Tribune Broadcasting Restructures Creative Services
John Ziegler, Carrie King each promoted to regional VP
By Paige Albiniak -- Broadcasting & Cable, 6/29/2010 3:14:46 PM
John Zeigler, formerly director/creative services for WPIX-TV in New York, will lead Tribune's eastern region, while Carrie King, previously director/creative services for WGN America, will lead Tribune's central region.
"Incremental change at our television stations won't get it done," said Lee Abrams, Tribune's chief innovation officer, in a statement. "We have to be radically and noticeably different-we have to imagine TV and TV news in a totally new way, one that breaks through and reinvents the decades' old, tired TV playbook."
"This opportunity was meant for John and Carrie and they earned it," said Jerry Kersting, president of Tribune Broadcasting, also in a statement. "They have demonstrated a clear and passionate understanding of our new and very different vision and have consistently executed and delivered on it. They are essential to developing a new style of television and leading our stations into the future."
The two executives are charged with establishing and implementing "new creative standards and promotional emphasis" for the TV stations within their respective regions. The eastern division includes Hartford, Harrisburg, New York, Philadelphia, South Florida and Washington, D.C. The central division is made up of Chicago, Dallas, Grand Rapids, Indianapolis, Houston and New Orleans, and also includes WGN America.
The company is continuing to seek a new regional vice president for the western division.
OK to re-invent the tired and old. I applaud this. But after Mr. Abrams gets us all to agree that this is a good idea, he rarely achieves anything different. So far all the new tv spots they make, star HIM in all of them. He's a VP at a TV group so who's gonna dare tell him he should re-think. HE now stars in two of his own shows. He stars in the promos for the network's contests. They consist of him squeezing into a white lab coat, doing shtick at a blackboard, and then a voiceover.
Mr. Abrams, if you're going to fire massive amounts of people and blame them for old thinking and promise something new, and throw around terms like "innovation and revolution", how about actually achieving different? And do you have to be in all the spots of the company you're in charge of?
Mr. Abrams is an older man from the classic rock era. That's ok, I am too. His weakness is that the 70's is his only frame of reference. "Fox's way of promotion and promos is puking and cliche and the same old noise." Oh really? I'd say it's the most modern and the most successful. Mr. Abrams references are all the Byrds, Bob Dylan, wonderful icons of America (the same he used on XM radio) but who aren't necessarily the top picks today's young demos.
Mr. Abrams next company-wide Tribune promotion is going to be......Tom Petty. A great classic rock artist. But on a television group of mostly CW and Fox affiliates, what music artist would you pick to represent viewers of Glee, Gossip Girl, America's Teen Choice Awards and the Cleveland Show? Tom Petty, really?
All in favor of revolution here. It's well known that you have carte-blanch from Randy Michaels (who is ultimately going to be responsible) to demand whatever change you wake up with that morning. I read in any of your interviews the same claim that anyone who disagrees with you on anything "doesn't get it". But in the end you'll be judged on what you actually do, and whether it's in the right decade.
Jack Stein - 7/2/2010 1:09:14 PM EDT
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