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Joel Vilmenay Named KCBS-KCAL General Manager

Joel Vilmenay

Joel Vilmenay (Image credit: KCBS-KCAL)

Joel Vilmenay has been named president and general manager of KCBS-KCAL Los Angeles. He has spent the past 18 years with Hearst Television. Vilmenary will report to Jennifer Mitchell, president, CBS Stations, and begins Oct. 18. 

Vilmenay has been president and general manager of WDSU New Orleans since 2007.

“We are pleased that our Los Angeles team is getting a solid leader like Joel, who is an innovator as well as a thoughtful provider of inspiration and calm,” said Wendy McMahon, president and co-head, CBS News and Stations. “As a broadcaster and proud Louisiana native, I admire Joel for the incredible poise and professionalism he has displayed the last 14 years in one of the busiest breaking news markets in the country. Beginning with his first days on the job in New Orleans, 18 months after Hurricane Katrina, and continuing most recently with Hurricane Ida, he has helped his colleagues and local community rise above the storm on countless occasions.”

Jay Howell was president/general manager of KCBS-KCAL until he departed in July amidst an investigation into leadership misconduct.

“I join Wendy and others in our industry who know Joel in being thoroughly impressed with his character, creativity and achievements,” Mitchell said. “In addition to being a leader who is well-liked and admired, Joel also stands out for all the work he has done to reimagine the business of local broadcasting and build out new content distribution platforms and opportunities for future success. We can’t wait to welcome him and his family to Los Angeles and introduce him to the talented and experienced team at CBS 2 and KCAL 9.”

A native of Washington, D.C., Vilmenay began his professional career 31 years ago as an account executive at WWWZ Charleston. He was next with WUSA Washington, then was general sales manager at WZZM Grand Rapids. His first GM job was at KETV Omaha. 

Vilmenay was named GM of the Year by Broadcasting + Cable in 2020.  

“I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to join the ViacomCBS team and move to Southern California,” Vilmenay said. “My wife, daughter, son and I are excited to relocate and reconnect with our family and dear friends who live there, and I’m looking forward to working with Wendy, Jennifer and the entire CBS Los Angeles team. I’m especially pleased to come on board just as CBS News and Stations is taking shape as a newly combined entity. I consider this a once-in-a-lifetime chance to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the best in the business in front of a blank canvas and help create a brighter future for my colleagues, as well as our community and business partners.”