Exclusive: New GMs For Former ABC O&Os in Flint, Toledo
SJL Broadcasting, which officially takes over WJRT Flint and WTVG Toledo tomorrow, is replacing the stations' longtime general managers, Tom Bryson and David Zamichow. Both executives have opted to leave on their own, says SJL President George Lilly, and both replacements come from within the extended Lilly family.
"Both of them are class people," says Lilly. "We would've kept both in a heartbeat."
WJRT's new GM is Peter Veto, who will also be director of sales at WJRT and WTVG. He comes from Lilly Broadcasting's WENY-EENY-GENY, an ABC-CBS-CW trio in Elmira, New York.
WTVG's new GM is John Christianson, who also comes from Lilly Broadcasting. He's been general manager at WSEE, WBEP and One Caribbean Television in Erie, Pennsylvania since 2007.
Lilly Broadcasting is operated by George's sons, Brian and Kevin.
"The new guys are very experienced," says George Lilly, "and very good at what they do."
ABC agreed to sell its two smallest owned stations to SJL in November. Years ago, ABC had acquired them from Lilly and SJL. Zamichow and Bryson had been GMs during SJL's previous ownership of the stations, and Lilly has referred to them as "personal friends."
Lilly says he remains in acquisition mode, especially after he's better situated in Flint and Toledo in a month or so.
Broadcasting & Cable Newsletter
The smarter way to stay on top of broadcasting and cable industry. Sign up below.
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.