Dennis Leonard, who left his general manager post at WBRC Birmingham in 2008 to co-locate and oversee Tribune's KDVR-KWGN duopoly, is stepping down from the Fox-CW setup to return home. Leonard leaves with the stations successfully merged, reports Local TV, which manages the stations under a local marketing agreement.
During a four month construction program, Leonard combined the stations' news operations into a single newsroom, built out separate studios and coordinated the management and production of 69 weekly hours of news.
"This has been the greatest challenge of my career, and I'm thrilled with everything we've accomplished," says Leonard. "The team here is all but in place and the stations are on an upward trend. I am ready to reevaluate my priorities."
Local TV has appointed Senior Vice President, Operations Lynda King as the interim Denver Market General Manager as it looks for Leonard's replacement.
Leonard did not specify his next career chapter. "I have been away from my family for over a year while working very long days to merge these two stations under one incredibly talented news director," he said. "The addition of our new Chief Engineer last month was the final link in the chain. My work here is finished at just the right time in my life."
Local TV CEO Bobby Lawrence acknowledged he was caught off-guard by the announcement. "It's all happened too fast for us to comment on who the next in command will be in Denver," he said. "Dennis just recently made this decision, and we support him. His dedication to these two stations, the community and the television industry is unparalleled. Of course we understand his decision and the difficulty under which he's been working."