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Kathy Clements Named Tribune Broadcasting COO

tribune broadcastingTribune Co. has made another key appointment in its broadcasting division. Effective immediately, Kathy Clements joins Tribune as chief operating officer for broadcasting, reporting to Larry Wert.

Clements was formerly the senior vice president of media operations for Belo Corp., which was recently acquired by Gannett. She was general manager of WFAA, the ABC affiliate in Dallas, from 1997 to 2007.

Her appointment comes just a week after Lynda King was appointed to a similar position at Tribune.

“Kathy’s talent, leadership, and broad experience in broadcasting and digital media, is a great fit for our station group,” Wert, the Tribune’s president of broadcast media, said in a statement. “She and Lynda complement each other perfectly and make a great team—I am looking forward to working with them both to find innovative ways of expanding our audience reach on and off the air.”

Station Group Owner Facing Second Cancer Battle

intermountain west logoJim Rogers, owner of Intermountain West Communications, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal he is fighting cancer again but seemed more concerned about his employees than himself.

Intermountain West owns stations in Arizona, Idaho and Montana in addition to Las Vegas NBC affiliate KSNV.

“Just say this is my second go-round with cancer,” Rogers told the Review-Journal. Adding, “I assume I’ll come out of this all right. I did the last time.”

He revealed the development to his employees at a town hall-like meeting in the Channel 3 newsroom about a month ago.

“I think you owe your employees an explanation,” he said. “They needed to know. They needed to know for several reasons — first of all, just as a matter of knowing, and secondly, with what’s going to happen with the station.

“So I went in to say this is what I got but I can assure you that whatever happens, the station will not be put up for sale. That’s never been part of the plan and so they are rest assured that their jobs are intact,” he said. Read more

Tribune Names Lynda King COO for Broadcasting

tribune broadcastingLynda King has been named Tribune’s chief operating officer for its broadcasting division. In her new role, which is effective immediately, King will report to Tribune president of broadcast media Larry Wert.

King was formerly the SVP of operations for Local TV, which was recently acquired by Tribune.

“Lynda’s familiarity with our newly acquired stations, her broad experience in management, operations and sales, and her singular focus on working with our customers and communities will serve us extremely well as we move forward,” Wert said in a statement. “I have gotten to know Lynda while working on the acquisition of her former company and I’m confident she will be a great addition to the leadership team we are building at Tribune Broadcasting.”

Calkins Media Co-Owner Dies

calkins_smith_obitCarolyn Calkins Smith died Thursday after a long battle with cancer.

Calkins Smith was the co-owner of Calkins Media, owner of three local TV stations in the South as well as several newspapers.

“The story of Calkins Media – our private ownership, our continued dedication to a community service and committed family stewardship was made possible because of Carolyn’s life and the example she set,” said Calkins CEO Mark G. Contreras.

Smith is credited with the expansion of WWSB in Sarasota, FL.

“She was the president and hands-on manager of the station,” said Ed Birch, a former Calkins executive. “She went down there and represented the family in the early days. Her news days at the Courier Times gave her a leg up. The quality greatly improved from her being there so much.” Birch added, “The company is going to miss Carolyn.”

Carolyn Calkins Smith was the daughter of Stanley Willis Calkins, Sr. the founder of Calkins Media the family owned station group owns WAAY in Huntsville, AL, WTXL in Tallahassee, FL, and WWSB.

Smith was 74.

Nexstar Moves Corporate Headquarters About One Mile

nexstar_304Nexstar Broadcasting Group announced it moved its entire corporate staff to its new headquarters in Irvine, TX, yesterday.

“The relocation of our headquarters reflects Nexstar’s rapid growth and expansion.,” Perry A. Sook, chairman, president and CEO of Nexstar said in a statement. “The new corporate offices provide Nexstar with economic and operational benefits as well as capacity for continued growth as we seek to further expand our local marketing solutions platform of leading broadcast and digital media assets.”

According to a Google map search conducted by TVSpy, Nexstar’s new address is about a mile away from its old HQ. Read more

Sinclair Calls Buckeye Cable’s Retrans Attack Ads ‘Silly Antics’

buckeye_sinclair_grinchBuckeye Cablesystem seems to be waging a very public battle against Sinclair Broadcasting in a fight over retrans fees for Sinclair’s NBC station WNWO.

