She will be President and General Manager of WIAT-TV, LIN’s local CBS affiliate, in Birmingham, AL. Swenson joins the station with over 30 years of television experience. Most recently, she served as Senior Vice President of Live Programming for The Weather Channel, where she created and implemented programming strategies to grow ratings and generate revenue. Prior to The Weather Channel, Swenson was Senior Multimedia Consultant for Frank N. Magid Associates. During her tenure, she consulted with many stations across the United States and Canada on how to improve ratings, reach revenue goals and enhance their products, programming, websites, mobile distribution and marketing for every screen.
Swenson is also an accomplished news leader. She worked in news management positions at local television stations in Seattle, WA, Pittsburgh, PA, Miami, FL and West Palm Beach, FL. While she was News Director at KIRO-TV in Seattle, the station received the National Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence and Best Newscast, as well as Emmy awards for best newscast four years in a row.
In announcing the appointment, Scott Blumenthal, LIN Media’s Executive Vice President Television, said, “Helen is a highly strategic and skilled broadcast executive with a proven track record of achieving growth by developing innovative and superior products that better meet the needs of our viewers and advertisers. We are pleased that she is stepping into the leadership role at WIAT-TV.”