WBRZ Baton Rouge Makes News Management Changes

The Baton Rouge ABC affiliate elevates Trey Schmaltz to succeed the retiring Lee Polowczuk as news director and names Ben Lemoine to succeed Schmaltz as assistant news director.

Manship family-owned ABC affiliate WBRZ Baton Rouge, La., has promoted Trey Schmaltz to director of news following the retirement of veteran newsman Lee Polowczuk. Polowczuk has been WBRZ’s news director for the last five-and-a-half years after leading the station’s investigative unit. A startup expert, Polowczuk launched and expanded news operations throughout his career in New Orleans, the Carolinas and Florida.

Polowczuk and Schmaltz, who was the assistant news director for the last five years, expanded WBRZ newscasts. The pair spearheaded the launch of WBRZ Plus, the station’s free, over-the-air and streaming news channel that features exclusive morning and evening newscasts, unscheduled breaking news coverage and original local programming.

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Schmaltz has been with WBRZ since 2010, previously serving as a news producer, executive producer and assistant news director. He also worked at TV stations in Monroe and Lafayette, La., where he attended college.  He has a degree in general studies. Schmaltz grew up in Ponchatoula where, at age 15, he created a TV program on WSTY, a community station serving the Florida Parishes.

Beginning March 1, Ben Lemoine, a former WBRZ reporter, anchor and documentary filmmaker, will join the news team as assistant news director, reporting to Schmaltz and helping to manage the day-to-day news operations. Lemoine is a Baton Rouge native and retired sergeant in the Louisiana Army National Guard.  He’s worked for TV stations in New Orleans and Arizona.

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“This is a time of new beginnings and we are looking forward to a great future as we continue to produce content that empowers our viewers,” WBRZ General Manager Rocky Daboval said.

“This is a great time to be in broadcasting. Our job has never been more important, and our team is ready to guide our community through whatever is next,” Jake Manship, COO, said.


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