WCPO GM Fee Announces Retirement
Cincy native will stay local in 2011 and beyond
By Michael Malone -- Broadcasting & Cable, 7/6/2010 11:48:45 AM
"I deserve a break," quipped Fee, who turns 63 this month.
Fee joined the station as a community affairs director in 1978. He says he'll stay in Cincinnati, where he's from. He's undecided on his future plans, but suggests he won't be idle. "I don't fish," said Fee.
His most memorable moments in broadcasting include building a new facility during May sweeps in 2004. "It was a very, very difficult time to run and build a station at the same time," he said. "It was a labor of love--and probably the most satisfactory moment of my career."
Fee was also a key figure in the Cincinnati market's rocky analog TV shutoff last summer, working around the clock to help viewers troubleshoot their DTV issues.
Scripps TV Senior VP Brian Lawlor is conducting the search for Fee's replacement. WCPO, an ABC affiliate, is a ratings and revenue powerhouse in DMA No. 33. It grabbed $29.9 million in 2009, according to BIA/Kelsey.
With six months more on the job, Fee will continue to transform WCPO's newsroom into a multiplatform content center to meet viewer and user needs in what he calls the "three-dimensional" media world.
Fee shared the news with his staff in a memo late last week. "After twelve years as general manager, it's time I move on, and allow someone else to take the station to the next level," he wrote. "I'm here for another six months, so this isn't good-bye. We still have lots of work to do, and I'm extremely excited about WCPO's outlook and competitive preparedness moving forward."
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