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Posts Tagged ‘Bill Ballard’

Helen Swenson Named GM of WIAT in Birmingham

wiat logo_304x200LIN Media has named Helen Swenson president and general manager of Birmingham, AL, CBS affiliate WIAT.

The move had been rumored after former GM Bill Ballard‘s contract wasn’t renewed.

Most recently Swenson was the senior vice president of Live Programming for The Weather Channel. Before coming to The Weather Channel she was the senior multimedia consultant for Frank N. Magid Associates. She has also held management positions at local TV stations in Pittsburgh, Miami and West Palm Beach, FL, including a stint as news director for KIRO in Seattle.

“Helen is a highly strategic and skilled broadcast executive with a proven track record of achieving growth by developing innovative and superior products that better meet the needs of our viewers and advertisers, ” Scott Blumenthal LIN Media’s executive vice president of Television said in a statement. “We are pleased that she is stepping into the leadership role at WIAT.”

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General Manager Bill Ballard Out at WIAT

wiat logoAfter 10 years at WIAT in Birmingham, president and general manager Bill Ballard is out at the CBS affiliate, The Birmingham News reports. LIN Media did not renew his contract, which expired Friday.

“I’m really proud of what we’ve accomplished. I wish the station and the people there nothing but the best,” Ballard said.

The Birmingham News reports that a replacement could be announced as early as today. Helen Swenson, a former senior vice president of live programming for The Weather Channel, is reportedly a leading candidate.

A Familiar Face in Birmingham, Anchor Brooke Smith Joins WIAT

Anchor Brooke Smith is back on Birmingham TV.  After leaving NBC-affiliate WVTM last spring to become a full-time mom, Smith has decided to return to the anchor desk, joining CBS-affiliate WIAT.

“I have a passion for local television news and I’m extremely excited about joining CBS 42,” said Smith. “I took a break from television when I had my daughter, but the more I watched CBS 42, the more I realized I wanted to be a part of such a strong team.”

Smith, who got her start in TV as a contestant on “The Bachelor,” joins WIAT as a co-anchor for the station’s weekday morning newscast “Wake Up Alabama.”  While with WVTM, she co-hosted the lifestyle show “Daytime Alabama.”

“As we were searching for the perfect morning show anchor, Brooke’s name was immediately placed at the top of the list,” said Bill Ballard, WIAT’s president and general manager. “Her personality, warmth and charm are some of her strongest qualities and those are the traits she brings with her to local television. We are very lucky to have her join our team.” Read more