Kudos and congrats to Jay Howell, the longtime president/general manager at WPRI/WNAC-TV, who has gotten a promotion to VP for regional television with the stations’ parent company, LIN Media. Also moving up is news diretor Joe Abouzeid, to a new role as president/GM of WDTN-TV and WBDT-TV in Dayton, Ohio.
Howell will remain in Providence, while Abouzeid has already set off for the Buckeye State.
Here’s the word on Howell’s successor, via a news release from Channel 12:
WPRI 12, Fox Providence & myRITV are pleased to announce the promotion of Patrick Wholey to President and General Manager. In his new role, Patrick will oversee the day-to-day operations of Providence’s CBS and FOX stations, as well as a MyNetworkTV digital channel (myRITV).
Prior to his promotion, Patrick served as General Sales Manager of WPRI 12, Fox Providence and myRITV since 2006. A native of Rhode Island, he began his career in New York City after graduating from Stonehill College. He has worked in advertising at Young and Rubicam ad agency, in sales and marketing at MTV Networks, the Hallmark Channel, and CNBC. Pat returned to his home state in 2002 as an Account Executive at WPRI 12 and Fox Providence. He was then promoted to Local Sales Manager and General Sales Manager. Patrick and his wife, Kerry, are the parents of three children.
The well-respected Karen Rezendes, a veteran at WPRI, is set to take over as interim news director.
I’ve gotten to know Howell and Abouzeid a little during my years on WPRI-WNAC’s Newsmakers show. The departing leadership deserves praise for spending the money to commission polls, and experimenting with new approaches to the news.