DMA 43: BIRMINGHAM, AL

Hank Price To Retire As WVTM President-GM

The head of Hearst Television’s NBC affiliate in Birmingham, Ala., caps a nearly five-decade broadcasting career, including 18 years with Hearst.

Henry “Hank” Price, a broadcast TV veteran who has served since 2014 as president and general manager of WVTM, Hearst Television’s NBC affiliate in Birmingham, Ala. (DMA 43), will retire from Hearst Television at year-end.

Price, whose successor at WVTM will be named later, will cap a career in television broadcasting that began in the early 1970s and which took him to TV stations in markets ranging in size from Jackson — in his home state of Mississippi — to Chicago, culminating in 18 years of service to Hearst and to the industry at large as an educator, innovator and leader.

“Hank is the quintessential broadcaster and represents everything we aspire for a Hearst president and general manager to be,” said Hearst Television President Jordan Wertlieb. “Whether inspiring great journalism, mentoring future leaders or guiding our television stations to fulfill their mission of service to local communities, he has been a transformative leader who leaves a wonderful legacy for WVTM and Hearst Television.”

“From the beginning, my assignment at WVTM was to lay the groundwork for the future,” Price said. “Now is the right time for the transition to a new leader for me and WVTM 13. That said, retiring from the best television company in the business is the hardest decision I’ve ever made.”

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Going forward, Price will serve as director of leadership development at the School of Journalism and New Media at the University of Mississippi — aka Ole Miss. The Gulfport, Miss., native worked his way through college at The University of Southern Mississippi — aka Southern Miss — where he is a member of the School of Mass Communications and Journalism Hall of Fame.

Price has led WVTM in resurgent growth since Hearst acquired it in 2014. Among the accomplishments the station cited during his tenure, in 2015 WVTM led the region with in-depth and important coverage marking the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s historic march from Selma to Montgomery, and in April 2017 the station launched Birmingham’s only live local television radar, WVTM 13 Live Doppler. More recently, the station helped raise more than a half-million dollars for the Red Cross for relief for Hurricane Michael victims.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

Previously, Price was president-GM of WXII, Hearst’s NBC affiliate in Winston-Salem/Greensboro, N.C. In 2010, Price received the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters (NCAB) Distinguished Service Award for “Outstanding Contributions to Broadcasting.”

In 2013 Price, the WXII team and other NCAB members were recognized with the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation President’s Special Service to America Award, for the Vietnam Veterans Homecoming Celebration; Price led the state’s broadcasters to create, promote and air statewide a historic one-day event for Vietnam veterans and their families, including a ceremony honoring 70,000 veterans at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

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Prior to joining Hearst in 2000, Price was VP-GM of WBBM Chicago. He transitioned to CBS following 12 years with Gannett’s broadcasting division in a variety of positions including president and general manager of KARE Minneapolis, and VP for programming, marketing and research at WUSA Washington.

Before Gannett, Price was a consultant with Frank N. Magid Associates, specializing in marketing strategies for television and radio stations. He began his career in Jackson, Mississippi.

From 2000 to 2015, Price served as senior fellow/television at the Media Management Center, a joint project of Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and its Medill School of Journalism, where he helped industry executives explore new business models for broadcasting and digital television.

A frequent speaker on media leadership and brand strategy, Price is co-author of Audience First: Managing Today’s News Media, released by Sage Publishing in 2015. His second book, Leading Local Television, is due out in January 2019.


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