Ben Van Ness Named GM Of WGEM

Quincy Media promotes him from general sales manager to succeed Carlos Fernandez at its NBC-Fox affiliate in Quincy, Ill. Van Ness will be replaced by Kyle Awerkamp from Quincy’s WSIL Harrisburg, Ill.

Quincy Media Inc. has announced two changes to the leadership team at WGEM-TV, radio and interactive in Quincy, Ill., effective Jan. 1, 2021.

Ben Van Ness, the current general sales manager will become vice president and general manager, taking over for Carlos Fernandez, who is stepping down after 13 years in the position. Fernandez will stay with the company in a management advisory role through June 30, 2021.

Kyle Awerkamp, general sales manager of QMI-owned WSIL Harrisburg, Ill., will take the same position with WGEM. These changes were announced by QMI Regional Vice President Jim McKernan.

Van Ness is a Quincy native and began his broadcasting career as a political sales representative for Blair Television, working in their Philadelphia, New York and Chicago field offices. He then joined QMI-owned WSJV South Bend, Ind., as an account executive and was later promoted to local sales manager.

He was promoted to general sales manager and moved to KXLT Rochester, Minn., where he remained until his move to become general sales manager of WGEM in 2017.

Van Ness is a 2006 graduate of the University of Kansas.


Awerkamp, also a Quincy native, began his career as a sales assistant with Blair Television and later a sales representative. He worked in both the Chicago and Detroit field offices. In 2013, he returned to Quincy and was named regional digital sales manager for the company.

For the past year, Awerkamp has been general sales manager for the company’s WSIL, a new acquisition, where he helped transition the sales force and position the station for future growth.

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