Gannett names TV executive from Jacksonville to run Channel 10
Less than a week after Rosenwasser announced his retirement Monday, the company named Ken Tonning as the new president and general manager for the CBS affiliate in St. Petersburg. Tonning comes to WTSP from Gannett's duopoly in Jacksonville, where the company operates NBC affiliate WTLV and ABC affiliate WJXX.
Tonning comes to the Tampa Bay area with loads of experience -- his biography says his broadcast career started in ABC's Network News Administration in New York 42 years ago. He had been general manager of WTLV for 19 years, overseeing the acquisition of WJXX in 2000 to create one of the nation's first duopolies.
I'm actually off work today, so I won't be able to do much reporting on this. But you can click below to read the entire press release.
McLEAN, VA – Gannett Broadcasting today announced three executive appointments:
· Ken Tonning will become president and general manager of Gannett’s CBS affiliate WTSP-TV in Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL. Tonning currently is president and general manager of WTLV-TV and WJXX-TV, Gannett’s NBC and ABC stations in Jacksonville, FL. He replaces Sam Rosenwasser who has announced his retirement effective the end of this year.
· Dodie Cantrell-Bickley will become president and general manager of the two Jacksonville stations. She currently is president and general manager of WMAZ-TV in Macon, GA. A replacement for Cantrell-Bickley has not been announced.
· Anthony Diaz will become vice president of sales strategy and development for Gannett Broadcasting. Diaz currently is vice president/general sales manager for W*USA-TV, Gannett’s CBS affiliate in Washington, DC.
“Gannett is fortunate to have the depth of talent that allows a transition like this to occur so smoothly,” said Dave Lougee, president of Gannett Broadcasting. “Ken’s experience running our Denver station, then managing our duopoly in Jacksonville, makes him an ideal choice to replace Sam in Tampa.
“Sam’s hard work and dedication over many years is deeply appreciated and he will be missed. We wish him all the best,” Lougee said.
“Dodie’s energy and enthusiasm, coupled with her leadership and knowledge of her community, have been the key to our success in Macon for over 24 years. Jacksonville is a terrific new opportunity for her, and Gannett will be well served,” Lougee said.
“Anthony’s forward-leaning approach to sales and his rich understanding of both our traditional media and our many new platforms make him a key asset to our corporate sales staff,” Lougee said. “With Anthony in place, Gannett Broadcasting can move quickly to enhance efforts focusing on the needs of customers and promoting more community interaction.”
Ken Tonning was named general manager of WTLV in Jacksonville in 1989 and oversaw the acquisition of WJXX in 2000 as one of the nation’s first duopolies. He began his broadcast career in 1966 at ABC’s Network News Administration in New York. In 1974, Tonning became an account executive for WXIA-TV in Atlanta, holding a number of sales jobs there until he was named general sales manager of K*USA-TV in Denver in 1985. He was named vice president/station manager of K*USA, then vice president/general manager. He became president and general manager in 1987.
Dodie Cantrell-Bickley was named president and general manager of Macon’s WMAZ in 2006. Previously, she had served as vice president and general manager and as news director of the station for 13 years. She is an award-winning journalist who served in a number of on-air and off-air jobs before becoming news director.
Anthony Diaz began his career as an account executive at WFLA NBC and Infinity CBS Radio in Tampa Bay. He joined Gannett at WTSP in Tampa in 2000 after working at WXIA in Atlanta as an account executive. He was named general sales manager at WTSP in 2003 and was named vice president/general sales manager of W*USA in 2007.
GANNETT CO., INC. is a leading international news and information company that publishes 85 daily newspapers in the USA, including USA TODAY, the nation’s largest-selling daily newspaper. The company also owns nearly 900 non-daily publications in the USA and USA WEEKEND, a weekly newspaper magazine. Gannett subsidiary Newsquest is the United Kingdom’s second largest regional newspaper company. Newsquest publishes nearly 300 titles, including 17 daily newspapers, and a network of prize-winning Web sites. Gannett also operates 23 television stations in the United States and is an Internet leader with sites sponsored by its TV stations and newspapers including USATODAY.com, one of the most popular news sites on the Web.