Lin TV remodels executive office

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NEW YORK -- TV station group Lin TV Corp. on Tuesday unveiled several personnel additions and promotions, naming, among other things, former iVillage chairman and CEO Douglas McCormick to the post of nonexecutive chairman and appointing former DirecTV president and CEO Mitchell Stern to its board.

McCormick previously served as president and CEO of cable network Lifetime Television.

Stern had a successful run as chairman and CEO of News Corp.'s Fox Television Stations Group.

When he left DirecTV in a surprise move early last year, some in the industry expected him to re-emerge in some role in the TV sector sooner or later.

The appointments bring Lin TV's board to eight directors.

Lin TV on Tuesday also promoted Gregory Schmidt to the new position of executive vp digital media. He will be responsible for developing new revenue opportunities via such nontraditional TV operations as multicast, interactive and local programming opportunities. Schmidt previously served as Lin TV vp and general counsel since 1995.

In other changes, Lin TV also promoted Scott Blumenthal to executive vp television, in which he will focus on the operations of each of the firm's 30 stations, and Edward Munson to vp station sales, a new position responsible for all station advertising sales.

Lin TV president and CEO Vincent Sadusky lauded the "vast experience and outstanding vision" that McCormick and Stern bring to the table. Sadusky had taken on the full-time CEO duties in July, and the firm had promised the appointment of a new chairman soon.

Upon taking the CEO reins, Sadusky signaled an interest in extending Lin TV's expertise into areas involving new technologies. "We have a tremendous opportunity to drive growth at the company by leveraging the platform created by Lin's long tradition of operational excellence and pursuing new initiatives in the digital age," he said at the time.

McCormick on Tuesday expressed confidence in the company's outlook. "Lin TV's tradition of innovation, quality programming and community commitment has the company well positioned for the new dynamics of the communications business," he said.

The Providence, R.I.-based company operates its 30 TV stations in 18 midsize markets in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Its markets include Buffalo, N.Y., Indianapolis, Columbus, Ohio, and Austin.

Shares of Lin TV on Tuesday edged up 0.9% to $7.48. According to Yahoo! Finance, this gave the company a market capitalization of $380.7 million. Year-to-date, the stock is well off its 2005 closing price of $11.14. Over the past 52 weeks, the stock has traded at $6.12-$14.18.
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