The long-time broadcast exec tells the Young Broadcasting board that he wants to get into station ownership. Deb McDermott remains as president as the board looks for his successor.
Young Broadcasting today announced that Tony Cassara has resigned as its chief executive officer and a member of its board of directors.
Thomas Sullivan, chairman of the board, said: “Tony has advised us that he would like to pursue interests outside of Young Broadcasting, including the ownership of other broadcasting stations. Accordingly, Tony has tendered his resignation as chief executive officer and member of the board of directors, effective March 13, 2012. We wish Tony well in his new endeavors.”
Cassara commented: “I have enjoyed very much my association with Young Broadcasting and I am proud of what we were able to accomplish during my time there.”
Deb McDermott will continue to serve as the president of Young Broadcasting, responsible for day-to-day operations, and the board said it will begin its search for Cassara’s replacement.
Cassara is a well-known broadcast executive. He started his career in sales at Metromedia in New York, moved to KTLA Los Angeles in 1977 and became the youngest general manager in the station’s history.
Backed by KKR, he spearheaded the leveraged buyout of KTLA from Gene Autry for $245 million in 1982, and remained with the station until its 1985 sale to Tribune Broadcasting for the then-record single-station price of $530 million.
As president of Paramount Pictures’ Television Stations Group from 1993 to 2000, Cassara expanded the stations group from six to 20 television stations, generating record profits and making it one of Paramount’s most profitable business units.
He joined Chartwell Partners LLC as EVP in 2000, where he worked with Univision Chairman Jerry Perenchio to expand Univision’s business to include Telefutura, a second television network, by acquiring Barry Diller’s USA station Group.
Cassara also led the Univision side of the joint venture to develop a suite of Spanish-language channels for satellite and cable in the U.S. Cassara served as a Univision Director from 2005 to 2008.