Just about everyone in the local TV world had a fabulous
2012, thanks to those free-spending politicians. But the savvy local
broadcasters spent the year thinking about 2013 and beyond -- investing in news,
technology, community outreach and whatever the heck else it takes these days
to stay above the media clutter in their markets.
Station leaders talk a lot about "staying relevant," but
merely staying relevant doesn't cut it anymore. Creating truly compelling
content -- entertaining, law-changing, perhaps life-saving stuff that no one else
is providing -- and disseminating it to users on platforms old and new, all the
while turning the whole shebang into substantially more revenue than the
station across the street, is what it takes to make successful local TV in the
Culling through nominations from readers and conducting our
own research, B&C has assembled its local TV Best in Class for 2012. These
leaders oversaw investigative reporting units that changed the face of their
communities. They kept their stations focused when the walls were seemingly
caving in all around them. They enlightened voters in vital battleground
markets. They covered crises with aplomb and professionalism. They used their
multiple platforms in novel ways to connect users with crucial content.
It may have been the most tumultuous year in local TV
history, featuring power struggles with the networks and distributors, the
increasingly perplexing social media landscape, the dramatic consolidation of
station groups, and a litany of fatal hurricanes, rampaging wildfires and
heart-breaking mass shootings-all requiring spot-on coverage to inform anxious
And none navigated these dicey waters better than our 2012
GM of the Year, Markets 1-25
Seattle's best is also USA's best -- 2012 was unforgettable for Ray Heacox.
GM of the Year, Markets 26-50
Debbie Turner keeps WTVF ahead in Nashville using strategic "special sauce" and plenty of pizza
GM of the Year, Markets 51+
WHO Des Moines GM Dale Woods uses unrivaled commitment to weather, politics to chip away at longtime market leader
News Director of the Year
Tragedy, wildfires and Olympics Gold put Denver leader KUSA to the test
Multiplatform Broadcaster of the Year
Multiplatform efforts produce new channels, distribution
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