Gray Appoints Four New General Managers

It has new leadership at WAFF Huntsville, Ala.; KKTV Colorado Springs; WDAM Hattiesburg, Miss.; and WTOK Meridian, Miss.

Gray Television today announced that Jama Killingsworth, Kerri Blanco, Tim Walker and Jacque Harms will lead Gray’s stations in the Huntsville, Ala.; Colorado Springs; Hattiesburg, Miss.; and Meridian, Miss.

Today’s announcement brings to nine the number of new general manager positions filled by Gray this year. These six women and three men were all promoted from within the company: five were general managers who were moved to lead stations in larger markets, while four proved themselves as successful department heads before their promotions into general manager ranks.

Jama Killingsworth

In Huntsville, Ala. (DMA 78), Gray named Jama Killingsworth as the new GM of NBC affiliate WAFF, effective May 11. For the past four years, she has served as the general manager of Gray’s WDAM, the NBC affiliate for the Hattiesburg market. In that role, Killingsworth has expanded newscasts, significantly grown digital revenue, and strengthened community partnerships.

Kerri Blanco

In Colorado Springs (DMA 85), Gray named Kerri Blanco as the new GM of CBS affiliate KKTV, effective May 4. Kerri has been director of sales for KKTV for the past nine years. Her 27-year media career began as an account executive for the local Fox affiliate, and she also served in various roles at the NBC affiliate in Colorado Springs, including local sales manager and national sales manager.

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Tim Walker

In Hattiesburg, Miss. (DMA 167), Gray has named Tim Walker as the GM of NBC affiliate WDAM effective May 18. For the past 15 years, Walker has led ABC affiliate WTOK in Meridian, Miss. He first joined WTOK in 1986 as the station’s production manager, and he actually began his broadcast career with a part-time position at age 14. Tim is currently the immediate past chair of the Mississippi Association of Broadcasters, having served as chairman of the organization in 2018-19 and 2003-04.

Jacque Harms

In Meridian, Miss. (DMA 190), Gray named Jacque Harms as the new general manager of ABC affiliate WTOK, effective June 1. She currently leads the KNOP-KNPL-KIIT news department in North Platte, Neb., and spearheads the collaborative news delivery services with KNEPTV in Scottsbluff. Harms joined the KNOP staff on a part-time basis in 1994 as an anchor, reporter, photographer and producer. She assumed news director responsibilities in 1997. She is an award-winning journalist with honors from the Associated Press, Nebraska Broadcasters Association and Midwest Broadcast Journalists Association.


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DMAS 101, 105, 180, 194 & 209

Gray Appoints Four New General Managers

It makes top leadership changes at its stations in Davenport, Iowa; Lincoln, Neb.; North Platte, Neb.; Marquette, Mich.; and Parkersburg, W.Va.

Gray Television today named four veteran broadcasters as new GMs at stations in five markets.

In Davenport, Iowa (DMA 101), Susan Ramsett is now the GM of KWQC (NBC). She held various management positions in news, operations, and promotions at stations in Lincoln, Neb.; Wausau and La Crosse-Eau Claire, Wisconsin over several years before her 2013 appointment as GM of KOLN-KGIN and KSNB in Lincoln, Neb., as well as KNOP, KNPL and KIIT in North Platte, Neb.

In Lincoln (DMA 105) and North Platte (DMA 209), Shannon Booth succeeds Ramsett as the GM Manager of Gray’s stations in those markets. Since 1998, Booth has held various news, operations and promotions positions at Gray’s KCRG Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and she currently serves as the station’s director of brand marketing and creative services. Prior to KCRG, Booth worked at four other Iowa television stations, including WHO Des Moines, Iowa.

In Marquette, Mich. (DMA 180), Rick Rhoades will become the GM of WLUC (NBC-Fox) on April 1 upon the retirement of Rob Jamros, who has led WLUC for the past 27 years. A 14- year veteran of WLUC, Rhoades has been the station’s general sales manager for the past seven years. A graduate of Northern Michigan University, he worked as a golf professional before joining WLUC.

In Parkersburg, W.Va. (DMA 194), Ken Long is now the GM of WTAP (NBC), WIYE (CBS) and WOVA (Fox). He began his broadcast career more than 30 years ago, and joined the Parkersburg stations in 2009. He has been general sales manager since 2013. He succeeds Roger Sheppard, who retired on March 1 after 27 years, including 17 years as GM.


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Cheryl Thorne says:

March 10, 2017 at 2:53 pm

are these real tv markets????

    Sean Smith says:

    March 10, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    You’re kidding, right? You don’t know current Nielsen designated market areas? Have you ever been in television? These cities have TV stations that began operations back in 1953 and one in 1956. Were those years before you were born? That might explain why you don’t know about network TV stations from television’s golden era. Although Marietta OH-Parkersburg WV are now considered part of Huntingdon-Charleston, all of these cities are considered in their own DMA’s.

    Wagner Pereira says:

    March 11, 2017 at 12:53 am

    Comical as we found out the type market @Alternative works in.

Cheryl Thorne says:

March 10, 2017 at 6:14 pm

When you work in large markets most of your career than you get into smaller markets… say 50+ the talent gap is so sad it’s funny..That is why I asked….Who needs GM’s in these size markets. An accomplished executive can be GM/GSM/NSM or LSM unless you are from news or promotion.. Who promotes non sales people who have never sold a commercial to run a business?? Must be a severe scarcity of supply…

Sean Smith says:

March 10, 2017 at 8:22 pm

Fairly good observation. There are some instances of GM’s managing more than one station these days..it happened in Knoxville, where a GM also ran a sister station in Nashville for a couple of years. It is a different landscape now.. farming out GM’s could be a money saver in the smaller DMA’s

Cheryl Thorne says:

March 11, 2017 at 8:16 am

Insider…your local liquor store is having a big sale..get over there and stock up!!!!


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