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Posts Tagged ‘George Lilly’

SJL Holdings Submits a Bid for McGraw-Hill’s WRTV

George Lilly‘s SJL Holdings  has entered an undisclosed bid to buy WRTV, the ABC affiliate in Indianapolis, from McGraw-Hill, TVNewsCheck reported today.

McGraw-Hill announced the sale of their four local television stations — WRTV, Denver’s KMGH, San Diego’s KGTV and Bakersfield’s KERO — last month. Lilly Broadcasting and SJL Holdings own a combined five local stations, including the Erie duopoly WICU-WSEE and WTVG in Toledo.

“We’re not interested in buying the group,” Lilly told TVNewsCheck. “We want to grow slowly. Indianapolis certainly fits our profile. Geographically, it fits with Toledo.”

WRTV has the fourth-rated news programming in Indianapolis, making the station a prime candidate for improvements in news operations and revenue. Lilly acknowledged the chances of his company acquiring WRTV are limited, noting that McGraw-Hill would likely prefer to sell the stations as a group.

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New Owner SJL Executes Major Layoffs at WTVG

We’ve previously reported on significant cuts at Flint’s WJRT, including the departures of two longtime anchors, and now word comes of major layoffs at Toledo’s WTVG, the other ABC-affiliate recently acquired by SJL Broadcasting.

Here’s the Toledo Blade:

Only a week after SJL Broadcasting purchased WTVG-TV, Channel 13, and station officials announced there would be no job losses among the station’s 100 or so employees, approximately two dozen positions have been eliminated.

The job cuts were to Channel 13′s production, support, Web, and sales staff — none involved on-air talent — and included several buyouts, sources at WTVG said.

Last year Disney decided to unload the two smallest market O&Os in its ABC station group, selling WJRT and WTVG to SJL. As the company prepared to take over management of the stations earlier this month, SJL president George Lilly, who previously owned the stations before they were acquired by ABC in 1995, appointed new GMs for both stations.

Ex-ABC O&Os Get New GMs in Ownership Change

The two former ABC O&Os recently sold to SJL Broadcasting now have new station heads. The general managers of both WJRT in Flint and WTVG in Toledo have decided to leave their posts and SJL has appointed replacements.

WJRT’s Tom Bryson and WTVG’s David Zamichow have opted to leave on their own, according to Broadcasting & Cable, as SJL prepares to take over ownership of the stations this week.

“Both of them are class people,” SJL president George Lilly told B&C. “We would’ve kept both in a heartbeat.”

Bryson and Zamichow are being replaced by two TV veterans that have worked for the Lilly family.  Peter Veto has been named GM of WJRT while John Christianson has been handed the reins of WTVG. Read more