Donahue retiring as VP/general manager of KJRH-TV in Tulsa

Mon, January 22, 2001 by Mark Kroeger

CINCINNATI – William J. Donahue, vice president and general manager of KJRH-TV in Tulsa, Okla., will retire March 31, ending a career in television station management and advertising sales that spans more than 30 years.Donahue, 59, retires after serving 12 years in the top management post at KJRH, which is owned and operated by The E. W. Scripps Company. He joined KJRH and Scripps in 1977 as the station’s national sales manager.“Bill has a long and distinguished career with Scripps and he will be sorely missed,” said James M. Hart, senior vice president of the Scripps television station group. “Under his steady leadership, KJRH has earned industry recognition for being a top notch television station, including last year’s Emmy for best newscast.”Donahue said the Emmy Award was the highlight of his career at KJRH.“Those responsible for this fine achievement, as well as those throughout the station whose tireless support made the distinction possible, have my enduring gratitude and admiration,” Donahue said. “It has truly been a privilege to spend the majority of my television career at KJRH and with Scripps.”Donahue became general sales manager of KJRH in 1978, a year after he joined the station. In 1980, he was named national sales manager for the Scripps television station in Cleveland, WEWS-TV, where two years later he was named general sales manager. He returned to Tulsa in 1985 as assistant general manager and was named vice president and general manager in 1989.Before joining Scripps, Donahue was general sales manager for General Electric Broadcasting’s NBC-affiliated television station (then KOA-TV) in Denver, from 1973-77. He became interested in television advertising sales and management while working as a field sales representative for The Gillette Company, and then as a media buyer and assistant account executive for the Leo Burnett Co. and as a national sales representative for Blair Television Co., both in Chicago.Donahue is a 1966 graduate of Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Ill., where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history.In Tulsa, Donahue serves a president of the Tulsa Library Trust, is on the board of the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce and is chairman of the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters. Donahue’s successor at KJRH will be named later.The E.W. Scripps Company is a diverse media concern with interests in newspaper publishing, broadcast television, cable television networks and interactive media. Scripps operates 21 daily newspapers, 10 broadcast TV stations and three cable television networks, with plans to launch a fourth.Scripps cable television network brands include Home & Garden Television, Food Network, Do It Yourself and Fine Living, due to launch in the second half of 2001.The company also operates Scripps Howard News Service, United Media, the worldwide licensing and syndication home of PEANUTS and DILBERT, and 31 Web sites, including hgtv.com, foodtv.com, diynet.com and comics.com.