Lansing succeeds Robinson at WEWS Cleveland

Fri, September 05, 1997 by Sue Porter

LANSING SUCCEEDS ROBINSON AT WEWS, CLEVELAND CINCINNATI, Ohio -- John Lansing, vice president and station manager at WXYZ-TV in Detroit since August 1995, has been promoted to vice president and general manager of sister television station WEWS in Cleveland. The appointment, announced today by James M. Hart, senior vice president of The E.W. Scripps Company's television group, is effective Sept. 15. Lansing, 40, succeeds Gary Robinson, who is retiring after five years with Scripps at WEWS and 36 years in the television industry. "We're fortunate to have within Scripps someone of John Lansing's strong broadcast background to assume the helm at WEWS," Hart said. "He has the experience and proven record to build on the leadership position WEWS has traditionally enjoyed in the market." Lansing began his broadcast career at age 17 as a news photographer at WPSD-TV in Paducah, Ky. Five years later, in 1980, he moved to Louisville, Ky., to become the chief news photographer — and eventually managing editor — at WAVE-TV. In 1986, Lansing was named news director at WWMT-TV in Grand Rapids, Mich., and in 1988 returned to his hometown of Minneapolis to become assistant news director at KARE-TV. Two years later he was named news director at WCCO-TV, the top-rated station in Minneapolis. He was news director at WBBM-TV in Chicago the year prior to his Scripps' appointment at WXYZ. Lansing is a 1995 recipient of the Alfred I duPont-Columbia University Award for news investigation, and was named Gannett Television News Executive of the Year in 1989. Among his other honors are two regional Radio Television & News Directors Association (RTNDA) awards for in-depth reporting and spot news coverage, a National Headliner Award, two national Emmy nominations, two national commendations from American Women in Radio & Television (AWRT) and numerous photography awards, including the National Press Photographers Association's (NPPA) 1984 Regional Photographer of the Year award for Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. Lansing studied marketing and business administration at Bellamine College in Louisville, Ky., the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky. He also attended and now serves as a visiting faculty member at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg, Fla. He and his wife, Jean, have twin sons, Jackson and Alexander, 2. Of Robinson, Hart said, "Gary has an uncommon commitment to community service and a keen sense for news and local programming. WEWS is a strong station today thanks to his dedication." Robinson, 56, is a trustee of the Scripps Howard Foundation, past president of the Ohio Association of Broadcasters and has served as vice chairman of the NBC Television Affiliates Association. Under his leadership, WEWS has dominated the ratings in the nation's 13th largest market. In addition, the staff won national and regional awards, including a 1996 Edward R. Murrow Award and the 1994 Iris Award for best of show. While in Cleveland, Robinson served as president of the Easter Seals Society of Northeast Ohio and on the boards of the American Red Cross, the Urban League, Cleveland Growth Association and as an advisor to the local Junior League. Robinson began his broadcast career as a student assistant at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, where he worked as a news anchor and producer at the university's television station, KOMU. He went on to hold newsroom and management positions at television stations in St. Louis; Cleveland; High Point, N.C.; and Providence, R.I. Five films Robinson produced in the early '70s have been selected for the Library of Congress Archives. In addition, Robinson has been honored by the International Film Producers of America, the American Bar Association, the Freedom Foundation at Valley Forge and the Aviation and Space Writers Association. He and his wife, Bev, will move to Farmington, Mo., where they are building a house on the family farm. WEWS and WYXZ, both ABC affiliates, are among the nine television stations operated by The E.W. Scripps Company. In addition, the company operates daily newspapers in 15 markets; is a licensor and syndicator of news features and comics; two television production companies; and Home & Garden Television, a 24-hour cable network. On May 19, 1997, the company announced it had reached an agreement to acquire the newspaper and broadcast properties of Harte-Hanks Communications, Inc.