Carey out at WCBS

NEW YORK — Bud Carey is out as GM of lagging O&O WCBS New York, replaced by his boss, Jonathan Klein, who will continue to serve as prexy of CBS Television Stations.

Carey, who has managed WCBS as VP since 1992, earlier ran WNBC New York for several years, and was generally well-regarded in Gotham broadcast circles. But the station’s lagging performance in news and other areas — compounded by the CBS network’s recent weakness — hastened his departure, even as the O&O group has begun to improve slowly.

“The station is directionally going where we want it to go,” Klein said Monday, “but we think we can do a better job in execution in selling and the news product.”

Like many other CBS owned-and-operated markets, WCBS’s key newscasts at 6 and 11 come in dead last among competitors, and the group generally suffers from lackluster early-fringe lead-ins.

Klein said his mandate

does not necessitate wholesale changes,” and while adding that none are contemplated right now, he stopped short of providing a ringing endorsement for news director Bill Carey, who’s no relation to the departing gm.

Changes at CBS stations have been widely expected under the leadership of CBS Stations Mel Karmazin, who was installed last May as Klein’s new boss and began an aggressive drive to boost revenues and programming at the stations. Despite expectations of a gm bloodbath however, Carey’s departure is only the second so far; WBZ Boston named a new gm late last spring.

Klein, who began running CBS’s O&O group in 1995 following the Westinghouse takeover, is a longtime Group W exec. He headed Group W’s stations division, after running stations in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Balti-more.

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