AWRT Luncheon Features TV General Managers

FOX50WRAL-TV AWRT Luncheon Features TV General Managers

Tommy Schenck
FOX50 VP & GM Tommy Schenck
Jim Hefner
WRAL-TV VP & GM Jim Hefner

WRAL-TV VP & General Manager Jim Hefner and FOX50 VP & General Manager Tommy Schenck represented CBC at the annual Triangle Chapter of American Women in Radio & Television (AWRT) panel of television GMs. The luncheon took place at the Brier Creek Country Club in North Raleigh at 11:30am on Wednesday, February 25, 2004.

The panel addressed topics from reality television to political coverage, FCC and regulatory issues, the economy and cable, and more.

One hot topic on the panel addressed the three strikes and you’re off the air penalty for broadcasters currently being discussed in Congress.

“Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction [at the Super Bowl] was a watershed event,” said Schenck. “But it’s the culmination of something that’s been building for a long time. It’s a problem also that affiliates don’t have control over what we get from the network. It’s tough because we don’t get to see programs in advance but must determine what’s right for our local audience.”

AWRT TV GM panel
FOX50 VP & GM Tommy Schenck (right) discussed TV issues with fellow panelists (l to r) Rob Elmore of WTVD, Mike Ward of WNCN & Delores James of UNC-TV.

“This is an ownership issue,” added Hefner. “It’s been coming like a freight train. It matters who owns what. Who owns MTV? The same people who own CBS. The CBS I grew up with would’ve never had MTV do a program. Somebody should be fired.”

“Now we get the politicians involved,” he continued. “Oh that’s gonna help.”

Mike Ward, General Manager of WNCN agreed, “This thing is a bloody mess, that the FCC has created and now that Congress is involved, it’s worse. What could happen will be harmful to us all.”

When asked about how he would build a station that was everything to all people, Schenck replied, “At the end of the day we have to decide who our target is. As the book Focus says, ‘When you lose focus, you lose market share’.”

News 14 General Manager Alan Mason added, “This is a time of dynamic change with DVR and TiVo. You can watch what you want when you want, and don’t have to see commercials or promos.” He said that these new developments would change the face of television.

Also joining Hefner & Schenck on the panel along with Ward & Mason were Univision GM Maria Montãno, UNC-TV Assistant GM Dolores James and WTVD News Director Rob Elmore. Ron McKay, radio personality for 100.7 Oldies moderated.

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