Fifth Estater

Next ABC Affiliates Chief Gets 'Raves' As GM

If things gets sticky in Miami, Boylan can stand the heat 3/26/2012 12:01:00 AM Eastern

Dave Boylan

Title:

VP/GM, WPLG Miami

Education:

B.S., Southern Illinois U., 1973 Employment Highlights: Account exec, sales manager, GM, WRMN radio, 1973-75

VP, broadcast group, Ron Curtis and Co., 1975-77

Account exec, WMAQ Chicago, 1977-79

Account exec, NBC Spot Sales, 1979-81

National, local and general sales manager, station manager, WKYC Cleveland, 1981-86

VP/GM, WGHP Greensboro, 1986-96 VP/GM, WTVT Tampa, 1996-2000

VP/GM, KTTVKCOP- Fox Sports Net West, 2000-03

Current title since 2003

Personal:

b. Sept. 23, 1951; wife, Sherry; children Chad, 33; Ashley, 30; Tyler, 29

For a guy who never has a hair out of place, who sets
business plans 18 months out and who is described
by most everyone who knows him as “buttoned up,”
the word “raving” may not be one that comes to mind
when thinking of Dave Boylan. But the TV exec lives,
and manages, by the “Raving Fans” philosophy made
popular by a 1993 business book of the same name.

The way Boylan sees it, a successful
TV station makes raving fans of viewers,
advertisers and staffers, too. “It’s one
thing to have satisfied employees, but it’s
another to have people who are deeply
committed to the culture, who go beyond
the call of duty,” says the WPLG
Miami general manager in a rumbling
baritone better suited to delivering the
news. “In the years I’ve been running
a station, the creation of raving fans is
what I like to think we do pretty well.”

Boylan’s next challenge is to make
raving fans of the 200-plus ABC affiliate
stations, and the brass at ABC parent
Walt Disney Co., as he takes over
the affiliates board chairmanship in May.
Current chair Bill Hoffman says they
have a winner in Boylan, whom he calls
an entrepreneur, consensus-builder and
problem-solver. “I’ve known David for
15 years, and he’s the right guy for this
time,” says Hoffman. “He’s a terrific leader
and he’s going to be a terrific chair.”

Boylan brings considerable experience
and a sterling work ethic to the role.
He grew up outside Chicago, his father
working for the telephone company
(moonlighting as a golf caddie master),
and his mother working at Sears. “I came
up through a rather modest economic
world,” he says. “Hard work was what I
saw my folks doing each and every day.”

Boylan got his start as an account executive
at a local radio station in 1973
and shifted to television a few years later.
His first TV GM post came in 1986, when
he was tapped by broadcasting legend
Jack Sander to run WGHP Greensboro
(N.C.). In a decade
atop WGHP, Boylan
survived six different
owners. “I identified
with my captors each
time,” he quips.

After stints running
WTVT Tampa and
KTTV-KCOP Los Angeles,
Boylan arrived
in Miami in 2003.
The market represents
an extraordinary challenge,
with a dozen
stations—including
an array of strong
Spanish-language
outlets—clamoring for viewers’ attention.
Add a pair of network-owned stations
(WTVJ, WFOR) and a billionaire local
owner (of WSVN) among the competition
and it’s not a market for weak GMs.

Boylan says WPLG thrives on consistent
ownership in Post-Newsweek and
the high journalistic standards the Washington
Post Co. demands. “We have the
owner’s name in our call letters,” he notes.
(PLG is short for Philip L. Graham, former
Washington Post president.) “This is
very different from the branch banking
that occurs at so many other stations.”

Alan Frank, president/CEO of Post-
Newsweek, credits Boylan for his bigpicture
thinking. “Dave’s got remarkable
systems—he’s the best I’ve ever seen at
planning,” says Frank. “And he’s very inclusive,
getting people from all different
parts of the station involved. People very
much feel a part of the station.”

Boylan puts in long workdays, but
makes time for South Florida’s rich
golf offerings, spending time with his
wife and three adult children in the region
and watching the Miami Heat, of
which he is a raving fan.

Boylan’s name is
mentioned as a potential
station group leader,
perhaps at Post-
Newsweek should
Frank retire. (Neither
Boylan nor Frank, not
surprisingly, will discuss
that.) Either way,
Boylan’s workload
will multiply when
he takes over the affiliates role. While life
with the network is
never perfect, ABC affiliates currently enjoy
a relatively drama-free
relationship. Emblematic of the symbiosis
is the Inventory Exchange System that allows
ABC affiliates to trade spots with the
network at election time, which Boylan
did the heavy lifting on as vice-chairman.

Colleagues give some credit to Boylan’s
calm and practical nature for the good
relations. “You couldn’t plan for a better
transition than Bill Hoffman to Dave
Boylan,” says board member Bill Fine.
“Look up ‘seamless transition’ in the dictionary—
their pictures are right there.”

E-mail comments to mmalone@nbmedia.com and follow him
on Twitter: @BCMikeMalone

Dave Boylan

Title:

VP/GM, WPLG Miami

Education:

B.S., Southern Illinois U., 1973 Employment Highlights: Account exec, sales manager, GM, WRMN radio, 1973-75

VP, broadcast group, Ron Curtis and Co., 1975-77

Account exec, WMAQ Chicago, 1977-79

Account exec, NBC Spot Sales, 1979-81

National, local and general sales manager, station manager, WKYC Cleveland, 1981-86

VP/GM, WGHP Greensboro, 1986-96 VP/GM, WTVT Tampa, 1996-2000

VP/GM, KTTVKCOP- Fox Sports Net West, 2000-03

Current title since 2003

Personal:

b. Sept. 23, 1951; wife, Sherry; children Chad, 33; Ashley, 30; Tyler, 29

September
October