The saga began when Sinclair pulled its newly acquired station off the Ohio based cable system last Sunday.

Buckeye, which is owned by Block Communications, started placing print ads in the Block-owned newspaper The Blade depicting Sinclair as the bad guy in the fight. (see the gallery of ads after the jump)

In one of the ads, Buckeye called WNWO a “low-viewership, FREE, over-the-air station with inferior on-air news talent.” In another, it painted Sinclair as a Grinch figure called “Sinclinch” and wrote, “The people of Metro Toledo like Christmas a lot, But the Sinclinch of Hunt Valley Maryland does not.” Sinclair is based in Hunt Valley, MD

Sinclair EVP and general counsel Barry Faber told TVSpy The Blade refused to allow his station group to buy space in order to give its side of the story.

Calling the tactics employed by Buckeye “juvenile” and “silly antics,” Faber told TVSpy the retrans fight is simple. He said it’s a business deal where one company doesn’t want to pay what another company is asking for. Read more

FCC OKs Tribune’s $2.735 Billion Buy of Local TV

tribune_304In addition to approving Gannett’s purchase of Belo, The FCC also gave the OK for Tribune Company to assume control of broadcast licenses held by subsidiaries of Local TV Holdings paving the way for Tribune to acquire 19 of Local TV’s stations in 16 markets.

“On behalf of thousands of Tribune and Local TV employees across the country, I want to thank the Commission for reaching this decision; we are extremely pleased to move forward with the transaction,” Peter Liguori, Tribune’s President and CEO said in a statement.

As part of the deal, the licenses of WNEP in Wilkes-Barre, PA, WTKR and WGNT in Norfolk, VA, will be will be transferred to Dreamcatcher Broadcasting, LLC, which is owned by Ed Wilson former president of Tribune Broadcasting.

The deal creates the largest combined independent broadcast group and content creator in the US.

Tribune included a handy map of its local TV properties on its website. You can see it after the jump. Read more

FCC Approves Gannett’s Purchase of Belo

gannett belo logos_304x200Gannett Co. and Belo Corp. announced today the FCC has approved Gannett’s acquisition of Belo Corp.

The deal is expected to close early next week.

Earlier this week, the Department of Justice required Gannett sell St. Louis CBS affiliate KMOV in order to move forward with the $1.5 billion acquisition. With Gannett assuming $715 million in existing Belo debt, the deal comes out to being worth nearly $2.2 billion.

With the purchase, Gannett will own 43 stations, making it the nation’s fourth largest owner of major network affiliates, reaching nearly one-third of all US households.

Former Baltimore Anchor Joining Sinclair as National Correspondent

jackson_wjzKai Jackson, the longtime anchor for Baltimore’s CBS owned station WJZ, told The Baltimore Sun he’s joining Sinclair Broadcast Group as national correspondent.

“I’m really excited,” said Jackson, who left WJZ earlier this month. “It’s a company at the forefront of the industry, and I appreciate that they think I have something to offer.”

“Kai will be a special correspondent covering stories in the nation’s capitol for all of the Sinclair news operations,” Scott Livingston, VP of news at Sinclair told The Sun. “He will develop stories that focus on our commitment to advocacy journalism. Our goal is to produce stories that give context to the hot button issues in Washington.”

Jackson told The Sun he will start his new job January 2.

John Christianson to Head Lilly Broadcasting’s Eastern Division

Lilly Broadcasting LogoJohn Christianson has been named executive vice president of Lilly Broadcasting’s Eastern Division and general manager of One Caribbean Television.

Christianson was replaced as GM of Toledo ABC affiliate WTVG by Peter Veto who was director of sales and national sales manager for both WTVG and WJRT as well as serving as GM of SJL Broadcasting’s WJRT.

“It’s been an honor to work at WTVG with the fantastic staff and management team, to continue the tradition of excellence in journalism and involvement in the community,” said Christianson in a statement.

Previously, Christianson worked as news director and later GM of WSEE in Erie, PA. He has also served as GM at WICU and WBEP in Erie and is credited for his involvement in creating and finding distribution for One Caribbean Television.

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