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Local TV Awards: Bruce Cummings of KIII Rides Off as Market Leader

Bruce Cummings of KIII Corpus Christi
GM of the Year, Markets 51-Plus: Bruce Cummings, KIII Corpus Christi, Texas (Image credit: Tegna)

Next year, with a sense of pride and satisfaction, Bruce Cummings is riding off into the sunset.

Cummings has been VP, Tegna Media, since 2017 and president/general manager of KIII Corpus Christi since December 2018. “The station is hitting on all cylinders now so I can leave knowing it is in good standing,” Cummings said.

Indeed, in 2021, ABC-affiliated KIII has been in first place in the morning, early evening and late evening news in the market. When Winter Storm Uri hit in February, the community turned to KIII. The Tegna station achieved its highest shares in the morning and late news compared with the previous two years. KIII was a success before Cummings arrived but he views his role there as vital to ensuring a strong future as he worked to improve the culture through ongoing recruitment and promotion of leaders. He said his legacy will be an emphasis on breaking down silos to create a culture of one team operating together. “Operating department by department was restricting us,” Cummings said. 

Changes he wanted to implement were sidelined in 2020 due to COVID but Cummings found a silver lining to the pandemic: “We all had to pull together and over-communicate to get through a difficult situation, so as the shifts here really came into focus this year the team came together with less resistance to change.”

Now he’s looking forward to a calendar without appointments, which means more time with his children and grandchildren and “the freedom to live in the moment.”

Cummings and his wife Cheryl also both own and cherish Harley-Davidson motorcycles. And so off he rides, “to enjoy and explore the Texas countryside,” he said.

Stuart Miller has been writing about television for 30 years since he first joined Variety as a staff writer. He has written about television for The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, The Boston Globe, Newsweek, Vulture and numerous other publications.