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March 18 - UPDATE


Sorry to tell you that a longtime general manager (and former news director) is retiring for health reasons.
LES VANN, who's spent the last years two years as GM of Meredith's WHNS-TV (FOX) in Greenville, SC, told his staff this afternoon that he is leaving to concentrate on his battle against Parkinson's. More in this email that Les sent me earlier today, which includes his email address for anyone wishing to send him a note.
In addition to WHNS, Les has held, by my count, GM jobs at eight other stations and spent 17 years in Champaign, IL, as a news director and anchor.
That emailed note Les sent me did include one bright note...he's being inducted into the Illinois State University Television Hall of Fame late this spring.  That's his alma mater.
One other note:  about three dozen of you were nice enough to email me pointing out that in yesterday's story about former Ft. Wayne ND DICK FLOREA's induction to the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame, a typo turned 'inducted' into 'indicted'.  He was not indicted.  Journalism is not a crime in Indiana.
At least not yet.



March 18, 2019


Is your bracket finished yet?  :)
Our weekly list of news director and news management changes includes TWO new news directors and THREE new openings.  See if you can find the common thread among the new openings.  (To be honest, we're making it pretty easy for you.)
The number of stations looking for a news director remains at 27.  Check out the listing for ONE of those jobs, featured among our THREE paid help wants ads.
Sadly, THREE obituaries this week, including one for a former news director who just left his last post in September.
We'll tell you about a big honor for a longtime industry maintstay.  That's among the items in Names in the News.  There are several news managers on the moves, and we have not one, not two, but FOUR stories about former news directors.
Read on!
Newly Named News Directors:
KSTP-TV, Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN...veteran newsman KIRK VARNER will be the next news director for this Hubbard Broadcasting owned ABC affiliate.  Details in this news release.  Kirk's currently the ND for Nexstar's WSPA-TV in South Carolina (more on that below) and has been an ND in several markets, held management jobs for cable news operations and once served as ND for ESPN.  He replaces ANNE WITTENBORG who announced last December she would be leaving the station after ten years and three as ND.

WQOW-TV, Eau Claire, WI...KRISTEN SHILL is being promoted and will replace DAN SCHILLINGER as the ND for this Quincy owned ABC affiliate.  She's currently the Assistant ND there as you'll learn in this memo from GM DAVE BOOTH.  She's held a wide number of jobs during her career there.  We told you last week that Dan is retiring but will still do some work for Quincy.
New News Director Openings:

Careful readers will note a common thread in our THREE openings this week.

WSPA-TV, Greenville-Spartanburg-Asheville, SC... we told you above that KIRK VARNER is headed north to be ND at KSTP-TV in Minneapolis.  WSPA is a CBS affiliate owned by Nexstar.

WROC-TV, Rochester, NY...JIM TORTORA is apparently leaving as the job is posted.  He's been there for more than three years, and is a longtime upstate New York news manager who also spent three years as VP/News and Station Manager for WGGB-TV in Springfield, MA.  WROC is a CBS affiliate owned by Nexstar.

WJMN-TV, Marquette, MI...another apparent departure as this job is posted as well.  My records show that CYNTHIA THOMPSON has been ND here for more than five years.  Let's say it together:  WJMN is a CBS affiliate owned by Nexstar.
News Management Openings:
KTVT-TV, Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX (listed 2/10/19)
KXAS-TV, Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX (relisted 2/3/19)
KGO-TV, San Francisco, CA (listed 2/3/19)
WESH-TV, Orlando, FL (new listing this week)
KUSI-TV, San Diego, CA (relisted 3/3/19)
WCMH-TV, Columbus, OH (relisted 3/3/19)
KSTU-TV, Salt Lake City, UT (listed 2/3/19)
WBND-TV, South Bend, IN (relisted 3/10/19)
WJAC-TV, Johnstown, PA (relisted 3/10/19)
KDLT-TV, Sioux Falls, SD (listed 1/13/19)
WFAA-TV, Dallas, TX (relisted 1/20/19)
KPRC-TV, Houston, TX (Special Projects EP, relisted 1/6/19)
KGO-TV, San Francisco, CA (Dayside EP, relisted 1/13/19)
WXIA-TV, Atlanta, GA (relisted 1/20/19)
Spectrum News, Charlotte, NC (listed 2/24/19)
WSMV-TV, Nashville, TN (PM EP, relisted 2/10/19)
WBNS-TV, Columbus, OH (Senior EP, relisted 3/10/19)
KLAS-TV, Las Vegas, NV (Digital EP, listed 3/10/19)
WOOD-TV, Grand Rapids, MI (listed 3/3/19)
WJAR-TV, Providence, RI (relisted 3/10/19)
WINK-TV, Ft. Myers, FL (TWO EP openings, relisted 1/27/19)
WKRG-TV, Mobile, AL (listed 3/3/19)
KJRH-TV, Tulsa, OK (PM EP, listed 1/27/19)
KXRM-TV, Colorado Springs, CO (Digital EP, relisted 3/10/19)
WCTV, Tallahassee, FL (relisted this week)
KXAS-TV, Dallas/Ft. Worth (relisted 1/27/19)

Listed this week:
WTNH-TV, Hartford/New Haven, CT (Digital Content Manager)

Listed 3/10/19:
KOIN-TV, Portland, OR (Digital Director)
WRKG-TV, Mobile, AL  (Digital Content Manager)
KGET-TV, Bakersfield, CA (Digital Content Manager)
KFDX-TV, Wichita Falls, TX (Digital Content Manager)

Listed 3/3/19:
Rocky Mountain Public Media, Denver, CO (Chief Content Officer)
KLAS-TV, Las Vegas, NV  Digital Executive Producer)

