Dave Davis, the longtime head of ABC’s flagship O&O in New York, is retiring after more than 40 years in the broadcast TV biz.
Davis has spent most of the past 15 years as president and general manager of WABC-TV New York. He joined the station in 2003. He served as exec VP of ABC News from 2007 until he rejoined WABC-TV in 2010.
Wendy McMahon, president of ABC Owned Station Group, credited Davis for keeping WABC-TV as one of the nation’s highest-rated TV stations. There’s no word yet on a successor. McMahon will play a larger role in the management of WABC in the interim period.
“WABC has long been the most dominant channel in the nation due to the work and dedication of this incredible team. I know Dave’s been thinking about life beyond work and how he is looking forward to enjoying the rewards that come after a four decade-long career,” she said. “Change is never easy, but it allows us to bring fresh perspectives into the mix as we look to take advantage of new and exciting opportunities facing the local station business.”
On Davis’ watch, WABC-TV has dramatically expanded its local news programming as well as New York-centric event coverage such as the New York City Marathon, the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, the Columbus Day Parade, and the NYC Pride March. The station has expanded its public affairs programming and social outreach on such issues as fire safety and breast cancer awareness.
“It has been a privilege to have spent the majority of my career with the ABC Owned Station Group and the past 15 years with WABC,” Davis said. “Our job is to reflect and serve the many local communities of the greater New York region, and I’m very proud of the work done by the team to make it the most-watched station in the country.”
Before joining WABC, Davis spent 13 years at ABC-owned WPVI-TV Philadelphia, starting out as news director and advancing to general manager in 1997. He began his career as a news photographer for ABC-owned KTRK-TV Houston.