Four of the appointments replace the general managers who were promoted earlier this week in Gray’s restructuring of corporate leadership. “We are happy to fill those vacancies from within Gray’s large talent pool. Each new General Manager brings a unique skill set to match their specific markets,” Gray Television president and CEO Hilton Howell said in a statement.
Don Vesely takes over as vice president and general manager at WMTV, the NBC affiliate in Madison. He has worked at the station since 2001, most recently as general sales manager.
At WCTV, the CBS affiliate in Tallahassee, Heather Peeples is promoted to VP-GM after six years as the station’s general manager. She joined the station in 1999 and has also held account executive and local sales manager positions.
Vic Richards was named president and general manager of WOWT, the NBC affiliate in Omaha. He was promoted from director of creative and station operations, a position he has held since 2012. He joined the station in 1999 and has held various positions in promotion, operations and management.
Susan Ramsett-Kretz is promoted to VP-GM of CBS affiliate KOLN-KGIN and MyNetworkTV affiliate KSNB in Lincoln, as well as KNPL in North Platte, Neb. Ramsett-Kretz was most recently the station manager in Lincoln. From 2001 to 2011, she was the evening anchor and news director at WSAW, Gray’s CBS affiliate in Wausau, Wis.
Gray also announced the retirement of regional vice president Don Ray, the general manager of Charleston NBC affiliate WSAZ. Ray, who has worked in the broadcast industry for more than 40 years.
“We will miss Don’s first-rate leadership of one of our dominant flagship stations, as well as his stewardship of his entire region. Don is a true broadcaster in the finest sense, committed to serving each community he touched,” Howell said.
Ray will be replaced at WSAZ by Matt Jaquint, who was let go at Salt Lake City’s KTVX-KUCW after it was purchased by Nexstar Broadcasting last year. It is a return to the station for Jaquint, who served as general sales manager there from 2002 to 2005.
More from Gray in the press release below:
ATLANTA, July 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – Gray Television, Inc. (“Gray,” “we,” “us” or “our”) (NYSE: GTN and GTN.A) today announced several management changes at its television stations.
Gray announced the long-planned retirement of industry leader Don Ray after more than 40 years in the broadcast industry. Don has served as a Regional Vice President since 2005 and as the General Manager of WSAZ-TV in Charleston/Huntington, West Virginia, since 1989. Under several different ownerships, including Lee Enterprises and Emmis Communications, Don worked his way up through the sales ranks at WSAZ-TV, starting as an Account Executive in 1973. He has held both National Sales Manager and General Sales Manager positions there. During his tenure, Don was named Director of Sales for Lee in 1999 and served as interim General Manager of WFTX in Fort Myers in 2005 for Emmis.
Gray Television President and CEO Hilton Howell said, “We will miss Don’s first-rate leadership of one of our dominant flagship stations, as well as his stewardship of his entire region. Don is a true broadcaster in the finest sense, committed to serving each community he touched.”
On August 1, Matt Jaquint will fill the General Manager position at WSAZ-TV. Don and Matt have been working closely on a smooth transition of leadership at the station since the spring, and Mr. Ray has agreed to remain with Gray Television for an additional period to complete that transition effort.
Matt Jaquint was most recently the General Manager at Newport Television’s KTVX and KUCW in Salt Lake City, Utah, but he is familiar with both WSAZ and Gray Television. Matt led sales as General Sales Manager for WSAZ from 2002 to 2005, and he was General Manager of Gray’s WNDU in South Bend, Indiana, from 2006 until 2008. He has also worked in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and El Paso, Texas markets.
In addition, Gray announced new leadership at those television stations whose managers were promoted earlier this week to corporate positions. In each case, Gray promoted existing managers with deep experience at those stations and in their communities. Mr. Howell explained, “With the appointment of four General Managers to Corporate positions earlier this week, we are happy to fill those vacancies from within Gray’s large talent pool. Each new General Manager brings a unique skill set to match their specific markets.”
Effective immediately, Gray has appointed the following new Vice Presidents and General Managers:
- Don Vesely is now Vice President and General Manager of NBC affiliate WMTV in Madison, Wisconsin. Don has been WMTV’s General Sales Manager since 2008. He began his career in television sales in Rockford, Illinois in 1993, working for both the FOX and NBC stations in the market. He moved to WMTV in Madison as an Account Executive in 2001, and he became Local Sales Manager the following year.
- Heather Peeples is now Vice President and General Manager of CBS affiliate WCTV in Tallahassee, Florida. Heather has been the station’s General Sales Manager since 2007. She started in the broadcast industry in 1989 at WTLH in Tallahassee. Heather spent six years as Account Executive with the Quad Cities Radio Group in Davenport, Iowa, followed in 1997 by various sales and promotional positions at WFLI-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Heather returned to Tallahassee in 1999 first as an Account Executive, then Local Sales Manager, and finally General Sales Manager.
- Vic Richards is now Vice President and General Manager of NBC affiliate WOWT in Omaha, Nebraska. Vic has been WOWT’s Director of Creative and Station Operations since 2012. He began his career at KOLN/KGIN in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1996 first in Production and then Creative Services. He moved to WOWT in 1999, where he has held various positions in promotion and operations and management.
- Susan Ramsett-Kretz is now Vice President and General Manager of CBS affiliate KOLN/KGIN and MY affiliate KSNB, all in the Lincoln, Nebraska television market, and KNPL in North Platte, Nebraska. Sue most recently served as Station Manager at the Lincoln operation. She began her broadcast career in radio news and sales in 1986. Sue worked in various news positions in the La Crosse- Eau Claire market at both WXOW and WKBT, and as Promotions Manager at WLAX/WEUX beginning in 1995. She was an Evening Anchor and News Director at Gray’s WSAW-TV in Wausau, Wisconsin, between 2001 and 2011, when she moved to Lincoln to become News Director for KOLN/KGIN.
Mr. Howell said, “With the changes announced earlier this week and today, Gray Television is poised to lead the broadcast industry, by exploring new opportunities and building on our past success.”