Thursday, August 27


Word came Wednesday night that my successor as WBRE-TV News Director, Ron Krisulevicz, is out. You know the drill. He turned out the lights … he locked the door … he left the station … and a few minutes later the GM issued a memo … etc., etc. etcetera. What can I say? Been there … had that done to me.

First things first. I haven’t got a single bad thing to say about Ron. I enjoyed working with him, and I respect his talent and his drive. From my vantage point (here on the outside) I think he’s done a decent job over his three-and-a-half years in the hot seat, ATC/UTC. If you want to say something different, you can post a comment below. I’m just not feeling in a Ron-bashing mood. I’m sure he did his best ATC/UTC.

That’s my phrase to describe everything at Nexstar: All Things Considered/Under the Circumstances. You can read in my posts here how disappointed I was, how miserable I was, every single day I worked at WBRE. Any success I might have had in the past was in building news departments. Maybe it’s a shortcoming on my part, but I was never very good at dismantling things. My biggest accomplishment at WBRE was that I was able to do (I thought) a fairly decent job of disguising the cuts I was forced to make against my better judgment. I wasn’t built to manage a shoe factory, to rely solely on the bottom line in making news decisions. So I was out of step, out of touch, and then out of work. So it goes.

ATC/UTC I thought Ron did a pretty good job of keeping the WBRE news product inching in the right direction during very troubling times.

His legacy, unfortunately, is that he will always be remembered most as the news director who shut down WYOU-TV’s news department. A CBS affiliate in a (roughly) top-fifty market without a news department, without local news? Who’d have thought it could happen? Obviously, Nexstar thought it could/should happen, and it fell to Ron to make it happen. But it wasn’t his fault, really. I can’t imagine that he dreamed up the idea. As I said in another posting, WYOU hit the iceberg a long, long time ago. Ron just happened to be standing on the bridge when the ship finally sank.

So why is Ron out? I honestly don’t know. Don’t have a clue. Some sort of “smoking gun” that made his firing inevitable? I can’t imagine what it might be. Or did he resign?

I’m tempted to say it’s just showbiz. It’s just Nexstar, once again throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. “Well, that didn’t work, let’s try something else.” In many cases that means, “Let’s try someONE else.” Good luck to whoever sits in that seat next.

How many have there been since the late, much-honored Tom Bigler? I’m not sure even I know them all. But in there somewhere was a Larry, a Micah, a Terry, an Al and a Paul. Oh ... and a Ron. I might have missed someone.

I guess it’s like being a pro basketball coach. I love this quote: “The day a coach is hired, he’s also fired. We just haven’t worked out the timetable.”


Anonymous said...

You may have the answer to Ron's demise in the blog already: He was there three and a half years. That's about the limit, according to Vern Stone and others who track the business.

What more could Ron have done? He owned the corruption story on the judges. He had the balls to put the Edna Burgette story on the air.

Truth is he was up against a jaggernaught -- a double jaggernaught, actually -- WNEP and the Nielsen diary system. That, coupled with a parsimonious Perry Sook and his legions of bean counters, he never stood a chance

It’s a shame that when they look at his resume, most future employers won't know Ron put a much-improved newscast on the air on both WBRE and WYOU. They will only look at numbers.

Anonymous said...

"owned" the judges story? Wasn't NEP the only station to get a real interview with Ciavarella? Quite an ownership.

Tying My Shoes... said...

As I've said here many times, I don't watch much TV news anymore. Too repetitive ... too little enterprise. So I went looking this morning for an exclusive Skrep interview on the WNEP web site and didn't find it. Surely they'd have played it up ... BIG! Maybe you're confusing an older interview? The one from a few weeks back where he said he didn't think he'd done anything wrong?