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Hearst Television VP of Sales Kathleen Keefe to Retire

kathleen keefeKathleen Keefe, the vice president of sales at Hearst Television, will retire at the end of the year.

“Kathleen has provided great leadership and mentorship not only to our sales efforts, but our company,” said Hearst Television president Jordan Wertlieb said in a statement.  “…Her systems and good judgment in inventory and pricing disciplines and unmatched knowledge of political advertising, have made all of our sales managers better and have helped cultivate the company’s next generation of Hearst Television’s management.”

Before joining Hearst Television in 2001, Keefe was the vice president of sales and marketing for Post-Newsweek Stations. During her 14 years with that station group, she served as general manager of WKMG in Orlando and general sales manager of WFSB in Hartford and KPRC in Houston.

“I couldn’t be prouder or more appreciative of the tremendous sales management and account executive teams at our stations.  I know they will continue to provide industry-leading results,” Keefe said.

Pete Marquardt Named GM of WGBA-WACY

wgba logoPete Marquardt has been named general manager of WGBA and WACY, Journal Broadcast Group’s NBC and MyNetworkTV affiliates in Green Bay, TVNewsCheck reports. He begins April 28 and will report to Debbie Turner, Journal’s EVP of television.

Marquardt comes from WJFW in Wasau, Wis., where he has been general manager for the last three years. Before that, he worked as the station’s general sales manager.

He replaces Joe Poss, who was recently named vice president and general manager of WTMJ, Journal Broadcast Group’s NBC affiliate in Milwaukee.

Valari Staab on Strengthening the NBC Owned Stations

valari staabIn an interview with TVNewsCheck, NBC Owned Television Stations president Valari Staab talks about the investment in local news that has gone on under her watch. Staab says stations like WTVJ in Miami, WMAQ in Chicago and WCAU in Philadelphia have seen success because “we have added people, we have upgraded facilities, we have added resources”:

There are two things that strengthened our newsrooms quickly. One was adding a midday newscast. It’s easy to look at a midday newscast and do the math and say that it loses money or that it breaks even so I don’t want to do it. What a midday newscast does is keep the newsroom going all day long. It keeps everybody gathering news all day long. To have a big gap between your morning news and your 5 o’clock news weakens your 5 o’clock news.

The second thing is investigative units. We have put really decent size investigative units into these stations and, aside from giving you original content that your competitors don’t have and that you absolutely need in today’s world, it also gets everybody in the newsroom focused again on enterprise journalism. So, having journalists in your newsroom that are constantly breaking stories gets the other reporters breaking stories and working beats. It helps create a culture of enterprise reporting.

Chris Geiger Named VP-GM of Tribune’s WTIC-WCCT

chris geigerTribune Broadcasting has named Chris Geiger vice president and general manager of WTIC and WCCT, the Fox and CW affiliates in Hartford-New Haven. Geiger’s appointment is effective April 28.

Geiger comes from Sinclair Broadcasting Group (formerly Barrington Broadcasting Group), where he was president of the company’s Syracuse media properties, including WSTM, WTVH, WSTQ and CNY Central Digital. Sinclair bought the stations from Barrington last year.

“Chris has extensive knowledge of all aspects of managing multiple television stations within a market. He has a successful track record of revenue growth and strong leadership skills and will be a great asset for Tribune’s stations in Hartford,” Tribune Broadcasting COO Lynda King said in a statement.

Geiger replaces Rich Graziano, who recently departed from WTIC-WCCT to become general manager of WPIX, Tribune’s CW affiliate in New York City.

Tribune Names Patricia Golden VP of Sales

tribune broadcastingPatricia Golden has been named vice president of sales at Tribune Broadcasting. In her new role, which begins April 14, Golden will oversee sales at Tribune’s 42 owned or operated stations.

“Patty is a dynamic and strategic sales leader, well known in the industry for delivering successful media strategies and solutions to advertisers, and inspiring sales teams. Patty will be an incredible asset to Tribune and I look forward to having her join the team,” Tribune Broadcasting senior vice president of sales Angela Betasso said in a statement.

Golden joins Tribune from WMAQ, the NBC-owned station in Chicago, where she has been senior vice president of sales since 2005. She previously worked as the local sales manager for WGN, Tribune’s CW affiliate in Chicago.

