Lisa Sirotka-Sonnenklar let go at McGavren Guild

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McGavren Guild MediaThe McGavren Guild CEO was let go 10/21 due to “performance and personnel turnover,” according to an RBR-TVBR source. The company had lost 70% of its managers in the last year and we’ve heard the Seattle Manager Rob Neville left just last week or so. Taking over: Kevin Garrity.


Genesis Media Holdings, which owns Local Focus and McGavren Guild, is asking its Manager Kevin Garrity in to fill Lisa’s role. She held the role at MGG for five years. Genesis CFO Billy McEntee is preparing a quote for RBR-TVBR on the reorganization. We could not reach Sirotka-Sonnenklar, but left a message on her cell.

“This move was necessary in order to better serve clients, drive innovations and new initiatives while focusing on improving client revenues,” said McGavren Chair Shaun Newman. “The change forms part of Genesis Media Holdings’ growth plan. Kevin has a long track record in generating revenues for client stations and we believe he is the ideal person to lead McGavren Guild to its next level of growth. His familiarity with the firm and vast network of contacts will make this a seamless transition and enable McGavren Guild to continue to grow without skipping a beat.”

From a story we published in June:

“Last November, we reported that McGavren Guild Media let Brian Thomas (RVP) go and COO Barry Fischer resigned. A few more have left over the last six weeks, but in that group, some are retiring and others are leaving the industry and even moving to another country. McGavren Guild CEO Lisa Sirotka-Sonnenklar tells us they going to be replacing those folks, and some have already been replaced. “Business in general is tough. And now my job has to be to upgrade and replace. We’re not downsizing anywhere. It’s five years running for us and there are some good opportunities to find new talent and approach a changing business.”

Recent McGavren Guild departures include:

–Mike Nadeau, RVP/Boston Manager (went to a marketing position out of the industry)

–Julie Heidt, Detroit Manager (was part of a two-person job share)

–Kathleen O’Connor, Philadelphia Manager (retiring, but will remain a consultant through end of 2014)

–Tracy Queen, Atlanta Manager (already replaced)

–Susan Bessire, Manager and John Fraser, VP/Sales, Dallas (retiring, will be replaced).”


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Carl has been with RBR-TVBR since 1997 and is currently Managing Director/Senior Editor. Residing in Northern Virginia, he covers the business of broadcasting, advertising, programming, new media and engineering. He’s also done a great deal of interviews for the company and handles our ever-growing stable of bylined columnists.