Rarely in the history of television has strong station leadership been so sorely needed, along with a willingness to rethink the traditional local television model and the nerve to execute bold plans. New platforms, the digital conversion, leaner staffs and a tough ad environment all create headaches—and opportunities. It takes brains and a strong stomach to run a standout TV station these days, and the winners of Broadcasting & Cable's 2008 Station General Manager of the Year—given out for markets 1-25, 26+, and Spanish-language broadcasting—show these qualities in spades.
Whether they're guiding the community through a terrifying natural disaster, taking the first step in vital digital-TV testing, or serving a giant community of immigrants, KHOU Houston's Susan McEldoon, KVBC Las Vegas' Lisa Howfield and KMEX Los Angeles' Maelia Macin have exhibited bold—and brilliant—leadership. Profiles of these three exemplary general managers are linked below: