WANE GM Announces Retirement

By Kevin Eck 

WANE gm and vp Alan Riebe is set to retire at the end of the year.

He was named gm of the Fort Wayne, Ind., CBS affiliate in 2003 after working as general sales manager.

“I’m leaving at a time when the business is in a state of historical change,” Riebe told the Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly.”There are a lot of exciting things related to that, but it will be a challenge to make sure that you’re on your best game to manage all those situations. Companies will have to be very visionary down the road or they’re just going to get run over.”

Riebe’s career started nearly 44 years ago after he graduated from Ball State University in 1972 and took an on-air job at a radio station in Winchester, followed by positions at stations in northern Indiana and in Piqua, Ohio.

He moved into TV when he took a sales job at WFFT-TV in 1981, the same day President Ronald Reagan was shot. After almost 10 years there, and briefly at Asher Agency, he joined WANE in 1992. He worked his way up to general manager in 2003.

As WANE grew into the local market’s top-rated station, one of Riebe’s biggest challenges was guiding the business through the conversion to digital television. The conversion required engineering and construction overhauls to upgrade the over-the-air signal and equipment and to update processes. Despite the headaches, the conversion took place with few problems, he said.

“That was probably the greatest reflection of how good people are here,” he said. “That’s what I’ll miss. I’ve been blessed with so many good people here. It’s made my job so much easier because they get it the first time, they’re proactive, they’ve got some vision.”

WANE is owned by Media General which recently announced plans to acquire Meredith, pending FCC approval.