Nexstar Names GM at Former Media General Station, Promotes Replacement

By Kevin Eck 

Nexstar has promoted Coby Cooper to vp and GM of former Media General ABC affiliate WATE in Knoxville, Tennessee. Gary Hackler replaces Cooper as vp and GM of Nexstar’s WCIA-WCIX in the Champaign-Springfield-Decatur market.

“A well-respected leader, he has a deep understanding of our critical functions focused on exclusive local content development for our viewers and digital users, as well as effective multi-platform marketing opportunities for our clients,” Nexstar svp and Regional Manager Mike Vaughn said about Cooper. “With his entrepreneurial approach and deep dedication to the local communities he serves, we are confident in Coby’s ability to lead our Knoxville operations and look forward to his contributions as we continue to enhance the effectiveness and value of WATE-TV and”

Cooper has been vp and GM of CBS affiliate WCIA-WCIX since 2010. He was vp and GM of KGBT in Harlingen, Texas before that and started his career at KAIT in Jonesboro, Arkansas.


Hackler has been the director of Sales for WCIA-WCIX since 2014. He started at the station as an account executive in 2008 and was promoted to local sales manager in 2013.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to continue serving local communities in my home state of Illinois, where I have deep personal, business and community relationships,” said Hackler. “In this new role, I will utilize the management and marketing experience built over my career to further strengthen the leadership position of our Champaign-Springfield-Decatur broadcast and digital operations. As a Champaign-area native, I understand the opportunities and challenges that are facing local residents and businesses.”