Scripps hires Les Vann as VP/GM for WFTX FOX4 in Fort Myers, Florida
Mon, August 29, 2016 by Valerie Miller
CINCINNATI – Les Vann, a television industry executive with roots in journalism and a winning track record for leading stations and newsrooms to success, is the new vice president and general manager for WFTX FOX4 in Fort Myers, Florida, effective Sept. 12.
Vann has recent GM experience in Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Savannah, Georgia. In each of those markets his leadership and understanding of both the editorial and revenue sides of the business were instrumental in building a successful operation. At WISH in Indianapolis, when the station lost its CBS affiliation, he restructured the station and expanded news to replace the lost network programming. He also successfully negotiated with numerous sports teams and leagues to bring more programming into the market.
“Les possesses the very best qualities for a Scripps GM,” said Debbie Turner, vice president of station operations for Scripps. “He embodies our mission to create a better-informed world while having the business acumen to be a strong partner with local businesses and community organizations. He also has tremendous interpersonal skills to build lasting relationships with community leaders. We see so much potential at WFTX Fox4, and the station is in a position to achieve ratings and revenue growth with Les at the helm.”
Vann was president and GM at WJCL/WTGS in Savannah from 2013-2014, during a time of great transformation. He was responsible for operations of the ABC and FOX affiliates amid significant personnel reorganization, rebranding and community involvement changes. During these transitions, the station achieved growth in ratings, digital engagement and market revenue share.
As vice president and GM for WKRC and its CW affiliate in Cincinnati, Vann oversaw technology improvements, news expansion and union negotiations and won affiliate awards from the CW network.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication from Illinois State University, he accomplished a feat rarely seen in the TV news industry: In 17 years at WICS in Springfield, Illinois, he worked every job in the newsroom from intern to news director.
Vann has a strong record of community service. He has served on numerous nonprofit boards, been a strong supporter of education and has coached youth sports teams.
The E.W. Scripps Company (NYSE: SSP) serves audiences and businesses through a growing portfolio of television, radio and digital media brands. Scripps is one of the nation’s largest independent TV station owners, with 33 television stations in 24 markets and a reach of nearly one in five U.S. households. It also owns 34 radio stations in eight markets. Scripps also runs an expanding collection of local and national digital journalism and information businesses, including multi-platform satire and humor brand Cracked, podcast industry leader Midroll Media and over-the-top video news service Newsy. Scripps also produces television shows including “THE LIST” and ”The Now,” runs an award-winning investigative reporting newsroom in Washington, D.C., and serves as the long-time steward of the nation’s largest, most successful and longest-running educational program, the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Founded in 1878, Scripps has held for decades to the motto, “Give light and the people will find their own way.”
Valerie Miller, The E.W. Scripps Company, 513-977-3023, firstname.lastname@example.org