Management Shuffle At Prestige Leaves Top Post Vacant

Firm Loses General Manager And News Director

Cites 'philosophical

Differences' With The Former

July 17, 1991|By Ellie Baublitz | Ellie Baublitz,Staff writer

WESTMINSTER — Management at Prestige Cablevision Channel 3 is going through a major shake-up, with the resignations last week of General Manager Chuck Kunaniec and News Director John C. "Rip" Jeppi Jr.

Herschel Wisebram, director of local programming for Prestige Cable in Cartersville,Ga., cited "philosophical differences" behind Kunaniec's resignationJuly 9.

"He served us well for a number of years and deserves credit for the station's expansion and improvement in programming," Wisebram said.

"But there were some philosophical differences in the way I wanted things run and the way he wanted to do them."

Prestige will take its time in replacing Kunaniec, although the company has received several applications for the position, he said.

Kunaniec was unavailable for comment on his resignation.

Jeppi, who was named news director in May 1990, had announced earlier in the month that he was leaving to take a position writing and producing commercials for WLYH,Channel 15, a CBS affiliate in Lebanon, Pa.

"My goal is to becomea reporter there," Jeppi said.

"The market is larger -- it's Harrisburg, Lancaster, York and Lebanon -- so it's four good-sized cities."

He begins his new job July 22, and although he's starting out in commercials, Jeppi said the WLYH general manager told him he would be in line for a reporting position when one opens.

Jeppi, 23, hasbeen with Channel 3 since the fall of 1989, when he began working asan intern doing commercials.

He was hired that December as a reporter and was promoted to the news director position the following spring.

A Towson, Baltimore County, resident, he has a bachelor's degree in communications from Loyola College in Baltimore and is a 1990 graduate of the Broadcasting Institute of Maryland.

"I can't say enough about Prestige," Jeppi said. "They gave me a chance when nobodyelse would. And I learned everything here, from working the camera to reporting, editing and directing."

Jeppi worked to improve the station's broadcasts, increasing news air time and frequency, and watching the news staff double in size.

The station also just moved into new facilities at the Englar Road Shopping Center.

"It's reallysad for me to leave now because we finally got a really nice facility," he said.

"But I think we really improved. I'm proud of what we're doing now, but it's time for me to move on."

Jeppi has been replaced by Elizabeth Hyatt, 23, of Hampstead, who was named assistant news director in May 1990.

"I have been told officially that I am the acting news director," Hyatt said. "I'm looking to make it permanent, but we'll see.

"It's the kind of position they like to put you in and see if you can do it, if you have the leadership it takes."

She has a bachelor's degree in communications and sociology from Hood College in Frederick. She started with Channel 3 in October 1989 as a news reporter and anchor.

Kunaniec created the assistant newsdirector post and appointed Hyatt to it last year as part of the station's expansion efforts.

To fill in for Jeppi's reporting duties,the station has hired a full-time reporter, Alan Matthew "Matt" Brock, who began his duties Monday.

Brock, 23, of Cincinnati, Ohio, isa 1990 graduate of Ohio University, with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism.

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