After five years and one month, Julie Brinks is out as vice present and general manager running Journal Broadcast Group’s Tucson operations — KGUN 9, KWBA 58/cable 8, Mix-FM KMXZ 94.9-FM, the Truth KQTH 104.1-FM, the Groove KTGV 106.3-FM and ESPN KFFN 1490-AM/104.9-FM.
She had been the longest tenured general manager at a commercial TV station in Tucson.
For now, the stations will be overseen by Jim Prather, Journal’s executive vice president of television and radio operations, who is headquartered in Las Vegas where he runs the company’s ABC-affiliate TV station.
The company says it is looking for a new vice president and general manager to run the Tucson operations but otherwise offered no explanation for Brinks’ departure.
Brinks apparently was working out the terms of her severance and couldn’t be reached for comment.
As general managers go, Brinks wasn’t particularly high profile but recently took that up a notch as the luncheon chair of the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement. The luncheon was held Nov. 1, the day before she was shown the door at Journal Broadcast Group.
Staffers say that when management announced the change to the staff, the reaction was matter-of-fact and people went on about their jobs.
There had been off-and-on rumors for a couple of years about Brinks but at the same time, the company had put her temporarily in charge of its Palm Springs TV station when it lacked a general manager.
As for the timing, competitors note that this is when stations typically do their budgets for the upcoming year and that likely had something to do with it.
This has been a relatively good revenue year for Tucson TV stations, though radio stations are still having some issues.
With intense competiton from Clear Channel, Cumulus and Lotus, Journal’s radio group was believed to be lagging in getting its share of advertising business, say the competitors.
When she arrived in Tucson Oct. 1, 2007, Brinks was originally the vice president and general manager of only KGUN. Four months later she oversaw the combining of the TV station with Journal’s four radio stations. Then six months later, the company acquired the second TV station, KWBA.
All are now housed in a single facility, at 7280 E. Rosewood St. near East Speedway and Kolb Road.
Before coming to Tucson, Brinks worked for two years at a station in her home town of Traverse City, Mich. She also worked in management positions for companies in several markets including Lansing, Mich.; Peoria, Ill.; Davenport, Iowa; Syracuse, N.Y., and Las Vegas.
The kickoff for the Nov. 17 University of Arizona Wildcats football game at Utah will be announced Sunday (Nov. 11). The TV networks make their decisions of games based on how well the teams play this weekend.
After their horrible showing against UCLA last weekend, the Wildcats will have to put on a heck of a performance against lackluster Colorado to snag a high-profile network and time slot Nov. 17.
Contact David Hatfield at firstname.lastname@example.org or (520) 295-4237. Inside Tucson Media appears weekly.