With Sinclair Deal A No-Go, A St. Louis Veteran Retires


A television career spanning 48 years — including nearly a quarter-century in St. Louis — is drawing to a close. It’s the end of an era, as Tribune Media’s duopoly is saying goodbye to its “silver-haired, sharp-witted” GM.

Spencer Koch, who heads FOX affiliate KTVI-2 and The CW Network-affiliated KPLR-11 in St. Louis, will depart Oct. 1.

He’s been with the operation since 1995, and made the announcement Monday evening.

“From the time I was a kid, I was fascinated with the television,” Koch said. “I think watching the JFK funeral and Lee Harvey Oswald, it had such an impact on me that I wanted to be in this business.”

An avid golfer and accomplished musician, Koch said he’ll spend more time with his wife Laura on the road across America.

Koch has weathered five different ownership changes, a report on KTVI’s website notes.

With his retirement, he will not stick around for a sixth owner. Who that is remains unknown: Sinclair was to sell KPLR-11 to Meredith Corp. but the Justice Department thwarted the transaction, suggesting a different owner with no duopoly concerns step in to grab it. For KTVI, no Sinclair ownership is in the cards, now that its merger with Tribune has imploded.

Tribune Media President of Local Broadcasting Operations Larry Wert said in an internal email that his departure is “a big loss for Tribune and the stations … Under his leadership, Spencer has built a top-notch team, with a focus on content and community.”