Tribune Company today announced the retirement of John A. Riggle as general manager of WPMT-TV in Harrisburg, Pa., effective September 1. Larry Delia, currently vice president and general manager of Tribune’s two station cluster in New Orleans, WGNO-TV and WNOL-TV, has been appointed as his successor.
“After twenty years with WPMT, I’m thrilled to be leaving on such a high note,” said Riggle. “Our May ratings book was the best ever — we were first in primetime and our late news was first in all key demos. We’re expanding our morning news aggressively, gaining market share, making progress online and I figure, at this point, I can only screw it up.”
Delia was named vice president and general manager of WGNO/WNOL in 2002 and led the stations’ extensive rebuilding effort at the television stations following Hurricane Katrina.
“John’s helped WPMT-TV to unprecedented heights, and Larry’s experience in New Orleans makes him the perfect person to keep the momentum going,” said Ray Schonbak, Tribune Broadcasting executive vice president who oversees the company’s Fox affiliates. “Larry’s very familiar with expanding news programming — he’s an innovator, capable of blending the station’s broadcasting and online resources to continue growing our audience share in central Pennsylvania.”
Delia was general manager of WVNY-TV, Burlington, Vt., from 1998 to 2002. Prior to that, he spent 10 years at WTIC-TV (FOX61), Hartford, Conn., which was acquired by Tribune in 1997.
“I’ll miss the talented people at WGNO/WNOL, but this is a great opportunity and I am looking forward to it,” said Delia. “OK, occasionally New Orleans hosts a Super Bowl, and the food, music and nightlife are great, but let’s face it, the heat and humidity down here are unbelievable — it’s got to be better up north.”
John Cruse, currently the general sales manager for WGNO/WNOL, has been named interim general manager of the stations.