WNWO’s New Management Team Wants Employees to ‘Walk With a New Swagger’

By Kevin Eck 

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sinclair_304In April, we reported that Sinclair Broadcasting had moved five managers from WPTA in Fort Wayne, IN, to Toledo NBC affiliate WNWO.

John Nizamis, who took over for Chris Topf as GM at WNWO, told the The Toledo Free Press, the newcomers are here to do more than take WNWO out of the ratings cellar.

“It would be far too ambitious to say that we want to knock (Channels) 13 or 11 off the throne,” Nizamis said.  “As long as we’re fighting the good fight, we’re going to be in good shape here.  It goes beyond the ratings.  First of all, it is a business.  If we can increase ratings, we have an opportunity to increase revenue.

I’m trying to establish a new morale.  I want them to walk with a new swagger.  We want to be relevant.  This is a good product in a good market.”

Nizamis said the station is planning to add eight more positions – such as on-air talent, producers and photographers – by the end of May.

Sinclair group manager Dan Hoffman oversaw the switch in personnel, and wanted changes with familiarity.

“I wanted to bring in a team that all knew each other and worked together,” Hoffman said.  “This was a matter of getting a group of people together.  They all have the same hymnal.  They get it.  They know what they have to do.”

Active involvement in the community is a big part of what Hoffman wants them to do.

“We’re going to do well by doing good,” Hoffman said.  “We’re going to get involved in the community, and put a product out that everyone can be proud of.  I want my anchors to be out in the community, to serve on boards.  We want to make a difference in the communities we serve.  How can we help the communities that are viewing us?  Can we be at their schools?  Absolutely we can, and we want to.

It’s going to be required if you come and work for us.  I’m not saying they didn’t do those things (before), but we’re going to do it at a whole new level.  If they don’t move the needle, we’re going to at least give people a really good product.”

Nizamis likes what he hss seen so far even though it has only been two weeks on the job.

“I have absolutely loved it (here),” Nizamis said.  “I moved in downtown, and it’s just, just awesome.  I feel the energy.  People here have been terrific, which is cool.  Toledo should be proud of that, and I love what I’m seeing over on the riverfront.  I’m jacked.  This station can only get better; we’re excited about it.”