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Two for one
Indianapolis— WISH-TV has hired two veteran area newsmen to replace News Director Lee Giles, who retired at the end of May after 35 years on the job. Former WTHR(TV) anchor Tom Cochrun, who has been running his own production company, will be news director. It will be Cochrun's first position as a news director, but the station's general manager Scott Blumenthal noted that Cochrun has 30 years in the business in various positions and a clear commitment to the market. Kevin Finch, a longtime WTHR producer, will become WISH-TV's assistant news director.
The two made their pitch as a team to GM Scott Blumenthal. Blumenthal conceded that the tandem pitch was unusual, but said, "The combination of Tom and Kevin will bring all the elements together" and improve the station's position in its often heated competition with WTHR.
Prather Takes Journal News Post
Las Vegas— Jim Prather, TV president of Milwaukee's Journal Broadcast Group and GM of its WTMJ-TV there, has been named president of news for the company's five TV stations and GM of its KTNV-TV Las Vegas. Prather was WTMJ-TV news director and vice president, news, before being named vide president and then president of television.
Journal will no longer have a TV president. The group's five GMs will now report directly to Journal Broadcast Group CEO Doug Kiel. WTMJ-TV General Sales Manager Mark Strachota will be interim station manager while Kiel shops for a new VP/GM.
WUSA taps Green
Washington— With a name like Darryll Green, Gannett flagship WUSA(TV)'s new president and GM could expect a great table at any restaurant in the Washington area. But while Darrell Green was outrunning receivers as a future Hall of Famer for the hometown Redskins, Darryll J. Green was in Buffalo running WGRZ(TV), also a Gannett station. "I hope I have half the career here that he did," said broadcaster Green.
Green replaces Ardyth Diercks, who took over as GM of NBC's WTVJ(TV) Miami late last month. That opening was created by the elevation of Don Browne to chief operating officer of NBC-owned Telemundo Communications Group.
A former accountant for Delloitte, Haskins & Sells, Green has been with Gannett since 1983 and was named its Manager of the Year in 2001. Gannett Broadcasting President and CEO Craig Dubow called Green "a caring and committed leader" with "a great track record of success."
Fernandez Flies KTLA-TV
Los Angeles— After less than two years anchoring the Morning News
for KTLA-TV Los Angeles, veteran newswoman Giselle Fernandez left the station last week. Fernandez could not be reached, but station sources said the split was amicable, with the newly married anchor likely seeking a lifestyle change that might include different working hours. Fernandez told colleagues she was looking at other opportunities in news. Fernandez also owns her own production company.
The former network correspondent came to the station to anchor the morning program in 2001 after a stint co-anchoring Access Hollywood.
And Many Happy Returns
KFSM-TV Fort Smith, Ark., had its 50th birthday party recently and The New York Times Co.-owned station brought in CBS News Face the Nation host and chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer (r) to help celebrate. KFSM-TV started on another channel with different call letters in July 1953 but moved to ch. 5 in December 1956. Fort Smith is the nation's 107th largest market. Schieffer is shown here with retired station anchor Bur Edson.