NBC Local Media Ups Comerford, Others

Apr 17, 2008  •  Post A Comment

In a significant set of changes at NBC Local Media, WNBC-TV President and General Manager Frank Comerford will take over all sales efforts for the division. He will be replaced at the station by former KXAS-TV President and General Manager Tom O’Brien.
WMAQ-TV President and General Manager Larry Wert also is being elevated to NBC Local Media to work as president of the central and western region, overseeing five NBC-owned stations. All will report to John Wallace, president of NBC Local Media, who described the changes in Thursday’s announcement as “the next step in our evolution as a local media business.”
The changes are meant to accelerate NBC Local Media’s transformation into a full-service multiplatform media provider, Mr. Wallace said.
“Over the last eight months we’ve acquired LX.TV and Skycastle Entertainment, boosted our out-of-home offerings and invested heavily in our digital expansion,” he said. “Our new business model requires a new structure, and I’m pleased we can tap into our current leadership to realign our organization.”
Mr. Comerford’s new title is president of platform development and commercial operations. A 14-year veteran of WNBC, he had led the station since 2002. In the new role, he will oversee sales for all NBC Local Media, including the 10 NBC-owned television stations, out-of-home sales and digital media sales.
He also will develop new partnerships and business ventures that help align the group’s digital expansion to the changing needs of its customers.
Mark Lund, executive VP of Local Media Sales, and Tina Silvestri, recently promoted to senior VP of sales operations, will report to Mr. Comerford.
“As our portfolio grows, we need to expand our sales efforts and customize our approach to suit the scope and diversity of our assets,” Mr. Wallace said. “Frank’s strength as a commercial leader and his skill at creating value for our clients make him the right choice.”
Mr. Wert, who will name a new station manager for WMAQ, will oversee KNBC-TV in Los Angeles, KNTV-TV in San Francisco, KNSD-TV in San Diego and KXAS in Dallas as well as WMAQ.
“Larry is an incredibly well-rounded broadcaster who has done a tremendous job growing WMAQ over the past decade,” Mr. Wallace said. “A key part of our strategy is building on the regional connections among our stations and media platforms. Having one leader oversee two key regions—California and the Midwest—helps streamline our focus and makes sense logistically.”
Mr. Wallace praised Mr. O’Brien, who will take over the flagship station.
“Tom is a natural choice to lead our efforts in New York,” Mr. Wallace. “His track record of success at KXAS and his ability to adapt to the changing business climate will be instrumental in continuing WNBC’s mission to be New York’s leading local content provider across all media platforms.”
A successor to Mr. O’Brien at KXAS will be named soon.
(Editor: Baumann)
10:30 a.m.: Fixed misspelling in headline, added O’Brien’s title in first paragraph

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