Don Cornwell, 61, the Harvard Business School graduate who built Granite Broadcasting into the largest TV group in the country controlled by an African American, is stepping down as the company’s chairman and CEO, Mediaweek reports.
"After 21 years, I will be taking a step back from the day to day operations of Granite," said Cornwell. "Since Stuart Beck and I founded the company in 1988 with the purchase of stations in Duluth and Peoria, Granite has developed from an entrepreneurial idea into a diverse station group which operates and provides services to 23 channels in 11 markets reach more than six percent of U.S. television households."
Granite’s COO, John Deushane, is also leaving the company.
Peter Markham, who is on the Granite board, will replace Cornwell. Duane Lammers, who has been consulting with the company, will become COO, Mediaweek says.
Mediaweek notes that Granite had declared bankruptcy in 2006 and was "reorganized under Silver Point Capital, one of the company’s main creditors."
Mr. Cornwell would probably be the first to admit that being an independent broadcaster has been a wild ride.
TVWeek, then known as Electronic Media, caught up with Mr. Cornwell for an extensive interview back in 2000, when the company was going through another tough transition. Reading that piece, written by Diane Mermigas, will give you a good sense of the mettle of the man. Click here.