Relisted 2/10/19:
WCPO-TV, Cincinnati, OH (Senior Manager of Editorial Content)
E.W. Scripps, Denver, CO (National Executive Producer)
WTOC-TV, Savannah, GA (Digital Content Manager
STEW HIRSCH died March 8th after what  this obituary calls a brief illness.  He was just 53 years old.  Stew most recently was the ND for WFFT-TV in Ft. Wayne.  His career took him around several stations in Ohio and other parts of the country, and also to jobs outside our business.  More in  his Linkedin page.
DENNIS CARLSON, a longtime Montana news anchor and news director, died last Friday at the age of 58.  He lost a battle with pancreatic cancer.  More in this tributeposted by KTVH-TV in Helena.
Finally, JEFF LYLE died at the age of 56 of a stroke.  He was the GM of a company called SSN Media Gateway.  The firm serves as a major broadcast and master control service outsourcer for TV stations around the country.
Names in the News (and other stuff):
Congratulations to SANDRA CONNELL, well known in our industry.  She's being honored with Dallas-For Worth Alliance for Women in Media Silver Award of Excellence.  You know (or at least should) that Sandra is the President of Talent Dynamics, now in its 22nd year after a long career with Audience Research & Development.  Sandra will be given the award at a gala next month in Dallas.
WXIX-TV in Cincinnati has a new executive producer. NICK HELTON, who's been a producer for this Gray TV owned FOX affiliate, gets bumped up.  He's also worked for another Cincinnati station.
VICKI BRADLEY is the new Assistant ND for WTXL-TV in Tallahassee.  That's the Scripps owned ABC affiliate in Florida's capital city.  She's a former ND in Tyler, TX, and has worked for two stations in the Greensboro-High Point market, as well as in Wilmington, NC, and for the Weather Channel.
BRIT STACK joins WJHL-TV in the Tri-Cities market (covering parts of Virginia and Tennessee) as the Assistant ND.  Most recently she was the Senior Producer for WCYB-TV, the NBC affiliate in the Tri-Cities.  She's also worked in New Orleans and Alexandria, LA, and in Harlingen, TX. 
Several items about former news directors in the news:
KAREN ADAMS, once a news director in Charlotte but perhaps better known as a longtime anchorfor WPRI-TV in Providence, has donated one million dollars to her endowment at the University of Rhode Island.  It's aimed at helping female students in the media school there.
DEBI CHARD has retired just one month short of her 43rd anniversary with WCSC-TV in Charleston, SC.  She served the station primarily as an anchor, but besides anchoring, she has been the medical reporter, a managing editor, an assignment editor, a producer and even news director for a time.
Longtime Ft. Wayne anchor and news director DICK FLOREA is one of five people being indicted into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame.  He retired in 2001 after 35 years at WJKG-TV (now WISE-TV).

And the Miami Herald dug deep into the archives for a long look at the long career of groundbreaking Miami ND and anchor RALPH RENICK.  He spent 35 years as anchor and ND for WTVJ-TV before hanging it up in 1995.  He then launched a short lived run for governor of Florida which ended after a few months.







General Manager News & Notes:

Longtime Boston newsman CHARLIE KRAVETZ abruptly left his post as GM of WBUR-FM this week.  He's a former GM of New England Cable News and spent 12 years as a news manager for WCVB-TV there.



Our List of Open News Director Jobs:
Here's our list of open ND jobs as of Sunday, March 17, 2019: 
It's unofficial, there may be others that are open, and some of these may have been filled.  If you know of any in either category, please let me know:
News 12 New Jersey 450 Raritan Center Parkway Edison, NJ 08837
News 12 The Bronx 930 Soundview Avenue Bronx, NY 10473
Verizon Fios 1 News 800 Westchester Avenue, Rye Brook, NY 10573
WUVG-TV 3350 Peachtree Road #1250, Atlanta, GA 30326 ** 
KING-TV 1501 1st Ave. South, Suite 300 Seattle, WA 98134
KIRO-TV 2807 Third Ave., Seattle WA 98121
KUVS-TV 1710 Arden Way, Sacramento CA 95815 **
KSDK-TV 1000 Market St. St. Louis MO 63101
KFMB-TV 7677 Engineer Road San Diego, CA 92111
WSPA-TV 250 International Drive Spartanburg, SC 29303
KTNV-TV 3355 S. Valley View Blvd. Las Vegas, NV 89102
WHBQ-TV 485 S. Highland. Memphis, TN 38111
KSEE/KGPE-TV 5035 E McKinley Ave, Fresno, CA 93727
KARK-TV 1401 West Capitol Avenue, # 104 Little Rock, AR 72201
WLEX-TV P.O. Box 1457 Lexington, KY 40588-1457
KHQ-TV 1201 W. Sprague Ave. Spokane, WA 99201
WHEC-TV 191 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14604 
WGME-TV  81 Northport Drive. Portland, ME 04103
WFFT-TV 3707 Hillegas RD Ft. Wayne IN 46807
WLTZ-TV 6140 Buena Vista Rd. Columbus, GA 31907
KIII-TV 5002 South Padre Island Dr. Corpus Christi, TX 78411
KVII-TV 1 Broadcast Center, Amarillo, TX 79101
KMBT-TV 525 Interstate 10 South, Beaumont, TX 77701
KAAL-TV 1320 Salem Rd SW, Rochester, MN 55902
WBNG-TV 560 Columbia Dr. Johnson City, NY 13790
WOAY-TV P.O. BOX 3001 Oak Hill, WV 25901
WJMN-TV 3165 Wright Street, Suite 101 Marquette, MI 49855
**: Spanish language station


Rick Gevers & Associates

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Indianapolis IN 46204



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