ViacomCBS has completed its leadership transition from Peter Dunn, who led the CBS O&Os until losing his job amid claims gender and racial misconduct, and news division leader David Friend, who was also tied to similar allegations.
As of August 2, there will be a new President of CBS Stations. She will report to President and Co-Head of CBS News and Stations Wendy McMahon.
Who is it? Look no further than the FOX affiliate serving Portland, Ore., and its sibling, which are being sold to Gray Television by Meredith Local Media.
That hasn’t stopped Meredith from naming Roark’s replacement, even as a change in ownership looms.
Taking the “newly defined role” of CBS Stations President is Adrienne Roark.
It’s a homecoming to CBS for Roark, who joined top FOX affiliate KPTV-12 and MyNetwork TV sibling KPDX-49 in June 2016. Under Roark, KPTV and KPDX, branded as “FOX 12” and “FOX 12+,” respectively, have become dominant forces in a market where Nexstar Media Group-owned CBS affiliate KOIN-6, TEGNA-owned NBC affiliate KGW-8 and Sinclair Broadcast Group‘s ABC affiliated KATU-2 are active competitors.
Roark knows that all to well: She joined KPTV and KPDX from KOIN, where she served as President/GM from 2014.
But, before that, Roark was a CBS Corporation leader in Dallas, as VP/News Director of KTVT-11 and KTXA-TV. Before that, from June 2007-March 2010, she led the news department of O&O WFOR-4 in Miami-Fort Lauderdale, rising from Asst. News Director.
The Miami roles came following stints as Asst. ND of Hearst Television’s NBC affiliate in Orlando and Daytona Beach, WESH-2; as an executive producer for afternoon and evening newscasts at WTVJ-6 in Miami from December 2001-March 2005; and as a producer in two separate stints at WCMH-4 in Columbus, Ohio.
She is a 1993 graduate of The Ohio State University.
To take the CBS Stations President position, Roark will depart Oregon and head to New York, where she will have day-to-day responsibility for working directly with the local general managers and their teams at the CBS Television Network stations in major markets across the country.
But, ViacomCBS has revealed that Roark’s focus will be “primarily in the eastern half of the country.”
This means CBS will name additional Stations Presidents in the near future, with each taking regional responsibilities.
The selection of Roark follows the April 16 naming of McMahon to her current post, following a successful tenure at ABC and, before that, its WABC-7 in New York. At that time, fellow President and Co-Head of CBS News and Stations Neeraj Khemlani was appointed to that role.
Roark will also be tasked with guiding the development of new workstreams between the CBS Stations and CBS News organizations, partnering with her colleagues to elevate local news products and experiences and creating new multi-platform audience and revenue growth opportunities across CBS local broadcast and streaming channels, the company notes. She will also play a leading role in supporting CBS Stations’ community service initiatives and promoting a positive workplace culture.
“As we reimagine our opportunities for success as a united CBS News and Stations team, we are excited to welcome Adrienne back to CBS in this key leadership role,” McMahon said. “Adrienne possesses an outstanding reputation for driving innovation and fostering collaboration to the mutual benefit of the communities where she has served, her business partners and, most importantly, her colleagues. We look forward to having her rejoin the CBS Stations family and provide thoughtful and creative leadership to our organization.”
Roark commented, “My previous experience with the CBS Stations in Miami and Dallas-Fort Worth represent memorable and very formative chapters in my career history. The opportunity to return and work with Wendy and Neeraj is an enormous privilege. I am excited to be a part of a team that brings the best in journalism, storytelling and digital innovation to audiences all over the country. People need us now more than ever to be a trusted provider of news and information and to reflect their communities. I am honored to once again be a member of the CBS family.”
HANSON COMES HOME
Meredith Local Media wasted no time in filling Roark’s shoes at KPTV & KPDX.
Earning a “promotion” to the stations’ VP/GM position is Corey Hanson.
She’ll seamlessly succeed Roark on August 2, and will relocate to Beaverton, Ore., where the stations’ offices and studios are located, from the Gulf Coast.
Hanson currently serves as VP/GM of WALA-10, Meredith’s FOX affiliate in the Mobile-Pensacola DMA.
But, before that, Hanson served as Station Manager for FOX12 and FOX12+.
“Corey’s leadership has been invaluable to Meredith since she first joined KPTV/KPDX in 2004 and through her time at WALA,” said Meredith Local Media Group President Patrick McCreery, whose future at Meredith remains publicly unknown. “She has a proven record of ratings success and a passion for innovative non-traditional projects that generate revenue, community involvement, and team building. Corey led the WALA team through COVID-19, one of the most challenging periods in our industry’s and country’s history. I am confident that her experience and results-driven leadership will make a lasting impact on the KPTV/KPDX team and the community.”
Hanson joined Meredith in 2004 as an Executive Producer at KPTV/KPDX before being promoted to Creative Services Director, Executive News Director and Station Manager. She helped to plant the seeds that came for FOX12 and FOX12+.
And, like Roark, she came to KPTV/KPDX after a stint at KOIN-6, where Hanson was a News Producer. However, Hanson exited KOIN-6 for a role at KGW-8 before landing at FOX12 and FOX12+.
Hanson said, “I am so grateful to the team at WALA FOX 10 for their perseverance, hard work, and genuine care for their community and one another during the past year. I am very proud of this team and its many accomplishments. I am equally grateful to return to Portland and continue to build on the FOX12 team’s success. I couldn’t be more thrilled to get started.”