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The Evangelists: Jack Sander

Apr 23, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Title: President, Television Group, Belo Broadcast Division.
TV stations owned: 17, which cover 13.7 percent of the country.
Hometown: Cincinnati.
Education: University of Cincinnati.
First job: Ran camera, worked in traffic department and was a director at PBS station WCET-TV, Cincinnati.
Background: “I grew up a broadcasting brat,” Mr. Sander said. “I was infatuated with radio at a very early age growing up, and we were a low- to middle-income family, but my dad bought the first TV set on the block. That had to be in 1949. I was fascinated by the whole radio, television communications arena.”
Mr. Sander took classes on radio and television while in college and worked at PBS station WCET-TV.
“I was interested in the business side of it,” he said. “Back then it was run by kids. There were a dozen adults, and everybody else was a kid. If you showed interest, you [could] learn to do anything.”
He moved up the ranks in the sales departments at WLWC-TV, Columbus, Ohio (which is now NBC-owned WCMH-TV) and WTOL-TV, Toledo, Ohio, before becoming station manager at WDSU-TV, New Orleans. He later was the general manager at WTOL, KTSP-TV, Phoenix (now KSAZ-TV, Fox), and WAGA-TV, Atlanta. He was also president of Taft Broadcasting, overseeing 12 stations.
“Once I got into the business, I think I was always fascinated by the responsibility and importance of the local television station,” Mr. Sander said. “I always said I felt I was not a natural salesperson. But I believed in TV. I felt I had to really passionately believe in what the product was.”
Mr. Sander said local broadcasters still have a lot of work to do.
“We’ve got to figure out digital and how that spectrum is going to be used for all the good intentions that there are,” he said. “We will continue to find ways to manage our television companies with better technology.”