Dennis Swanson, widely considered one of broadcasting's most adept masterminds, retired last week from his most recent role as Fox Television Stations president of station operations.
"Dennis had a ground-breaking and legendary 60-year career in broadcasting — the last 11 as a dedicated member of the FTS executive team," Fox Stations spokeswoman Erica Keane said in a statement. Swanson managed the group’s portfolio of stations under CEO Jack Abernethy.
Swanson is known for a range of feats in broadcasting including giving Oprah Winfrey her big break in Chicago, helping transform ABC O&O WLS Chicago into a powerhouse.
Swanson also ran ABC Sports for 10 years, during which time he successfully lobbied the International Olympic Committee to stagger the winter and summer games. After that, he ran WNBC New York, which he pushed to air the Christmas Tree lighting at Rockefeller Center live in prime access.
This is the second time Swanson has said he’s leaving the business. Soon after announcing his retirement from NBC in 2002, he accepting a post at Viacom as executive VP and COO for the station group.