Merging News Operations in Florida?

Tim Geraghty is out as News Director at News 13 in Orlando. The cable news outlet appears to be taking steps to merge with Bay News 9 in Tampa.

With Geraghty out the door, News 13 will now be overseen by Bay News 9 ND Mike Gautreau, who will run both operations. 

Rumors of the two operations merging have been swrilling for quite a while, this seems to be a step in that direction.

And all hands on deck meeting has been called for Friday as the suits will discuss reorganization plans.

They sent this internal memo to the staff:

To The Local Programming Group Team:

Since January, 2014 I have shared with you my goals for the Local Programming Group: teamwork, innovation and new product development. Throughout the past year, in small groups and individual conversations, I have appreciated listening to why you enjoy working for Bright House Networks and your suggestions on how to improve our workflow, communication and products.  Thank-you for your feedback.  I plan to continue meeting and listening in 2015.

Today I am announcing organizational changes that will strengthen and streamline our “One Team” culture within the Local Programming Group, including but not limited to, our two 24-hour local news channels, our regional sports and Spanish channels, and our online, mobile and on-demand services.  Effective immediately: 

Sr. Director of News, Mike Gautreau, will assume responsibility for the management of both the Bay News 9 and News 13 news departments. News Directors Ally Berger and Rudy Murrieta will report directly to Mike. Our InfoMás team will continue to report to Mike.

Kate Fox’s title and responsibilities will change as she becomes Director of New Media. Kate will lead all daily management and long-term strategy for the emerging new media portfolio, including web sites, apps, Local Video on Demand and other new products that combine local content with non-linear digital technology. Digital Media Manager Melissa Calhoun will report directly to Kate Fox.  Web Content Editors will report to Melissa Calhoun.

Our key support services for the core programming units will form one department. Finance, Engineering, Operations and Administration will be under the leadership of Rick Chattin. As he takes on these additional responsibilities, Rick will be promoted to Senior Director of Business and Operations.  Operations Managers, Colleen Jakubowski and Dietrich Covington, and Chief Engineers, Jerry Shields and Curtis Stanley, will report directly to Rick. The Business and Operations team will continue building a culture of outstanding internal customer service, planning and staff development, as well as technical and operational excellence.

Barbara Burley and Paul Kosuth will continue to lead Local Programming Group Marketing and Bright House Sports Network, respectively.

Mike, Kate, Paul, Barbara and Rick will continue to report directly to me.

These changes are intended to enhance our contribution to Bright House Networks as an exclusive offering designed to retain customers and enhance our reputation of journalistic excellence in the Tampa Bay and Orlando markets. 

Steve Weitekamp and Tim Geraghty will leave the company.  I want to thank them for their contributions to Bright House Networks’ success and wish them the best in their future endeavors.

Thank-you for your ongoing support, feedback and ideas that enable us to continually improve the Local Programming Group.

Alan Mason
Corporate Vice-President of Local Programming
Bright House Networks