In a major shake-up last week at CBS o&o WCAU-TV, v.p. and station manager Carl Wenhold and general sales manager Phil Salas left the station, and news director Paul Gluck ankled his slot to join the rival NBC affil KWY.
Wenhold, a longtime v.p., finance and planning, for the stations division who joined the o&o a year ago, has been forced out to make room for Jay Newman, who holds the No. 2 post at sister station WCIX-TV Miami.
Newman reportedly is in line to take over for general manager Gene Lothery, who joined the station out of the CBS corporate ranks less than a year ago. Although sources said Lothery has been at odds with CBS station division prexy Johnathan Rodgers, Rodgers said that he is happy with Lothery and that they enjoy a good personal and professional relationship.
Salas also reportedly was given his walking papers. Gluck handed in his resignation to join rival KYW-TV as executive editor. He reportedly struck a six-figure deal with KYW a week ago to oversee the tv side of the station’s newsroom, which has been combined with all-news KYW-AM. Drew Berry temporarily is filling his post.
Sources indicated that more personnel changes could be coming in the stations division, particularly in the sales area, which underwent a restructuring last month.
With Newman jumping from station manager in Miami to the same slot in Philadelphia, where he served as news director for two periods in the ’80s, the division has only two station manager posts left. Rodgers has expressed his desire to eliminate the posts completely.
Since moving into the presidency last August, Rodgers has eliminated the posts belonging to Gordon Hughes, v.p., marketing services, for the o&o’s, and Ed Spray, v.p., development, for the group.
Rodgers’ endorsement of Newman for a top-level station post comes more than four years after a major controversy in which Newman played a central role.
In 1985, Newman was brought in as news director of WBBM-TV Chicago from WCAU to handle the fallout expected when the station demoted a black anchorman, Harry Porterfield, to make room for the return of Bill Kurtis from the “CBS Morning News.” The situation blew up into a nearly yearlong full-scale protest of the station by the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Operation PUSH, and the furor became a cause celebre in Chicago.
WBBM general manager Gary Cummings was axed and Newman was sent back packing to Philadelphia. With Cummings gone, Rodgers – an African- American – moved into the general manager slot.