The assignment to lead Hearst’s ABC affiliate is a homecoming for the Hearst executive who earlier was the station’s news director.
Jeff Bartlett, WMUR Manchester, N.H., president and general manager, will retire this summer. His successor will be announced at a later date. Bartlett, a news director in several major markets before his first GM job, ran the Hearst TV station for two decades.
ABC News is expected to partner with New Hampshire’s WMUR to host another Democratic debate in the days leading up to the 2020 New Hampshire primary, which is scheduled for Feb. 11, according to a person with knowledge of the discussions.
Gerry McGavick returns to the Hearst ABC affiliate in the newly created role of director of sales, while Mike Taffaro is promoted to general sales manager.
Newsy Ramps Up For 24/7 News
New Hampshire’s most influential television station is being pushed out of next week’s Democratic debate. The reason? A labor dispute between a handful of employees at the station, WMUR, and its owner, Hearst. The Democratic National Committee announced WMUR’s fate on Friday in a joint statement with the New Hampshire Democratic Party that blamed the TV channel and Hearst for the impasse.
Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley added his voice to others calling for the ABC affil WMUR Manchester, N.H., to negotiate with the IBEW over a new contract. He also suggested the two other Democratic candidates for president should stop advertising on WMUR and other Hearst-owned stations.
Manchester, N.H.’s WMUR is, once again, reaping the benefits of being the only game in town during an election. This time it’s seeing an uptick in ad buys for the state’s primary in February.
Ro Dooley Webster joins the Hearst Boston duo from WBZ-WSBK Boston where she was director of communications and public affairs.
In advance of a Hill hearing on unmanned aircraft systems, Jeff Bartlett urges approval of their use by TV broadcasters, arguing their benefits would include “safer, more cost efficient, and better newsgathering which would strengthen and enhance our role as a lifeline in the communities we serve.”
In addition to re-upping with the fact-checking website of the Tampa Bay Times, Hearst Television is also launching a series of issues-discussion town halls throughout New Hampshire. “Conventional wisdom may hold that television stations relax political news coverage during non-election years, but the reality is different,” says David Barrett, Hearst Television CEO. “Increasingly, politics never sleeps.”
The Hearst-owned ABC affiliate, which generates close to 10% of its total revenue from digital, is taking advantage of New Hampshire’s growing online and mobile audience, and outpacing its newspaper, TV and radio competitors with a mix of video, social media, cross-promotion and user-generated content.
The former syndication executive will oversee programming for the two Hearst Boston ABC affiliates.
The Hearst-owned Manchester, N.H. (Boston), ABC affiliate will launch a 10 p.m. newscast starting in January 2012. The newscast will air weekdays on MeTV New Hampshire (WMUR’s second digital channel).
ABC News and WMUR, ABC’s Hearst-owned affiliate in Manchester, N.H., are joining forces once again to host a Republican presidential primary debate in New Hampshire between the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary in 2012.
The Republican presidential primary debate will air on ABC between the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary.