Pegram to run Scripps TV station in Tampa

Tue, May 20, 2008 by Tim Stautberg

CINCINNATI - Richard Pegram III, who has led market-leading television stations for more than two decades, has been named vice president and general manager of WFTS, the ABC affiliate in Tampa, Fla., owned by The E. W. Scripps Company.

After 13 years as president and general manager of WTHR, the top-ranked affiliate in Indianapolis, and 13 years as executive vice president and general manager of WTVR, the sign-on-to-sign-off leader in Richmond, Va., Pegram begins his new role in Tampa on May 28.

"For more than a quarter of a century, Rich Pegram's name has been synonymous in broadcast circles with excellence and leadership," said Bill Peterson, senior vice president of the Scripps Television Station Group. "His trophy case is filled with the most-prestigious awards in the industry, and he knows how to take share from competitors in the market. More importantly, his emphasis on high-quality local news and his belief in operating a powerful Internet business will make WFTS even more valuable to Tampa."

Pegram, 56, tripled the revenue of WTHR - and doubled its share of revenue in the Indianapolis market - since taking over the station in 1994. Among the many accolades garnered by the WTHR during his tenure were a Peabody Award, three Edward R. Murrow Awards, and two national Emmys. The NBC affiliate also has the most-viewed television Web site in Indiana.

Pegram maintained WTVR's status as the top-rated station in Richmond from sign-on to sign-off for 11 straight years. The CBS affiliate was named best news operation of the year by the Virginia Association of Broadcasters (VAB) three times during his tenure from 1981 to 1994, and in 1988 it was the first Virginia station to win best news operation awards from the VAB, United Press International and Associated Press in the same year. The station was recognized by the VAB for having the best community service campaign every year from 1987 to 1992.

From 1973 to 1979, Pegram held multiple broadcasting sales roles in North Carolina.

He served on the Indiana Association of Broadcasters board from 1999 to 2007, and was its chairman in 2005. Similarly, he was on the VAB board from 1989 to 1994, and was its chairman in 1992.

His dedication to community service has benefited Indianapolis, where he has held leadership positions with the United Way, the Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, Crime Stoppers, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Ballet Theater and the "500" Festival.

Pegram received his bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina.

About Scripps

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.

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