KCOP-TV yesterday confirmed expectations that longtime station manager Rick Feldman will succeed Bill Frank, the dean of Los Angeles TV station general managers, on March 1.

As reported (Daily Variety, Feb. 22), Frank has been upped to exec VP of parent Chris-Craft Industries’ TV broadcast wing.

Feldman, who was elevated to station manager seven years ago after three years as general sales manager, expects the program community to see two major changes under his stewardship.

“Syndicators won’t have to come in with a working knowledge of the NHL and will be expected to buy me more lunches,” he said, referring to Frank’s avid interest in hockey and penchant for picking up the meal tab of program sellers.

There are no immediate plans to fill the station manager position, but Feldman said KCOP may reassess that situation.

Feldman sees differences in the styles, saying that he is more aggressive in certain areas. Although there was never any formal separation of responsibilities during his tenure as station manager, Feldman concentrated on sales and news while Frank spent more time on programming and promotion.

“There was still a lot of crossover,” Feldman explained.

‘Driving force’

Frank, who announced the appointment, credited Feldman with serving as the “driving force behind our expansion into live, local event coverage like the L.A. Marathon, ‘Live From the Hollywood Bowl,’ the Doo-Dah Parade, the CIF (high school) football championships as well as the acquisition of the local television rights to the L.A. Clippers (basketball games).”

Feldman’s immediate goals are to overhaul the packaging and marketing of the station, playing up unusual “guerrilla” aspects such as its recently introduced “walk and talk” news and special event programming.

“We need to do a better job of getting our moniker out there,” said Feldman, who devised the station’s “Very Independent” label.

With efforts still under way to get the kinks out of its month-old newscast, Feldman said he will wait until summer before starting an aggressive outside promotion campaign.

KCOP will also continue to focus on the development of firstrun fare, he noted.

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