WVUE New Orleans GM Cook To Retire

Joe Cook, president and general manager of WVUE New Orleans, has set his retirement for Dec. 13. He will shift to president of parent Louisiana Media Company and will focus on other interests that were put on hold when he came on board at WVUE, such as songwriting and real estate.

Louisiana Media Company recently inked a shared services agreement with Raycom, which will provide operational services to WVUE, a Fox affiliate. The agreement is expected to start Dec. 16.

WVUE is owned by Tom Benson, who also owns the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans.

Raycom’s Sandy Breland, WAFB-WBXH Baton Rouge VP and general manager, will add WVUE to her regional oversight. It is not known if WVUE will get a new general manager. Breland did not return a call, on short notice, at presstime.

Cook, 64, came out of retirement in 2008 to run WVUE when Benson acquired it from Emmis. He had previously served as its general manager. “It has been a delight,” Cook says. “I walk away very happily and leave this place in good hands.”

Cook has elevated WVUE’s profile in New Orleans through a robust investigative unit, a content partnership with the Times-Picayune and a raft of significant awards, including a national Edward R. Murrow for Overall Excellence last month. 

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.