Tribune Broadcasting today announced that KSWB-TV in San Diego will join the Fox television network effective Aug. 1. The company also announced that veteran broadcasting executive Ray Schonbak has been named the station’s vice president and general manager.
“This is a huge development for our television group and makes it clear that the new Tribune is aggressive and willing to move quickly to upgrade our position in a market, especially when we can improve our financial results almost immediately,” said Ed Wilson, Tribune Broadcasting’s president. “We’re not sitting around waiting for the advertising environment to improve, hoping things will get better on their own — we’re taking action.”
KSWB will immediately begin ramping up to air four hours of locally produced news daily, including a three-hour morning show.
Schonbak has more than 30 years of television experience and was most recently president of Emmis Television, overseeing the operation of 16 stations across the country in such markets as New Orleans, Orlando and Portland. Previously, he was instrumental in building the Fox-owned station group.
“This is like being handed the keys to a cool new car and told to go break the speed limit,” said Schonbak. “The #1 television network, the chance to build a news department from the ground up, and on top of all that I get to live in a city that’s totally awesome — 80 degrees, sunny all the time and right by the ocean. I’ll just wear a Speedo under my clothes and be ready to hit the beach at a moment’s notice.”
“Fox is a proven winner, and Ray is the right guy to be the new GM,” said Wilson. “He’s talented, innovative and has tremendous experience building Fox television stations. But he’s going to be working constantly, so he can forget the Speedo.”