Johnson Named Hearst TV’s Director of Veteran Recruiting

Kevin Johnson, a 20-year Army veteran, was named director of veteran recruiting at Hearst Television, which is expanding its efforts to hire people who have served the country in the armed forces.

Kevin Johnson

Kevin Johnson (Image credit: Hearst TV)

Johnson, who has been director of graphics operations at Hearst since 2012, succeeds Dave Kaylor, who inaugurated the position in 2015 and is retiring. He will work with Katherine Barnett, Hearst TV’s senior VP of human relations, while continuing his graphics work while operating out of WESH-TV, Orlando.

“Kevin is the ideal executive to build upon the extraordinary foundation Dave and Katherine have developed for this very special and important program,” said Jordan Wertlieb, Hearst Television president. “Kevin has the necessary passion and personal commitment to fulfill the program's mission of finding talented military service men and women for Hearst Television as they transition from serving our country to serving their local communities.”

Prior to being named director of graphics operations, Johnson was in the graphics department at Hearst’s WISN-TV, Milwaukee. He began his TV work while earning an associate’s degree from the Milwaukee Area Technical College.

“Finding good people to hire can be difficult.” Johnson said. “Surrounding yourself with dedicated, passionate people will determine a significant degree of any organization’s success. These are traits the military instills in all of its members. I’m proud to work for an organization that understands the importance of military service and actively works to recruit those individuals into our culture and our company.”

Prior to inaugurating the director of military recruiting position, Kaylor, was both a Emmy nominee and an award-winning military public affairs specialist. He served as a news executive at Hearst’s Sacramento NBC affiliate and later as an engineering executive at the company’s stations in Milwaukee and Boston. Before entering broadcasting, he served the U.S. Navy for five years as a Submarine Atmosphere Control Technician and served an additional 18 years in the Navy Reserve.

"Having built this program from the ground up, I could not be prouder of what we’ve created,” Kaylor said. “Thanks to the instant and unwavering support from corporate management and every single Hearst Television station, I truly believe the veteran hiring program is one of the finest in the country and a model for the industry. I think I've taken it about as far as I can and I’m so excited that Kevin is taking over the ‘reins.’ Having already experienced his fresh perspective and new ideas, there is no doubt in my mind that he will take this initiative to the next level." 

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.