Gray Pushes KWCH GM Out

By Kevin Eck 

Joan Barrett, president and gm of KWCH parent company Sunflower Broadcasting, Inc., says she’s been told by Gray TV it wanted “fresh eyes” to lead its newly purchased station, so she’s leaving.

“I respect the decision of the new owners and know you will all continue to super serve our viewers and clients,” said Barrett. “It’s been a privilege and an honor working with all of you.”

Barrett has been at the Wichita CBS affiliate since 2002. She was news director for 18 months before being promoted to gm in 2003.


“Joan had a vision; that KWCH 12 should grow from a single, successful TV station,” said Schurz Communications svp of Broadcasting Marci Burdick. “In ten short years, she built a thriving multi-media company. She did it by developing a team of people who were willing to work hard, take risks, learn new skills, move away from the bad ideas and celebrate successful ones as a team. She has had an immensely positive impact on SBI, her employees and the greater Wichita community. All of us at Schurz consider it a privilege to have worked with her.”

Schurz established Sunflower Broadcasting when it bought KWCH and its satellite stations in 2006. Gray announced it was buying Schurz in September.