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Grebow's towering ambition

New York TV stations hope that Sony Electronics Deputy President Ed Grebow is a match for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Last week, the stations' Metropolitan Television Alliance hired the former CBS executive to lead the hunt for a new broadcast tower to replace the one lost in the 9/11 attacks.

Grebow succeeds Doug Land, who left in May after efforts to find a tower site ran into stiff opposition from Bloomberg.

At Sony, Grebow's duties included heading Sony Broadcast and Professional Co., the leading supplier of TV production gear. Pat Whittingham, president of Sony Business Systems and Solutions Co., which Grebow also headed, will assume Grebow's sales and marketing duties; Fujio Nishida, president and COO, Sony Electronics, will handle his corporate responsibilities.

Grebow, 52, served in top management slots at CBS between 1988 and 1995. From 1995 to 1997, he was president of Tele-TV Systems, one of the telephone companies' ill-fated runs at the TV business. Since then, he has managed TV-hardware companies, first Chyron and then, beginning in 1999, Sony.

Throughout, he has kept a hand in city politics. He handled negotiations between CBS and New York concerning the renovation of the Ed Sullivan Theater for use by David Letterman and for tax concessions that kept CBS in the city.

Grebow says he is eager for the tower challenge, adding, "It's important to broadcasting, and it's important to the city."

The stations are now broadcasting from the Empire State Building. Because the Empire tower is too small to accommodate all the broadcasters' analog and planned digital signals, the stations are seeking to build a new tower on Governors Island.