Gray Names New GMs At WIS And WTVY-WRGX

Robby Thomas is tapped to oversee WIS Columbia, S.C., while he will be succeeded as GM of WTVY-WRGX Dothan, Ala., by Valerie Russell.

Gray Television today appointed Robby Thomas general manager of NBC affiliate WIS Columbia, S.C. (DMA 80). In addition, Valerie Russell will become the general manager of WTVY (CBS) and WRGX (NBC) in Dothan, Ala. (DMA 171), succeeding Thomas. Both promotions will be effective Monday, Feb. 13.

Robby Thomas has 19 years of content and marketing experience, including the past three years leading WTVY-WRGX News 4 in Dothan. He began his career as a broadcast journalist before launching South Georgia’s first fiber MVPD and later returning to local broadcast media as a marketing leader. Prior to WTVY, Thomas was director of marketing and audience development at Gray’s WBTV Charlotte, N.C., where he created and chaired the first Gray Marketing and Creative Services Advisory Council.

He is a graduate of the University of Georgia.

Valerie Russell brings 18 years of media sales experience to her new role as GM of WTVY-WRGX. For the past two years she has been the stations’ general sales manager under whom the sales team posted records in new local direct business and digital revenue. Previously, Russell was a leading member of the sales team at WIS in Columbia, S.C. She began her broadcasting career as a morning show producer in 1996 at the Columbia market’s ABC affiliated television station.

A graduate of Alabama A&M University, Russell graduated in 2022 from the Broadcast Leadership Training Program of the NAB Leadership Foundation. She is currently participating in the 2022-23 Leadership Academy of the National Association of Black Journalists.

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