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Upheaval at WFLA as Cottingham Becomes Interim GM

The three top executives at Media General's Tampa operations -- Florida Communications Group president John Schueler, Tampa Tribune publisher/market VP of news Denise Palmer and VP of marketing Cathy Helean -- are out of the Tampa operation, reports St. Petersburg Times'

Media General's Tampa holdings include WFLA. John Cottingham was named interim GM at WFLA.

Schueler has been transferred to corporate headquarters in Richmond. Palmer and Helean have not been named to new positions.
Broadcast vet Mark Dvornik was named WFLA general manager in Sept. 2010, with oversight of revenue across the Tampa group, and president of Riverbank Studios. He departed after eight months.

The station is an NBC affiliate and a power in DMA No. 14.

A Media General spokesperson confirmed the newspaper report.

A memo was circulated by John Schauss, Media General's VP of market operations, announcing the changes and speaking of "a more empowered workforce and simplified organizational structure." Schauss cited the weak Florida economy, saying Tampa had had "no economic recovery" since the downturn.

Terry Jamerson was named interim publisher of Tampa Tribune and while Cottingham, currently Media General's president and market leader of Mid-South region, which includes 11 TV stations and several newspapers, got the interim title at WFLA.

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.