Innovative Media Executive with 20+ Years of Large Market Leadership Experience Will Oversee KLAS-TV and 8Newsnow.com
LAS VEGAS and IRVING, TX – Nexstar Media Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Nexstar Media Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: NXST), today announced the appointment of Jay Howell as Vice President and General Manager of its broadcasting and digital operations in Las Vegas, NV (DMA #40), including KLAS-TV (CBS), 8Newsnow.com, and their related digital and social media channels. Mr. Howell will begin his duties immediately and report to Matthew Rosenfeld, Senior Vice President and Regional Manager for the broadcasting division of Nexstar Media Inc.
Mr. Howell has a broad range of experience in all facets of the media business and a long track-record of success overseeing CBS-affiliated stations in large markets across the country, including Providence, RI; Pittsburgh, PA; and Sacramento and Los Angeles, CA. Throughout his 30+ years in broadcasting, Mr. Howell has consistently demonstrated the ability to develop new local programming and grow ratings, revenue, and profitability. He also has a well-established reputation for fostering positive work environments with strong cultures, team-building, and mentoring employees.
Mr. Howell began his career as an executive in broadcast management in 2001, when he was appointed Vice President and General Manager of WPRI-TV (CBS) and WNAC-TV (FOX) in Providence, RI (DMA #51), then owned by LIN Television (LIN). Mr. Howell was responsible for the long-term strategy and day-to day operations of both stations, and immediately began revitalizing and reinvigorating the brands of each, significantly expanding local news, launching new local programming, and forging deeper relationships in the community. He also restructured the sales teams, placing greater emphasis on client-focused service, new business development, and digital revenue.
At WPRI-TV, Mr. Howell rebranded the station’s local news programming as “Eyewitness News,” and launched “Target 12 Investigates,” a long-form investigative unit, and “Call 12 for Action,” focused on consumer rights. He also spearheaded the launch of WPRI.com, the station’s first digital platform, which eventually became the #1 digital platform in Rhode Island. During his tenure, WPRI-TV grew local news ratings substantially, achieving ratings wins in all time news periods for the first time since the 1980s. At WNAC-TV, Mr. Howell and his team launched a local morning newscast and expanded the station’s late-evening newscast to 60 minutes, which became #1 in late news in all key demos. He also oversaw the creation and development of “The Rhode Show,” one of the first local lifestyle programs in the country, and one that became so successful the concept was introduced on the former LIN Media stations in all of its large- and mid-sized markets. The efforts of Mr. Howell and his team resulted in substantial increases in ratings, market-share, and revenue at both WPRI-TV and WNAC-TV.
In 2012, Mr. Howell was promoted to Regional Vice President for LIN, overseeing the operations of 13 television stations in seven markets across the country, including Providence, RI; New Haven, CT; Norfolk, VA; and Dayton, OH. In this position, he played a critical role in optimizing station operations by partnering with local general managers on budgets, new hires, news research/expansion, revenue generation, syndicated programming, digital content, lifestyle programming, marketing & brand development, capital projects, and HR issues. In 2013, Mr. Howell was promoted to Vice President/Television, overseeing all television operations for LIN, including 46 television stations in 23 markets, generating more than $700 million in annual revenues.
Mr. Howell next served as Vice President of Broadcast Markets for Media General, following the company’s acquisition of LIN Media in 2015. In this position, Mr. Howell was responsible for overseeing more than 26 television stations from Providence, RI, to Honolulu, HI. He also helped execute station and revenue generation strategies with senior management and oversaw Media General’s interaction with the CBS and CW networks.
Mr. Howell most recently served as the President and General Manager of KCBS-TV (CBS) and KCAL-TV (IND) in Los Angeles, CA (DMA #2), where he was responsible for all aspects of station operations. During his tenure, Mr. Howell revitalized both organizations, reinvigorating their well-known brands by deepening local news coverage and placing greater emphasis on digital content. Mr. Howell and his team helped drive substantial growth in both page views and unique visitors to the KCBS/KCAL website, resulting in significant increases in digital revenues. Mr. Howell also strengthened the ties of both stations to the greater Los Angeles community, establishing significant partnerships with such organizations as the Susan G. Komen and Get Together Foundations, and sponsoring a number of charitable fundraising efforts. Mr. Howell spearheaded the development of a strong relationship between KCBS/KCAL and the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers, resulting in a long-term programming agreement, including pre-season football games, highlight shows, and special access to players and coaches.
“Jay is an ideal choice to lead Nexstar’s Las Vegas media businesses,” said Mr. Rosenfeld. “He is a proven leader with an unmatched depth of experience who understands the expectations of viewers, advertisers and marketers. He’s thoughtful, innovative, and will be dedicated to delivering outstanding local content and service to the greater Las Vegas area. His ability to deliver exceptional ratings and sales results through unique local partnerships and superior customer service will serve him and the team at KLAS-TV very well. I am looking forward to working with Jay as he assumes his new duties and expect much success in the future.”
Commenting on his appointment, Mr. Howell said, “I am deeply grateful to Nexstar for giving me the unique opportunity to lead the company’s Las Vegas broadcast and digital operations. As the legacy news brand in the market and an important broadcast partner of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders, KLAS-TV has a strong foundation on which to build future growth. In addition, when you combine Nexstar’s commitment to hyper-local content and the unique and innovative cross-platform advertising solutions offered to its viewers and clients, the result gives us a distinct advantage over our competitors. I am excited by what lies ahead, and I am looking forward to deepening the presence of KLAS-TV and 8Newsnow.com in the communities we serve in Las Vegas and southern Nevada.”
Mr. Howell is an active participant in media industry-related organizations, serving for many years on the TVB Board of Governors, the CBS Affiliates Board of Governors, and the FOX Affiliates Board of Governors. He also has been very involved in the communities in which he has worked and lived, serving on the Board of Directors for Crossroads, Rhode Island, the state’s leading provider of housing and homeless services for those in need. Mr. Howell also served on the board of Meeting Street, a child development and learning center in Providence, and the board of The Providence Performing Arts Center.
Mr. Howell earned his Bachelor of Science degree in managerial economics and industrial management from Carnegie Mellon University. He and his wife, Lori, have been married for 30 years and will be immediately relocating to the Las Vegas area.
About Nexstar Media Group, Inc.
Nexstar Media Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXST) is a leading diversified media company that leverages localism to bring new services and value to consumers and advertisers through its traditional media, digital and mobile media platforms. Its wholly owned operating subsidiary, Nexstar Media Inc., consists of three divisions: Broadcasting, Digital, and Networks. The Broadcasting Division operates, programs, or provides sales and other services to 199 television stations and related digital multicast signals reaching 116 markets or approximately 39% of all U.S. television households (reflecting the FCC’s UHF discount). The division’s portfolio includes primary affiliates of NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, MyNetworkTV and The CW. The Digital Division operates 120 local websites and 284 mobile apps offering hyper-local content and verticals for consumers and advertisers, allowing audiences to choose where, when and how they access content and creating new revenue opportunities for the company. The Networks Division operates NewsNation, formerly WGN America, a national news and entertainment cable network reaching 75 million television homes, multicast networks Antenna TV and Rewind TV, and WGN Radio in Chicago. Nexstar also owns a 31.3% ownership stake in TV Food Network, a top tier cable asset. For more information, please visit www.nexstar.tv.
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