Franklin Out at WPMI/WJTC

Bob Franklin is no longer running Newport Television’s WPMI/WJTC duopoly in Mobile, Ala. Franklin was named general manager nearly two years ago.

His departure was first reported in Mobile’s Press-Register, which said Franklin dismissed WPMI’s popular anchor trio last year.

WPMI, obtained by Newport in the blockbuster Clear Channel Communications deal, has been struggling to climb out of the cellar in the news race. The NBC affiliate overhauled its news product after the acquisition, with new graphics and set, higher story counts and a new anchor team.

In May, Franklin told B&C the changes would help WPMI run with the big boys. “Before, we were driving a sedan,” he said, “and now we’re driving a Porsche.”

WJTC is an independent.

A Newport spokesman said a new GM would be named soon.

Michael Malone

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.