Rocky Daboval to Retire from WBRZ in Baton Rouge; Station Names Successor

By Kevin Eck 

Longtime WBRZ general manager Rocky Daboval (pictured left) has announced his retirement from the Baton Rouge ABC affiliate, after nearly 50 years at the station.

The New Orleans native joined WBRZ in 1979 as an account executive. He worked as gm for 18 years.

“I wish I was 20 years younger. This may be the best time to be in local TV,” said Daboval. “I cannot imagine a better television station. Frankly, there is not one. There is not a station that cares as much about our community and what we are doing than the Manship family.”


One of the last remaining locally-owned television stations in the country, WBRZ is owned by the Manship family of Baton Rouge, who built the station in 1955.

Daboval comes from a local TV family. His dad James Daboval retired from the New Orleans CBS affiliate WWL as sales manager—and Daboval’s son also works at WBRZ.

“Change is an exciting opportunity for all of us. Rocky has led us through important moments—both at WBRZ and in our community,” said Richard Manship, president and ceo of WBRZ and Manship Media. “We’ve been lucky to have Rocky guide our industry—and he’s lucky to be able to now spend more time with his family.”

The station picked Trey Schmaltz (right) to replace Daboval as gm. Schmaltz is a Louisiana native and a 12-year station veteran, who has spent the last year-and-a-half as WBRZ’s director of news.

Schmaltz started working in local TV when he was 15 years old. He’s also worked at the marketing agency the Gagliano Group and as a producer at stations in Lafayette and Monroe. He started at WBRZ in 2010 as a producer and worked his way up to ep, then assistant news director and news director in 2021.

“I love local television and I’m elated that I’ve been able to grow my career at WBRZ. I appreciate the Manship family for having faith in me—and giving me the ability to lead the next generation of broadcasting in Baton Rouge,” Schmaltz said.

Schmaltz will report to Jake Manship, the coo of Manship Media.

“For nearly seven decades, we have made it a priority to be a voice for the Greater Baton Rouge area,” said Jake Manship. We are committed to being that voice for decades to come. With renewed energy, WBRZ is pushing forward like never before.”