Tribune says it will


Tribune Broadcasting declared that it is “taking the lead in the reinvention of local television,” announcing that it will “blow-up” the traditional TV playbook. The first phase includes restructuring the creative service functions at its television stations and appointing two regional vice presidents for innovation and imagination.

John Zeigler, formerly director/creative services for WPIX-TV in New York, will lead the eastern region; Carrie King, previously director/creative services for WGN America, will lead the central region. The regional vice president position for the western division remains open and a search is ongoing. It will be filled soon by someone who “gets it as much as Zeigler and King do,” the company said.

“Incremental change at our television stations won’t get it done,” said Lee Abrams, Tribune’s chief innovation officer. “We have to be radically and noticeably different — we have to imagine TV and TV news in a totally new way, one that breaks through and reinvents the decades old, tired TV playbook,” he declared.

What will change? Zeigler and King will establish and implement dramatically new creative standards and promotional emphasis for the television stations within their respective regions. They’re charged with driving a look, feel and sound reflecting the highest levels of creative reinvention both on the air and on the street, inspiring and motivating stations to take risks and execute in 21st Century terms, the company said in announcing that “The TV revolution is underway at the new Tribune.”

“This opportunity was meant for John and Carrie and they earned it. They have demonstrated a clear and passionate understanding of our new and very different vision and have consistently executed and delivered on it. They are essential to developing a new style of television and leading our stations into the future,” said Jerry Kersting, president of Tribune Broadcasting.

The eastern division includes Hartford, Harrisburg, New York, Philadelphia, South Florida and Washington, DC. The central division is made up of Chicago, Dallas, Grand Rapids, Indianapolis, Houston and New Orleans, and also includes WGN America.