KCBS GM Culliton axed; Perret, Dunning to fill in

Station's sales performance likely reason for shakeup

Staffers at KCBS Los Angeles were shocked Wednesday by the news that CBS brass had decided to replace the O&O’s well-regarded general manager, John Culliton.

Reps for CBS and KCBS would not comment, but several sources at the station said the staff learned of Culliton’s fate late Wednesday. The shakeup was likely due to the station’s sales performance. CBS prexy Mel Karmazin has made no secret that boosting sales at the Eye web’s owned stations is his No. 1 priority. Earlier this month, CBS vet Allan Shaklan got the ax as GM of CBS’ Miami O&O.

Culliton was widely praised by KCBS staffers for boosting morale and strengthening the news division after a string of management turnovers in the 1990s. Culliton came to KCBS from CBS’ Minneapolis O&O in 1996. Sources said KCBS news director Larry Perret and sales chief Terry Dunning would serve as acting general managers until a successor is named. Ironically, Perret was out of town Wednesday at the Radio-Television News Directors Assn. confab in San Antonio, Texas, where KCBS was honored with the org’s prestigious Edward R. Murrow award for overall excellence.

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