Tribune Company today named Phil Waterman as vice president/general manager of WGNO-TV and WNOL-TV, the company’s television duopoly in New Orleans. Waterman currently oversees four stations in nearby Baton Rouge as group vice president for Communication Corporation of America. He will assume his new duties effective Sept. 29.
“Phil is a talented and tested broadcasting executive with tremendous sales and marketing experience,” said Ed Wilson, president of Tribune Broadcasting. “He’s led as many as eleven stations as group vice president, and worked with virtually every major network during the course of his career. Having been just up the road from New Orleans for the past four years, he’s very familiar with the needs of the community’s viewers and advertisers.”
Waterman has overseen WVLA-TV (NBC), WGMB-TV (FOX), WBRL-TV (CW), and independent station KZUP-TV in Baton Rouge as general manager and/or station manager since 2004; he’s been group vice president for CCA since June 2006. His stations also handle promotion and news production for eight television stations across Louisiana. In addition, CCA’s stations in Baton Rouge served as the emergency back-up location for WGNO/WNOL during Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.
“I’ve been through a lot during my time in Baton Rouge,” said Waterman. “Hurricanes Katrina and Rita really tested our station group, and now we’re dealing with the aftermath of Gustav and Ike. As our station group has served as the emergency back-up for WGNO/WNOL, I’ve had the opportunity to become very familiar with their operations.”
WGNO will launch two new weekday newscasts beginning Sept. 29—a two-hour morning news broadcast from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m., and a 30-minute newscast at 11:30 a.m.
“I’m excited to be joining these stations just as news is expanding,” said Waterman. “I know how vitally important local television news is to people here and in New Orleans—it links us together during natural disasters, and it can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.”
Waterman will report to Joseph Young, vice president and general manager of KDAF-TV (Dallas), who has oversight responsibility for Tribune’s television stations in New Orleans.