Acme Communications has reorganized its front office and cut
significant station staff a few weeks after announcing a shared services
arrangement with LIN Media in multiple markets. President/COO and
co-founder Doug Gealy will become president and CEO of Acme. Stan Gill,
the vice president and general manager of Acme's KWBQ-KASY duopoly in
Albuquerque-Santa Fe, will become COO while retaining oversight of the
New Mexico pair.
WBDT Dayton VP/General Manager John Hannon moves up to corporate
executive vice president.
The three will oversee all of Acme's
stations and its syndicated program, The Daily Buzz, and manage
the relationship with LIN. All three promotions are effective July 1,
Acme will significantly pare the rest of its corporate
staff. Effective mid-July 2010, Tom Allen, a co-founder of the company
and its e.v.p. and CFO, will transition into a consulting role, and will
assist Gealy in finding "appropriate exit paths" for the company.
Allen will continue to serve on the Acme board of directors.
Co-founder/Chairman/CEO Jamie Kellner will continue to serve as
Acme owns six stations and has been looking to sell for some time.
FisherCommunications announced in April it had entered a licensing andconsulting agreement with Acme regarding The Daily Buzz, with
Fisher VP of Digital Content Troy McGuire overseeing the show. Earlier
this month, LIN announced it would provide operational support for
Acme's stations in Albuquerque, Dayton and Green Bay.
"The recently completed LIN Media and Fisher Communications deals
were important events for the company and will hopefully speed an
orderly exit for Acme," said Gealy. "This reorganization allows the
company to focus on exit strategies while leveraging our best internal
resources on building value for our remaining assets."
Acme will save in excess of $600,000 per year with the personnel cuts.
"Between this restructure and the LIN Media transaction, we will be
terminating a meaningful percentage of our corporate management and,
along with the elimination of our local general managers at our
stations, our station employee base," he said. "Those affected employees
have served the company well, many for over a decade, and we thank them
for their loyal service and wish them the best in their future
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.