how that will affect what kind of news programming they do right now.

S1: About two months ago , Natalie , a jury awarded former KUSI News anchor Sandra Moss more than $1.5 million. And that was in a case that she had filed against the station regarding pay disparities.

S4: And he said it did not , despite the fact that they did have to pay out a large sum of money as a result of that trial.

S1: And so you say that you spoke with CSI's current owner , Mike McKinnon.

S4: It was the fact that it's really financially difficult to run an independent station at this point in kind of the media landscape. So again , while finances did play a role in the decision to sell it again was not a result of them paying out that lawsuit. But at the same time , he said that it was a really good fit to work with Nexstar because he's known the CEO of the company for a really long time , more like 30 years. And so he said that they hope that they can kind of carry on what they've built at KUSI with the resources they have , because again , it's just really hard to financially and logistically support an independent station at this point.

S1: And when you say work with Nexstar , like do we know like this , Mike ? And in like.

S4: But this is again , going to be part of a bigger network. So they will be exiting KUSI.

S1: And let's talk about the McKinnon family a little bit. They've owned KUSI since it began , and that was in the early 1980s. What can you tell us about their family and sort of their vision for KUSI ? Some people listening , they might point out that the station usually is associated with more. Right. Or maybe conservative news coverage. But was that was that always like their sort of vision ? Sure.

S4: So I actually was born and raised in San Diego , so I grew up and knew what KUSI was as a kid. And I always remember their very hyper local coverage. So they did a lot of , again , high school sports. They did a lot of , you know , they were kind of at every local event. And so that's been kind of one of their flavors and having , you know , kind of unique anchors to carry that message. But yeah , in recent years , they've just , you know , describe themselves as more on the right side of the political spectrum , sharing conservative views on local issues. And so kind of where that comes into play , I guess , with this deal is , you know , as an independent station , they could set that tone themselves. But now we don't really know if that'll change with being a part of a bigger network.

S1: You're listening to KPBS Roundtable. I'm Matt Hoffman. We're talking about the sale of local independent television station KUSI. And joining me to discuss it is Natalie Rocha from the San Diego Union Tribune. You spoke with a local media expert who did note that Casey's ratings are lower compared to other local stations.

S4: So we get media from all types of places. And while those ratings rank viewership on TV , it's not always the most accurate picture of , you know , where people are getting their media from.

S1: So we've seen TV stations sell here in San Diego before , Natalie , back in 2017 , Cbs8 , which was also family owned at the time , they were sold for $325 million. Now , that deal also included a couple of radio stations.

S4: And he said just in his own opinion that it did seem a little bit low as far as the $35 million is concerned , just because , again , years ago , when he was more active in the industry , he said , you know , stations could , you know , go for much higher. And that's , again , goes back to our habits changing with how we consume media advertising dollars aren't always going to TV stations. And so again , the values kind of shifted away from local TV news. So that has a part to play as well. And maybe that lower valuation.

S1: Well , yeah , just as you mentioned , how people are consuming television , whether it's news or not , it's been shifting from traditional means like broadcast television to digital streaming and just going online in general.

S4: Because , again , advertisers aren't just going to TV. There's so many other avenues that they can be reached.

S1: Sometimes when these types of media sales or even mergers happen , we see layoffs or even sometimes complete rebranding.

S4: I haven't heard of any layoffs or consolidation. However , when I did speak with a media expert from the TV news industry , he did say that , you know , in this kind of deal , it's it is a likely possibility that they , again , one could become a CW affiliate , which isn't confirmed yet. But that was just his idea. And then it also is a possibility that they could consolidate some of their operations with the sister station , Fox five , San Diego. So those , again , have yet to be confirmed by either Nexstar or KUSI , but they're just not out of the realm of possibility when you have those both of those resources in the same community.

S1: Earlier you talked about next stars ownership of local Fox five San Diego. Many people are really familiar with them that slogan. So San Diego , I'm wondering if we have any clues as to Casey's possible future in the , you know , light of. Fox five. You sort of mentioned it there. There's a possibility maybe that the coverage can be combined or even consolidated a little bit.

S4: Yes , That's again , yet to be seen. But at the same time , the way that the experts explained it to me is that , you know , might not be a bad thing. It could be , again , one way to amplify local news coverage if you're sharing resources and , you know , sharing coverage. But , you know , it's also , again , could be some way to combine combine their stations. But we really don't know what's going to happen yet because , again , until this deal is closed , Nexstar hasn't said what's going to happen , whether that is a CW affiliation or if they're going to consolidate their resources.

S1: News and journalism is so important just in any society.

S4: You know , with them being purchased , it might mean less local coverage on their station. And again , that goes back to they might have commitments if they become an affiliate CW station that they have to show certain programs so they don't have that flexibility to show nine hours of news programming every day , which is what they're doing right now. So right now , we don't know what's going to be next , but it might mean less news coverage on that station. However , in the future , it could probably won't be noticeable to local audiences because we have so many local TV stations in our community. Right.

S1: Right. It's kind of surprising sometimes when people learn that they're bought by such or owned by such big conglomerates , even though they're a local station here and now , losing the last independent station.

S4: I also will be looking at kind of what's going to be happening in those newsrooms. Will there be any consolidation with Fox Five or , you know , will there be any contraction in the station ? You know , it's yet to be seen , but I'll be looking out for that.

S1: I've been speaking with Natalie Rocha. She's the small business reporter with the San Diego Union Tribune. And Natalie , thanks so much for being here on roundtable today.

S4: Thanks so much for having me.

S1: We're going to have to end it there for this week's edition of KPBS Roundtable. And I want to thank our guests , KPBS sports reporter Gustavo Solis and San Diego Union Tribune small business reporter Natalie Rocha. We'd love to hear your thoughts on today's show. You can leave us a message at (619) 452-0228. You can also email us at Roundtable at Keep in mind you can always hear our show anytime as a podcast. Roundtable airs on KPBS FM at noon on Fridays and again on Sunday at 6 a.m.. The show is produced by Andrew Bracken and Rebecca Chacon is our technical director. I'm your host , Matt Hoffman. Thanks so much for being here with us and have a great weekend.

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Asylum-seekers wait for the end of Title 42 in an encampment between the border fences west of the San Ysidro Port of Entry on May 11, 2023.
Matthew Bowler
Asylum-seekers wait for the end of Title 42 in an encampment between the border fences west of the San Ysidro Port of Entry on May 11, 2023.

The pandemic-era border restrictions known as Title 42 are now gone. We take a look back at how the policy has shaped U.S. immigration, as well as what comes next. Plus, local independent television station KUSI is being sold to a national media company. What does it mean for San Diego's media landscape?


Gustavo Solis, border reporter, KPBS News

Natallie Rocha, small business reporter, San Diego Union-Tribune