Nexstar Names Three New VP-GMs
Nexstar on Monday promoted three of its experienced broadcasters/executives to oversee the company’s broadcast and digital operations in Knoxville, Tenn.; Roanoke, Va.; and Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Kimberly Byrd was promoted to lead WATE (ABC) Knoxville, reporting to Mike Vaughn, senior vice president and regional manager for Nexstar Inc.’s broadcasting division. She will begin her new duties in May, following the retirement of Nexstar’s veteran VP-GM Coby Cooper.
Effective immediately, Ben Oldham will assume the leadership role at WFXR (Fox) and WWCW (CW) in Roanoke (DMA #72) and report to Doug Davis, SVP and regional manager for Nexstar Inc.’s broadcasting division, and Robert Raff will be taking on a new leadership role in a larger market, overseeing the operations of WBTW (CBS) in Myrtle Beach, reporting to Andy Alford, SVP and regional manager for Nexstar Inc.’s broadcasting division.
Collectively, the three have more than 60 years of broadcast sales and leadership experience. Nexstar said “each has consistently demonstrated the ability to grow revenue and profitability by identifying new streams of revenue, cultivating new business, developing a variety of innovative cross-platform solutions for advertisers and marketers, creating sponsorship opportunities, and deepening the ties to the communities in which they have worked.”
Byrd has been general sales manager for WATE since 2015, during which time she and her team delivered a nearly 250% increase in new business advertising revenue and a 40% increase in digital advertising revenue. She also assisted in the launch of WATE’s weekday noon newscast and Living East Tennessee, an hour-long local lifestyle broadcast, showcasing unique personalities and businesses in the region. Byrd was instrumental in establishing WATE-TV’s partnerships with the Knoxville Ice Bears of the Southern Professional Hockey League, USA Cycle, and the Gatlinburg Parade, all resulting in exclusive service to local viewers and accretive non-traditional advertising revenue.
Oldham has been general sales manager of WIAT Birmingham, Ala., since 2018, where he built upon the existing sales and marketing operations and staff to achieve significant gains in new linear and digital advertising revenues. Under his leadership, WIAT achieved the highest increases in core advertising revenue in the station’s history. In addition, over the last two years, WIAT-TV’s digital advertising revenue has more than doubled. Oldham and his team also successfully developed a variety of community-wide projects and assisted in the overall expansion of the station’s local news offerings. As the home-town station for The University of Alabama Crimson Tide, Oldham oversaw the revitalization of sports-related and non-traditional advertising and marketing solutions during his tenure.
For the past four years, Raff has overseen Nexstar’s broadcast and digital operations in Topeka, Kan., as the VP-GM of KSNT (NBC) and KTMJ (Fox). He also was responsible for managing Nexstar’s relationship with Vaughan Media’s KTKA (ABC-CW) under joint sales and shared services agreements. During his tenure, Raff and his team expanded KTMJ’s local news significantly, launching two new weekday broadcasts including a morning talk, entertainment and lifestyle show, and an afternoon news show focused exclusively on happenings in Northwest Kansas. Under his leadership, KSNT more than doubled new business advertising revenue and has grown revenue every year since his arrival in 2017. In addition, page views and unique visitors to the ksnt.com website have more than doubled since 2019.
“Kim, Ben, and Robert are representative of the outstanding leaders within Nexstar’s management ranks,” said Tim Busch, Nexstar Inc.’s president of broadcasting. “They have built exceptional sales teams that produce effective marketing solutions to drive growth for Nexstar’s local advertising partners, developed innovative and exclusive local content for viewers and digital users, and shown the ability to forge important community relationships. As the nation’s largest local broadcaster, we are fortunate to have a deep bench of talented, experienced executives, and it is gratifying to watch their continued advancement throughout the company. Identifying leaders and promoting from within is a core foundation to Nexstar and this company’s ongoing success. Kim, Ben, and Robert are proven leaders, and each has a long track record of individual achievements. We look forward to celebrating the results of their continued accomplishments as they undertake their new roles within Nexstar.”