January 20, 2005
WWL-TV general manager to retire in June
New Orleans, LA -- After an extraordinary career that has spanned two decades at one of the country's top-rated local television stations, WWL-TV Vice President and General Manager Jimmie B. Phillips announced her plans to retire in June at a staff meeting this afternoon in Channel Four's French Quarter studios. After leading New Orleans' legendary CBS affiliate for over six highly successful years, Phillips will continue to consult after a successor is named by Belo Corp., the Dallas-based media group who has owned the station since 1994.
"WWL-TV's remarkable strength lies in the depth and breadth of our immensely talented and dedicated staff," Phillips emphasizes, "and I am looking forward to working closely with a new general manager while also improving my golf game."
"When Jimmie came to us several months ago and told us she was ready to retire, quite frankly, we were all surprised," said Rick Keilty, Belo's senior vice president/Television Group. "But we respect her decision to have more time for her personal life and are delighted that she will continue to contribute her invaluable expertise. For over 20 years, Jimmie has been integral to the continued legacy of WWL-TV as one of America's truly outstanding television stations."
Under Phillips' guidance, WWL has remained an enviable rarity in today's hyper-competitive, increasingly fragmented media environment, dominating the New Orleans market with double-digit ratings while topping the national Nielsen rankers, sweep after sweep, in every key time period from early morning to late news. She has also continued to build on one of the most powerful local news franchises in America, launching a third expanded hour of Channel Four's phenomenally-popular "Eyewitness Morning News" in August of 2004.
The 60-year-old broadcast veteran joined WWL-TV in 1984 as a local account executive. In 1985, she was promoted to National Sales Manager, was named local sales manager two years later, and became general sales manager in 1990. Working closely with former WWL General Manager J. Michael Early, Phillips took on additional strategic responsibilities when he added station manager to her title in 1993. She was promoted to vice president and general manager upon Early's retirement in July of 1998.
Phillips began her broadcast career at Louisville, Kentucky's WAVE-TV, where she learned the business from the ground up starting with a clerical position in the traffic department. She left the station for an opportunity to work on the local advertising agency side for three years, but realized her heart really belonged to broadcasting and returned to WAVE as a local account executive. Shortly after moving to New Orleans in 1984, Phillips was offered an opportunity to join the WWL sales staff.
During her tenure at both WAVE and WWL, Phillips has also generously contributed her time and talents to a variety of professional and community organizations. She has served as president and chairman of the board of both the Advertising Club of Louisville and the Advertising Club of New Orleans, where she was also honored with the local industry's highest honor, the Silver Medal Award, in 2002. A past president of the Greater New Orleans Broadcast Association, she has also served on the CBS network's Sales and Marketing Advisory Committee. Phillips has served on the board of directors for numerous prestigious non-profits, ranging from the United Way and the Louisiana United Negro College Fund to the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation. Now, she currently devotes her volunteer energies to Fore! Kids, a foundation committed to raising funds for children's charities through golf.
New Orleans' WWL-TV, Channel Four is part of Belo Corp., one of the nation's largest media companies with a diversified group of market-leading television, newspaper, cable and interactive media assets. A Fortune 1000 company with approximately 7,600 employees and $1.4 billion in annual revenues, Belo operates media franchises in some of America's most dynamic markets and regions, including Texas, the Northwest, the Southwest, Rhode Island, and the Mid-Atlantic. Belo owns 19 television stations (six in the top 15 markets); owns or operates seven cable news channels; and manages one television station through a local marketing agreement. Belo's daily newspapers are The Dallas Morning News, The Providence Journal, The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA) and the Denton Record-Chronicle (Denton, TX). Belo operates more than 30 Web sites, several interactive alliances and a broad range of Internet-based products. Additional information, including earnings releases and corporate communications, is available online at www.belo.com. For more information on WWL-TV, contact Dee Joyce, Creative Services Director, at (504) 529-6362 or email@example.com.