Thursday, September 22, 2011

Meet KNBC Channel 4's New General Manager

KNBC/4 has a new president and general manager: Orange County native Steve Carlston will take over Channel 4, replacing Craig Robinson -- who now oversees NBCUniversal's diversity efforts.

I know Steve from his tenure as UPN's head of affiliate relations in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when the netlet was battling it out with the WB for distribution (oh, those were the days!) But more recently, Steve headed up the CBS and MyNetworkTV affiliates in Salt Lake City -- and made good friends with NBC when he agreed to air "The Playboy Club" after that market's NBC affiliate, KSL (owned by the Mormon church) refused to clear it.

I don't know if it's a coincidence or not, but Carlston gets a nice "thank you" in the KNBC job, as he already resides here in Agoura Hills, along with his family. (His wife Loni Coombs is a former prosecutor for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.)

“Between his 30 years of television industry experience, dynamic leadership skills and proven track record of making stations stronger, Steve Carlston is uniquely qualified to take NBC4 to the next level,” said NBC-Owned TV Stations president Valari Staab, to whom he'll report. “Steve is from Southern California and truly understands the importance of a television station serving the local community. I look forward to working with him and welcome him to the team.”

According to NBC's press release, "A native of Orange County, Carlston counts as one of his greatest childhood thrills being interviewed by Ross Porter and Tommy Hawkins from the NBC4 sports department as a high school basketball player during the station’s “High School Game of the Week” coverage."

Said Carlston: "I grew up watching NBC4 and am honored to join the rich tradition of the station and to work alongside such high quality journalists and news professionals. I'm excited to build upon the recent investments in the station to make it even stronger and help NBC4 become the leading local news organization in the market."

Carlston had been Vice President and General Manager of sister stations KUTV-TV (CBS) and KMYU-TV (MyNetworkTV) in Salt Lake City since 2009.

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