Peter Keith Promoted To WAPT Jackson GM

He will be succeeded as general sales manager at the Hearst ABC affiliate in Mississippi by Ayanna Carver.

Peter Keith, since 2017 the general sales manager of WAPT, Hearst Television’s ABC affiliate in Jackson, Miss., has been promoted to president and general manager of the station. He succeeds Michael L. Neelly, who was named president and general manager of Hearst’s WDSU New Orleans in October.

Succeeding Keith as WAPT’s general sales manager is Ayanna Carver, who since 2018 has been the station’s local sales manager.

“Throughout his entire time at Hearst Television, Peter has demonstrated exceptional leadership, creativity, teambuilding skills, and a strong aptitude for developing sales talent,” said Jordan Wertlieb, Hearst Television president. “Having worked closely with some of our most talented general managers has prepared him well to lead WAPT into the future.”

Keith added: “Ayanna has done an outstanding job as WAPT’s local sales manager, building and inspiring a growing team of sellers. I know that, as general sales manager, she will help fuel further growth for this great station.”

Keith originally joined WAPT in 2013 as the station’s national sales manager. He moved in 2015 to WVTM, Hearst’s NBC affiliate in Birmingham, Ala., where he served for two years as local sales manager before returning to WAPT as general sales manager. At both stations he helped lead teams to heightened sales results.

During his time at WAPT, he established national-advertising share records for the station.


He began his television career as an account executive in the Mobile, Ala.-Pensacola, Fla., TV market, first at WKRG and later at WPMI, where he learned to develop custom marketing campaigns which drove revenue for both stations.

He holds a degree in marketing from Auburn University of Montgomery. Among other industry activities, he has served on the board of the American Advertising Federation (AAF) chapter in Jackson.

Ayanna Carver

Carver’s 2018 move to WAPT represented a homecoming to Hearst Television; earlier in her career she managed television commercial traffic logs and inventory for two Hearst stations, including WAPT, while serving as a station specialist in the company’s Charlotte, N.C., office. In between she was a sales-research analyst for Charlotte stations WSOC and WAXN, and, later, an account executive for WAXN; and a senior account executive for WRAL Raleigh, N.C.

She began her television career in Atlanta as a national sales coordinator and research assistant for WXIA. She studied journalism at Georgia State University and holds an Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) digital media sales certification.

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