KOVR Sacramento President/General Manager Bruno Cohen is shifting to the top spot at WBBM Chicago. He succeeds Joe Ahern, who “is leaving the station to pursue other opportunities,” according to a statement.
“Bruno Cohen is one of our finest and most innovative general managers and has done a tremendous job of building our Sacramento duopoly, growing our business and creating a strong identity for our stations in the marketplace,” said CBS Television Stations President/CEO Tom Kane. “Throughout his career, he has been a winner everywhere he has been, from local stations to national cable news. We are confident that his breadth of experience and outstanding leadership abilities will be extremely well received by our employees as well as business and community leaders in Chicago and will help us to raise the bar considerably in this important market.”
Kane thanked Ahern and wished him the best. “We sincerely appreciate his many contributions,” he said.
Cohen has been running KOVR and sister station KMAX, a CW affiliate. Prior to that, he was a senior VP at CNBC, and also spent four years as news director at WNBC New York. He’s known as an aggressive manager; his birth name is Mark, but was given the nickname Bruno in college in a nod to professional wrestler Bruno Sammartino.
Ahern was unable to get WBBM off the ground. According to BIA Financial, the station was fifth in revenue among Chicago stations last year, pulling in just over $100 million. It sustained as many as 17 layoffs in late March, including high-profile anchor Diann Burns. In July, Ahern spoke excitedly about WBBM’s massive new facility and felt the station was ready to make a move. “I’m excited about the teams we have in place,” he’d said. “We have a great team of people and we think the future is bright for our television station.”