DMAS 44 (BIRMINGHAM, AL) & 92 (SAVANNAH, GA)

Hearst Closes On WVTM, WJCL; Names GMs

Industry Veterans Named as General Managers — Henry Price at WVTM Birmingham, Ala., and Timothy Morrissey at WJCL Savannah, Ga.

Hearst Corp. today completed its previously announced acquisitions of Birmingham, Ala., NBC affiliate WVTM, from Media General Inc. and Savannah, Ga., ABC affiliate WJCL from LIN Media. The announcement was made by Steven R. Swartz, president and CEO, Hearst Corporation and Inc. Terms were not disclosed. The transactions were subject to requisite regulatory approvals and the completion of the Media General/LIN Media merger.

Birmingham is the 44th largest television market and Savannah is the 92nd largest. The acquisition increases Hearst Television’s audience reach of U.S. TV households to nearly 19%, and the reach of its NBC-affiliated stations to nearly 8%, across 11 markets.

Hearst also announced new management for the stations. Henry “Hank” Price, a broadcast industry veteran who has served since 2000 as president and general manager of Hearst’s WXII Greensboro/Winston-Salem, N.C., will move to WVTM in the same role. His successor at WXII will be announced at a later date.

Timothy J. Morrissey, most recently president and general manager of WCNC Charlotte, N.C., will become president and general manager of WJCL; the move marks a return to Hearst for Morrissey, who in the mid-1980s served as news director at Hearst’s WISN Milwaukee.

“Television stations with strong news brands attract the largest audiences,” said Jordan Wertlieb, president, Hearst Television. “A dedication to quality local programming and community service will be our focus as we grow our audience in the region. Hank and Tim exemplify that dedication.”

Prior to joining Hearst, Price was vice president and general manager of WBBM Chicago and, before that, he was president and general manager of KARE Minneapolis. Price is also senior director of Northwestern University’s Media Management Center where he concentrates on future news and business models.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

The move to Birmingham marks a return to the region for Price. A native of Gulfport, Miss., Price worked his way through college at The University of Southern Mississippi where he is a member of the School of Mass Communications and Journalism Hall of Fame. 

Before becoming president and general manager at WCNC in 2007, Morrissey was divisional vice president of The New York Times Co. Broadcast Group, after having served as its corporate vice president of news. Previously, he was president and general manager of KFOR Oklahoma City and KFSM Ft. Smith, Ark., and served in news management roles at WJZ Baltimore; WNEP Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pa. ; WWL New Orleans.


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