Veteran broadcaster returns to Florida to run Scripps station in West Palm Beach
Thu, May 01, 2008 by Tim Stautberg
CINCINNATI - Steve Wasserman, the senior executive of three major-market television stations over the past 19 years, has been appointed vice president and general manager of WPTV, the West Palm Beach, Fla., NBC affiliate that is owned and operated by The E. W. Scripps Company.
Wasserman, 55, will begin his new duties on May 19. He'll assume leadership of a station that has been ranked number one in that fast-growing market every year for more than five decades. He succeeds Brian Lawlor, who last November was named vice president of sales for the Scripps Television Station Group.
"Steve is highly regarded throughout our industry because he has consistently proven to be a formidable competitor in very high-profile markets," said Bill Peterson, senior vice president of the Scripps TV Station Group. "His breadth of experience and his knowledge of south Florida will help WPTV continue its leadership in West Palm Beach."
He most recently was at WDIV, the NBC affiliate in Detroit, where he was the vice president and general manager for more than two years.
Before taking the reins at WDIV, Wasserman was the vice president and general manager of KPRC, the NBC affiliate in Houston, for 11 years. While there, the station won a Peabody Award for outstanding journalism. He was the vice president and general manager at WJXT, the CBS affiliate in Jacksonville, Fla., from 1988 to 1994. For two years prior to that, he was the vice president, station manager and news director of WPLG, Miami's ABC affiliate.
In the mid-1980s he was the news director at WCBS in New York, a title he also held at WPLG from 1982 to 1985 and WJXT from 1981 to 1982. He previously had been executive news producer at WDIV and WPLG.
Wasserman has been secretary of the NBC Affiliates Board, and has served on the boards of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters and the Texas Association of Broadcasters.
He is on the Board of Visitors at the University of Texas/M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, one of the country's top-ranked cancer hospitals.
Wasserman and his wife, Sally, whom he met when they both attended the University of Miami, have two adult daughters - both of whom are in broadcasting.
The E. W. Scripps Company (NYSE: SSP) is a diverse and growing media enterprise with interests in national cable networks, newspaper publishing, broadcast television stations, interactive media, and licensing and syndication.
The company's portfolio of media properties includes: Scripps Networks, with such brands as HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, Fine Living and Great American Country; daily and community newspapers in 15 markets and the Washington-based Scripps Media Center, home to the Scripps Howard News Service; 10 broadcast TV stations, including six ABC-affiliated stations, three NBC affiliates and one independent; Scripps Interactive Media, including leading online search and comparison shopping services, Shopzilla and uSwitch; and United Media, a leading worldwide licensing and syndication company that is the home of PEANUTS, DILBERT and approximately 150 other features and comics.