New Phoenix Duop Sets up Management Team

Now that KPHO and KTVK have merged under the Meredith umbrella and are operating out of the same building, a new management team has been put in place to run the two stations.

KPHO/KTVK GM Ed Munson sent out a long memo to the staff telling them who's running the departments.

He is the memo, obtained by FTVLive:

To:         All KPHO, All KTVK and All West Coast Hub Teams

CC        Paul Karpowicz, Doug Lowe

From:        Ed Munson Jr.

Re:        New Leadership Team Meredith Arizona

Date:        10/10/14


It has been a challenging and exciting time for this merger of our two great TV stations and digital properties. For the CBS 5 team it has been an anxious time, the unknowns, the changes and ultimately the move to an unfamiliar building. For the 3TV team, a surprise announcement in June of 2013 that the station was to be sold to Gannett, the waiting and waiting then the surprise announcement in December that the station was to be sold to Meredith, then waiting and waiting for regulatory approval.

I have enjoyed getting to know the staff at 3TV and of course getting to know the team at CBS 5 even better.

After considerable thought and consideration, we are ready to announce the leadership team for the stations in Phoenix. While we will not be fully integrated for some 9 to 12 months, having the leadership team in place now will allow us to better understand the right way to proceed.

For the merged news department I am pleased to tell you that Leona Wood is the new Executive Director of News. She will lead both newsrooms. Leona has been with CBS 5 News for 8 years; for the past year as news director. She has a background at 3TV as well. From 2006 to 2008 she was an Executive Producer. While much has changed at 3TV since then, she appreciates the rich history of the station and the loyalty of the audience. Leona is looking forward to working closely with Laurie Passman. We have a lot of work to do to bring our news departments together. Leona has the chops!

To bring the news brands to potential we need an engaged Marketing Department. Our new Director of Marketing is Blanca Esparza-Pap. Blanca has been Director of Marketing of 3TV for nearly two years and was previously Community Relations Manager for 8 years. She will work with a great team on both stations to rise the tide! Blanca will head up our marketing with on air and off air promotions, graphics and community relations. Gene Robinson the CSD of CBS 5 will move to a new role as Promotion Manager of KPHO reporting to Blanca.

With the two stations we will have the ability to serve the viewers of Phoenix like never before.

Our syndication and local programming is our connection to our viewers. To lead that effort Seth Parker will become the Director of Local Programming. Seth has been the Programming Manager and Community Affairs Manager of CBS 5 for 12 years. Prior to that he was at KUTP for 17 years as Programming and Operations Manager. In his time at CBS 5 he has created the Pay It Forward program and has worked to make CBS 5 the gold standard of the west coast programming hub. Seth will work on both stations FCC compliance, our retransmission consent negotiations, work with syndicated programing, our local programming Your Life A to Z, Better Arizona, Urban Connections and Nuestra Causa, and all long form commercial programming. He will chart a new course for CBS 5’s Weather Now channel and 3TV’s Arizona News Channel. Additionally, he will work on creating new local programs to serve our viewers.

Our need to plan for the future in building a new studio, a new master control hub for the west coast and new production control rooms will require a seasoned pro. Walcott Denison will take the duties of Director of Engineering for all Meredith Arizona properties. Walcott has been with 3TV for 2 years as Director of Technology and with the Belo Corporation for 17. Walcott will work with our talented engineers on both stations. Greg Powell will continue to be Director of Engineering at CBS 5 until the move into the 3 TV building, reporting to Walcott.  While Greg is doing that, he will also begin his new duties as Director of Engineering of Meredith’s West Coast Master Control Hub reporting to Walcott and working closely with Walcott and our VP of Technology, Larry Oaks to build the new West Coast Hub at 3TV.

As the stations merge, we will have the opportunity to serve our advertising clients in a way we have never been able. Heading up our TV sales operations of both stations, our digital sales and our sales of our lifestyle programs will be Mitch Nye. Mitch is the new Director of Sales of 3TV and CBS 5. Mitch has been the General Sales Manager of CBS 5 for 12 years and has been in the Phoenix TV market for 16. He has been a General Sales Manager for 24 years. He is a very focused sales manager who has great respect in the market.

Post-merger we will have powerful digital platforms. We will immediately begin the search for a Director of Digital Media. This person will work hand in hand with Leona in directing content for our various digital properties, creating new digital offerings, oversee our Social Media efforts and work closely with me on future products. This person will also have regular interaction with the Meredith Digital team in Des Moines as well as working closely with Mitch on creating digital sales opportunities for our sales team.

These new leadership team members will join two folks previously named to the team; Jason Randall who was named 3TV and CBS 5 Accounting Manager a few months ago and Laura Pena, Director of HR. Jason was the Assistant Controller of 3TV and KASW and Laura joined us a few weeks ago from an automotive retailer group as HR Director.  

Please take a moment to congratulate Leona, Blanca, Seth, Walcott, Jason, Laura and Mitch on their new positions.

As we named these folks to their new positons some long term team members will be leaving us. Traci Scott, KTVK/KASW Director of Sales, Ruth Piper,  Assistant to the  GM, Mark Demopoulos, Program and Research Director and Trevor Schneider Research Director/Sales will be leaving the stations. We wish them well and thank them for many years of service to our advertisers, viewers and team members as well as the Belo Corporation. They have done yeoman’s duty during a grueling process of the sale of the stations.

Mark will remain in the building as he will take a new role working as an employee of KASW owner Sagamore Hill in a leadership role to help maintain and grow the station as it is being sold.

Finally, I know this has been a taxing time for many of you. Not knowing the future or what it means to you is, at times, troubling. I hope by naming the leadership team now it will provide some sense of a new normalcy. While certainly new leaders in new roles will include some changes to the way we have done things in the past, it is exciting to know who will be running the stations. I know your new manager will be setting up meetings soon with you both as a group and individually.

I thank you for your patience as these decision were made. As I have said, we are creating something here that has never been done in broadcasting. It is centered on our viewers and our advertisers. Your input will be invaluable as we navigate the change.