KNBC-TV's GM out as local television market is battered
NBC Universal announced today that Linda Sullivan, general manager of Channel 4 in Los Angeles for a mere 16 months, was retiring. Sullivan had spent 32 years in the television business in such markets as Boston, Providence, R.I., Washington and the Bay Area. She worked nearly 13 years for NBC and joined KNBC in May 2007, replacing longtime GM Paula Madison.
"When I first came to KNBC, someone from one of the employee groups told me that "the worst day here is still better than the best day anyplace else," Sullivan said in a brief phone interview late today. "This is a decision that I didn't reach lightly." She said plans for her retirement had been in the works for a while.
Sullivan plans to return to Boston, where her husband, Charles, lives.
NBC Universal immediately announced that Craig Robinson, KNBC's executive vice president for operations and digital strategy, would become acting GM "until a formal replacement for Sullivan is announced."
The weakening economy has clouded the financial outlook for TV stations, making businesses that were once described as licenses to print money much tougher to manage. Last week, NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker said that revenue at TV stations, which are highly dependent on local auto and retail advertising, have been battered. National advertising so far has weathered the storm, Zucker added, but the economic downturn has had a "profound effect on our local television stations."
-- Meg James
Pictured: KNBC-TV Channel 4 anchors Colleen Williams, Fritz Coleman, Fred Roggin and Paul Moyer. Credit: NBC Universal