Z on TV Critic David Zurawik writes about the business and culture of TV

WJZ general manager Jay Newman retiring after 19 years

After running WJZ for 19 years, Jay Newman is retiring as president and general manager of the CBS-owned Baltimore station on Sept. 30.

Newman, 66, is the longest-tenured general manager at any CBS-owned television outlet.

“WJZ is one of the crown jewels of our station group, thanks in large part to Jay’s leadership during the past 19 years,” Peter Dunn, president of CBS television stations, said in a statement announcing Newman’s retirement. “He has done an outstanding job of running a station that has consistently delivered strong ratings and revenue, and upheld a legacy of community service that is certain to continue long after he passes the baton next month.”

Newman said he and his wife, Jill, will remain in Baltimore after he leaves WJZ.

“We really have to come to love Baltimore, and I absolutely plan to remain involved in the life of this city,” Newman said in a phone interview.

He added that he would be looking for “opportunities to continue making a meaningful contribution to the community.”

Newman has been in the broadcast business for 44 years — 34 of them with CBS.

He began his CBS career in 1983 as news director at WCAU-TV, which at the time was the CBS-owned station in Philadelphia. He was later named vice president and station manager at WCAU.

I appreciated the fact that Newman had been a news director before becoming a general manager. I always had the sense that he understood the role his station played in the community through that lens as much as he did through the business lens. General managers who come up through sales often don’t share those values. Newman has ably led the station through a time of revolutionary media change.

CBS has not yet named a successor.

david.zurawik@baltsun.com

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