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Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Chris Pruitt named VP and GM of CW39 KIAH

Nexstar Broadcasting Promotes Chris Pruitt to Vice President and General Manager of its Houston, Texas Broadcast and Digital Operations - Veteran Broadcasting Executive and Texas Native with 25 Years of Management, Sales, and Marketing Experience to Lead KIAH-TV and cw39.com


KIAH CW39 Station Manager and Director of Sales, Harvey Saxer, has left the station.

This afternoon, Nexstar announced Chris Pruitt will become Vice President and General Manager for channel 39.

Pruitt arrives from Nexstar station FOX 44 KWKT-KYLE in Waco, Temple, Killeen and Bryan-College Station.

Saxer was KIAH station manager since 2017. In addition to the station manager role he also served as general sales manager - a position he held since 2004.

Prior to 39, Saxer worked as director of sales for FOX 26 KRIV and My20 KTXH. He worked his way up through those stations, starting at channel 20 as account executive in 1995.

UPDATE
Mike Lee promoted to VP-GM of KWKT & KYLE Waco/Temple/Bryan

Here is the official release announcing Pruitt's promotion from Central Texas to Houston TV.

HOUSTON, TX and IRVING, TX—Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Nexstar Media Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: NXST), announced today that it has promoted Chris Pruitt to Vice President and General Manager of its broadcast and digital operations in Houston, TX (DMA #8), overseeing KIAH-TV and cw39.com. Mr. Pruitt will assume his new responsibilities immediately and report to Brian Jones, Chief Operating Officer for Nexstar Broadcasting.

A native of Wichita Falls, TX, Mr. Pruitt brings 25 years of executive broadcast television management, sales and marketing experience to his new role at Nexstar, serving since 2015 as Vice President and General Manager of KWKT-TV (FOX), KYLE-TV (MyNetworkTV) and their associated digital and mobile operations, including Estrella TV and fox44news.com, serving the Waco, Temple and Bryan, TX market DMA (#82). Over the course of his career, Mr. Pruitt has demonstrated his ability to improve ratings, revenue, and profitability by expanding local news content, identifying new revenue streams, and developing a variety of innovative cross-platform solutions for advertisers and marketers, while continuing to expand and deepen relationships with the community.

During his tenure managing Nexstar’s operations in Waco, Temple and Bryan, TX, Mr. Pruitt and his team created and developed KWKT-TV’s first-ever local newscasts, launching a half-hour of local news at 5:30 p.m. and an hour at 9 p.m. in 2017. The early newscast has since expanded to a full 90-minutes.

Mr. Pruitt was also instrumental in overseeing KWKT-TV’s launch of “Loving Living Local Central Texas,” a lifestyle show highlighting the unique people, places, and events that make living in Central Texas special. Since his arrival in 2015, KWKT-TV’s website, fox44News, has experienced consistent growth, with unique visitors up 700 percent and page views up more than 600 percent, enabling Mr. Pruitt and his sales team to meet or exceed core digital sales goals every year.

Finally, Mr. Pruitt has overseen KWKT-TV’s development of numerous community partnerships and the station is the primary sponsor of Waco’s annual Alzheimer’s Walk, breaking fundraising records for the event each of the last two years.

Prior to overseeing KWKT-TV and KYLE-TV, Mr. Pruitt held a series of broadcasting management and sales positions of increasing importance, serving as Vice President and General Manager of KMVT-TV (CBS/CW) and KSVT-TV (FOX) in Twin Falls, ID from 2010 to 2015. While there, he successfully directed the realignment of the stations, and improved recruitment and training, resulting in significant increases in market share and profitability.

Mr. Pruitt has developed a deep understanding of Texas during his broadcast career, having held executive or sales leadership roles at several television stations in communities across the state, including Beaumont, Midland and his hometown of Wichita Falls.

“Chris is the perfect choice to assume leadership of Nexstar’s broadcast and digital operations in Houston,” said Mr. Jones. “Throughout his career, he has been successful by expanding local news and content, delivering digital growth, and creating and executing unparalleled local multi-platform solutions for advertising and marketing clients. He is an innovative leader and has forged meaningful connections to the Texas communities in which he has worked. Chris has a long record of success, and I am very much looking forward to working with him as he assumes his new role with Nexstar in Houston.”

Commenting on his promotion, Mr. Pruitt stated, “I am excited about joining the talented team at KIAH-TV and cw39.com and I am grateful to Nexstar for giving me this opportunity. Houston is a vibrant city with a rich history, and KIAH-TV is woven into the fabric of the community. As a native of Texas, I understand the importance of connecting to viewers and advertisers with the kind of local content that is both relevant and meaningful. There is a lot of opportunity ahead and I can’t wait to get started.”

Mr. Pruitt has been involved in the media industry throughout his career and currently serves on the FOX Network Sales Advisory Committee. He has also been committed to each of the individual communities in which he has lived and worked, serving most recently on the marketing committee of the Waco Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, and volunteering his time with Caritas of Waco, combating hunger and poverty.

Mr. Pruitt earned his Bachelors’ degree in Finance from Midwestern State University, located in his hometown of Wichita Falls, Texas. He and his wife, Joy, have three grown children. Mr. Pruitt and his wife will be immediately relocating to the Houston area.

About Nexstar Media Group, Inc.

Nexstar Media Group 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. Nexstar owns, operates, programs or provides sales and other services to 196 television stations and related digital multicast signals reaching 114 markets or approximately 38% of all U.S. television households (reflecting the FCC’s UHF discount). Nexstar’s portfolio includes primary affiliates of NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, MyNetworkTV and The CW. Nexstar’s community portal websites offer additional hyper-local content and verticals for consumers and advertisers, allowing audiences to choose where, when and how they access content while creating new revenue opportunities. Nexstar also owns WGN America, a growing national general entertainment cable network and 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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