Nexstar Names Derek Jeffery GM of KGET

nexstar_logoDerek Jeffery has been named vice president and general manager at KGET, Nexstar’s NBC affiliate in Bakersfield, Calif. In his new role, Jeffery will also have oversight of Telemundo station KKEY and the stations’ associated digital properties.

Jeffery replaces Tom Randour, who is retiring after 16 years as general manager and 37 years at KGET.

“Localism is our top priority at Nexstar and Derek brings a unique home town understanding of the local Bakersfield community to his new role at KGET-TV. His efforts and initiatives have fostered long-term relationships with local advertisers and community businesses and he has been a key contributor to the station’s success in the market,” Nexstar COO Brian Jones said in a statement.

Jeffrey has worked at KGET for 10 years, most recently as general sales manager, a role he has held since 2009.

Greg Easterly Named GM of Tribune’s WGN

wgn-logoGreg Easterly has been named general manager of WGN, Tribune’s CW affiliate in Chicago, Robert Feder reports.

“Greg is a proven leader, both at the head of a station and in the newsroom, and he has a keen understanding of the management and operations of a legacy station with market dominance,” Tribune Broadcasting president Larry Wert said in a statement. “WGN programs a powerful schedule of news, sports and entertainment for itself and CLTV, with more news than any other Chicago station — I’m confident WGN will continue its growth and success under Greg’s expert guidance.”

Easterly comes from WJW in Cleveland, where he has been general manager since 2007. Tribune added WJW to its station portfolio as part of the Local TV acquisition in December.

“I truly feel like one of the most fortunate broadcasters in the country – to first be a part of a powerhouse legacy station like WJW and work with the great people there, and now to be able to take the next step to WGN, another legacy station with a rich history and a top-ranked news product,” Easterly said.

WGN has been without a general manager since Marty Wilke left the station in 2012.

Angela Betasso Joins Tribune as SVP of Sales

tribune broadcastingAngela Betasso has been named senior vice president of sales for Tribune Broadcasting. She will begin in her new role on March 31, reporting to Tribune Broadcasting president Larry Wert.

“Angela is a strategic thinker and a proven sales leader with revenue success across a variety of broadcast, video and digital platforms,” Wert said in a statement. “Her positive energy and drive will be a great addition to our leadership team and she will work closely with Tribune’s new Chief Revenue Officer, Keith Bowen, as Tribune Company continues to advance how we serve our audience.”

Betasso previously worked at Belo Corp (recently acquired by Gannett), where she has been the vice president of sales since 2011.

Ben Sherwood Named President of Disney/ABC Television Group

BEN SHERWOOD (PRESIDENT, ABC NEWS)ABC News president Ben Sherwood has been announced as Anne Sweeney‘s successor as president of Disney/ABC Television Group. Sherwood’s appointment will take place after Sweeney steps down next year.

Sherwood is a longtime ABC News veteran who has been president of the news division since 2010. In his new role, he will have oversight of the ABC Owned Television Station Group, as well as ABC Television Network and ABC Studios.

“It was Ben’s intense passion and incredible insight that made us confident he’d do great things as President of ABC News. Over the years, he has moved from success-to-success, and helped create a more vibrant, collaborative and powerful News division that embraces innovation and risk-taking,” Sweeney said in a statement. “Ben’s now set to bring those same attributes to bear for the larger Group, and I could not be more thrilled.”

TVNewser has more.

Steve McMurray Named GM of WKTV in Utica

steve mcmurraySteve McMurray has been promoted to general manager at WKTV, the NBC affiliate in Utica, N.Y. The sale of WKTV to former Gray Television executive Bob Prather was completed yesterday.

“We were convinced from our first meetings regarding the acquisition of WKTV that Steve was the right person to be General Manager,” Prather, the president and CEO of Heartland Media, said in a statement. “With his background and knowledge of both the station and the community, we are confident he has the ability to implement the improvements planned.”

McMurray, currently the station’s news director and station manager, has worked at WKTV since 2002. He first joined the station as an assignment manager and was named news director in 2004 and station manager in 2012.

WKTV’s former general manager was Steve Doerr, who also had oversight of Smith Media’s stations in Burlington. WKTV was Smith Media’s last remaining station.

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