After a tenure in Music City plagued with steep ratings declines for its local newscasts, Dale Woods is packing up and going north — to Louisville.
Starting Oct. 1, he’ll serve as President/GM of the FOX, MyNetwork TV and CW affiliates serving the Kentucky city: Block Communications’ WDRB-TV, WBKI-TV and WBKI-DT3, the MyNetworkTV home.
Woods was previously VP/GM of Meredith Corp.-owned WSMV-4 in Nashville, a role he had since August 2017.
It ends a somewhat rocky tenure at WSMV, which saw long-time anchor Demetria Kalodimos exit the station at the end of 2017 after management reportedly left a letter on her desk informing Kalodimos her contract wouldn’t be renewed.
Then, there was an age-discrimination suit filed against WSMV by personalities Nancy Van Camp, Jennifer Johnson and Dennis Ferrier. Additionally, Rudy Kalis and Paul Heggen departed WSMV.
Furthermore, the station’s mascot, a penguin named “Snowbird” emblematic of WSMV for more than two decades, was laid off.
Meredith later said in court documents presented in response to the age-discrimination suit that Ferrier was fired because he “admittedly fabricated key details in a local news story he reported.”
Amid all of the clamor, WSMV lost between 10% and 20% of its news viewers in the 12 months ending May 23, 2018, Gannett-owned daily The Tennessean reported.
Woods came to Nashville after spending a decade at Tribune Broadcasting, first as a Regional Group Manager for WHO in Des Moines; WQAD in the Quad Cities; KFOR in Oklahoma City; and KFSM in Fort Smith, Ark.
Woods began his career in 1986 at WRGT-45 in Dayton, as a Sales AE of the Miami Valley’s FOX affiliate.
Now Woods is getting a fresh start, free from the drama that clouded a tenure at WSMV that included 13 Emmys.
“Dale has an impressive background and is a visionary in our industry” said Block Communications Chairman Allan Block. “His commitment to local news, weather and the community will be a tremendous asset for WDRB.”
In Louisville, he succeeds Bill Lamb, now leading KTTV-11 in L.A.