WMAR names general manager to replace Kleiner

October 16, 1993|By David Zurawik | David Zurawik,Television Critic

WMAR (Channel 2) has a new general manager.

Scripps Howard Broadcasting has named Joe Lewin vice president and general manager of Channel 2. He replaces Arnold J. Kleiner, who resigned in June to take over a San Diego TV station.

Lewin, 53, who will join Channel 2 Nov. 1, is currently the general manager of WRIC-TV, the ABC affiliate in Richmond, Va. Before that, he worked at WLWT-TV, the NBC affiliate in Cincinnati.

"Baltimore is an exciting and progressive market," Lewin said. "WMAR is a strong station with a great syndicated programming schedule and all the ingredients to be the regional news leader."

Lewin will be taking over a station that looks to be in for the fight of its life come Jan. 2 when WJZ (Channel 13) launches a 5 p.m. newscast anchored by former WMAR newscaster Sally Thorner.

The 5 o'clock newscast has been WMAR's money machine since WBAL (Channel 11) canceled its early news show two years ago, leaving the time period uncontested. If Channel 13 wins at 5 o'clock or even splits the market, Channel 2 is going to find itself with considerably less revenue. The station is currently last in the ratings at 11 p.m. among the three network affiliates.

The first on-camera evidence of Channel 2's efforts to bolster its 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts will be seen Monday when weekend anchorman Keith Cate replaces Stan Stovall and is teamed with Beverly Burke at the anchor desk for the 6 p.m. weeknight newscasts.

Channel 2 news director Jack Cahalan said the move will give Stovall more time to prepare for the 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts.

Emily Barr, acting general manager at Channel 2, will return to her role as assistant general manager when Lewin arrives. She was promoted to that position in May, shortly before Kleiner's resignation.

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