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Posts Tagged ‘Carol Fowler’

Former WFLD ND Carol Fowler: ‘Television News Needs to Figure Out How to Remain Relevant’

Carol Fowler, a former news director at three Chicago stations, left the television business in January. This week, she was named vice president of editorial at Viewpoints, a consumer-review website. She shares her thoughts on the future of local television with Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder:

The bottom line is television news needs to figure out how to remain relevant. People still want news put in context. They love compelling video. That’s the great part. In the short term, I believe it will take local stations starting to treat their online and mobile news platforms like they are the main business because that’s where the new customers are. Right now, in most stations, much of the staff is only vaguely aware of what content is posted on the station website, let alone on Twitter and Facebook. From staffing to resources to the sales model. Just do it.

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Phyllis Schwartz Replaces Carol Fowler As Vice President and News Director At WFLD

Phyllis Schwartz, a former news director at Chicago ABC O&O WLS, has been named vice president and news director at WFLD, the Chicago Fox O&O. Her appointment is effective immediately.

Schwartz replaces Carol Fowler, who is “leaving the station to pursue other opportunities,” a Fox statement reads. Although Fowler’s departure was rumored last spring, WFLD general manager Mike Renda told TVSpy in June, “Carol and I are here for the long haul.”

“FOX Chicago appreciates all of Carol’s hard work and dedication during her time with the station,” a Fox spokesperson told TVSpy.

Schwartz spent 13 years at WLS, including five as the station’s news director. She has a long history in local television, with stints as vice president of news and creative services at Chicago NBC O&O WMAQ and as president and general manager at San Diego NBC O&O KNSD. Her last job in television was as executive vice president of news, promotion and original content for the NBC Universal local stations, a position she held from 2007 to 2009. Read more

WFLD GM Mike Renda: ‘If You Don’t Evolve, You Die’

The May ratings book told a similar story as sweeps past for Chicago’s WFLD: the Fox O&O’s morning show increased viewership while its 9 p.m. newscast continued to struggle.

The challenges facing WFLD are certainly not lost on vice president and general manager Mike Renda, who has been with the station since 2009.

Renda spoke with TVSpy recently about the job status of news director Carol Fowler, how he plans to turn around the 9 p.m. newscast, and what Oprah’s departure means for the market… Read more

Despite Rumors, Carol Fowler Still Very Much WFLD’s News Director

Chicago’s WFLD is denying rumors that Carol Fowler‘s job at the Fox O&O is in jeopardy.

For the past few weeks, there has been murmuring that Fowler would be ousted as vice president-news director of WFLD, where she’s worked since 2009. FTVLive recently suggested that Kingsley Smith, news director of Philadelphia’s WTXF, was a likely successor and NewsBlues reported over the weekend that Fowler had been sent packing on Friday.

A spokesperson for WFLD told TVSpy that the rumors are “completely untrue,” stating that Fowler was still very much WFLD’s VP-ND.

Fowler is a 22-year veteran of the Chicago market. As local media reporter Robert Feder points out, she is one of only two people ever to oversee news operations at three different Chicago stations.

Mike Leiderman to Oversee WFLD’s Struggling 9 p.m. Newscast

It’s official: Mike Leiderman is joining Chicago’s WFLD as an executive producer. Leiderman, who previously served as the EP of WTTW news magazine show “Chicago Tonight,” will oversee WFLD’s 9 p.m. newscast, anchored by Robin Robinson and Bob Sirott.

In last month’s sweeps period, the newscast was down more than a full rating point from the previous year.

The move was first rumored by Robert Feder of Time Out Chicago, who pointed out that Sirott was the host of “Chicago Tonight” during Leiderman’s tenure.

Assistant news director Geoff Dankert has been overseeing the Fox-affiliate’s nighttime newscast since Tony Statz, the previous EP, left for Miami’s WFOR.

“Mike brings a fresh eye to Fox Chicago at a key time, as we look to distinguish our product in both what we say and how we say it,” Carol Fowler, WFLD’s vice president and news director, said in announcing the hiring to staff.