Scripps names new WCPO vice president and general manager
Wed, March 02, 2011 by Tim King
Steve Thaxton, a television executive dedicated to delivering market-leading local news, has been named vice president and general manager of WCPO, the ABC affiliate in Cincinnati that has been owned and operated by The E.W. Scripps Company since 1949.
"In the past few years, Scripps has strengthened its commitment to high-impact, community-changing journalism, which is why an executive with Steve's reputation for local news leadership came to our attention," said Brian Lawlor, senior vice president of the Scripps television division. "He has vast experience in producing programming that engages both consumers and advertisers. Combining his skills with the existing strengths of WCPO will deliver powerful results for the viewers and businesses of Greater Cincinnati."
Thaxton begins his new assignment on March 21. He replaces Bill Fee, who retired in December after leading the station since 1999.
Thaxton, 52, joins WCPO following nearly 13 years as president and general manager of Gannett Broadcasting's NBC affiliates WCSH in Portland, Maine, and WLBZ in Bangor, Maine. While simultaneously leading WCSH and WLBZ, he produced 36 hours of original local news and information programming weekly.
Before leading the Maine stations, Thaxton served in leadership roles at Gannett's KARE in Minneapolis, KUSA in Denver and KPNX in Phoenix; all of which are NBC affiliates.
Thaxton began his television career in KPLR in St. Louis in promotions in 1980 and in 1981 moved into promotions at KMSP, Minneapolis; both stations are now FOX affiliates. Two years later, he accepted the role of vice president of promotions at KARE 11 in Minneapolis. During his 5-year tenure at KARE 11, the station ascended from last to first place in the market.
From 1988-89, Thaxton left the television industry to serve as manager of creative services at Frank Magid Associates in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
He has served on the board of directors for United Way of Greater Portland, Southern Maine Community College, Literacy Volunteers of Greater Portland, Salvation Army Advisory Board, University of Southern Maine Board of Visitors and Marine Animal Lifeline. Additionally, he was a member of the Children's Museum and Theatre of Maine Advisory Board.
Thaxton earned his bachelor of individual studies in media management from the University of Minnesota. He and his wife, Jody, have a son, Charles, and a daughter Cora Jane.
The E.W. Scripps Company is a diverse, 132-year-old media enterprise with interests in television stations, newspapers, local news and information Web sites, and feature syndication.