Dennis Swanson -- who retired Friday as the head of NBC's top-rated
WNBC-TV New York and as co-chairman of NBC Olympic Games coverage -- will join
the Viacom Inc. TV-station group as executive vice president and chief operating
The Viacom Television Stations Group consists of 39 stations, including 20
CBS, 18 UPN and one independent station.
Swanson will be the No. 2 executive in the group to Fred Reynolds, who
called Swanson 'a legend in the broadcasting community,' and 'a tremendous
coup for us.'
Reynolds cited not only Swanson's work at New York's top-rated WNBC-TV, but
also KABC-TV Los Angeles, and WLS-TV Chicago -- where he helped develop Opra
Winfrey's talk show -- and ABC sports, where he was president for 10 years.
Swanson also was president of ABC Daytime and president of ABC-owned TV
Swanson, one of the nation's best-known and most
respected television executives,
was named Broadcasting & Cable's first
'Broadcaster of the Year'
He will be replaced by Frank Comerford, currently executive VP of sales and marketing for the NBC station group.
Comerford wil assume his new role immediately, but Swanson will remain at
WNBC-TV to aid in the transition.
At WCBS-TV, Lew Leone, who has worked with Swanson as vice president of sales
for WNBC-TV, will become general manager at WCBS-TV, the group's station in the
No. 1 market.
Tony Petitti, who has been general manager at WCBS-TV,
New York, will shift over to become senior vice president for station operations
at the Viacom group.