Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Nashville Radio: Meredith Corp Names New WSMV GM/VP

Meredith Corp. has named named René LaSpina as the new general manager and vice president of its Nashville station WSMV News after three lawsuits were filed against the station by former news personalities, including well-known Nashville anchor Demetria Kalodimos.

LaSpina replaces former general manager Dale Woods, who joined the station in late August 2017. Meredith Corp. spokeswoman Kara Kelly said the transition was effective immediately and declined to comment on whether Woods had stepped down or had been dismissed.

Rene LaSpina
"René has an impressive track record of increasing station revenue, as well as success driving share and ratings growth," said Meredith Local Media Group President Patrick McCreery. "She is a strategic leader and focuses on building winning teams. We are excited to have her join Meredith and WSMV News 4."

LaSpina has worked for more than two decades in television station management. She has led WIVB/WNLO-TV in Buffalo, N.Y., WCCO-TV in Minneapolis and WPTY/WLMT/WJKT-TV in Memphis as general manager.

"WSMV has a rich history in Nashville," said LaSpina. "I am happy to return to Tennessee and look forward to joining the impressive team at News 4 and Meredith."

Former Channel 4 anchor Demetria Kalodimos, who had worked for WSMV for 33 years, accused the station of age and gender discrimination in a federal lawsuit filed in November. The station created a "hostile environment" that favored men and younger on-air personalities and Kalodimos was subjected to "age-motivated ridicule, public berating and criticism from Channel 4 management" the lawsuit alleges. Meredith disputed the allegations.

The Tennessean reports her former colleagues Dennis Ferrier, Jennifer Johnson and Nancy Van Camp filed an age discrimination lawsuit against Channel 4 in November 2017, a suit that named Kalodimos as a witness. They were among several longtime personalities to leave the station or be forced out in 2015 and 2016.

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