Scott Blumenthal, executive VP of LIN Media, will retire Dec. 31, wrapping up a distinguished 30-year career with the broadcast company. Jay Howell, the VP of regional television, will succeed Blumenthal atop the station group, striking the "regional" from his title Jan. 1.
Blumenthal will consult for LIN upon his retirement.
He launched his broadcasting career in 1970 at WTWO Terre Haute, where he filled various roles, including being cameraman for $65 a week, and then moved to WRTV Indianapolis in 1975 before partnering to develop an advertising agency, commercial syndication and animation studio in 1981.
In 1983, Blumenthal was recruited by LIN to be local sales manager for WISH Indianapolis, and in 1994, to be president and general manager of WOOD-WOTV Grand Rapids (Mich.). He returned to WISH as president and general manager in 1999 before being named regional VP for LIN in 2002.
In 2005, Blumenthal was promoted to VP of television and then a year later, was promoted to executive VP.
"Scott's deep understanding of television news, programming, sales and community engagement, coupled with his decisive leadership, has contributed enormously to the growth and success of our company," said Vincent Sadusky, president and CEO of LIN Media. "His retirement culminates a long and successful career in broadcasting and is certainly well-deserved. Scott has done a great job preparing Jay for a smooth transition and giving him the tools he needs to continue evolving our television stations for the future."
Blumenthal has served the industry, and the communities he's worked in, in many roles, including chairman of the CBS affiliates board in 2007. He was re-elected to the board of directors for the National Association of Broadcasters in 2012, having served on that board since 2007.
"I feel fortunate to have been in this exciting and dynamic business for over 40 years, 30 of which have been with an industry-leading company like LIN Media," said Blumenthal. "I look forward to working with Jay and the rest of the executive team in a consultancy role and spending some much needed time with my family and golf game."
Howell, 45, literally grew up in the local television business; his father John was the general manager at WPXI Pittsburgh. Jay got his first GM job at 31, at KRBC Abilene/KACB San Angelo (Texas), and was president and general manager at WPRI-WNAC Providence before being promoted to a regional VP role at LIN in October 2012.