Station sale shakes up TV management
Rick Blangiardi, who has led both KGMB and KHON, is being replaced at KGMB
KGMB has a new interim general manager, Emmis Television executive Kim Montour, who replaces Rick Blangiardi.
Blangiardi remains vice president and general manager of KHON, which Indiana-based Emmis Communications Corp. announced last month it was selling in a four-station, $259 million deal. Emmis also is trying to sell KGMB.
KGMB told staffers in a memo yesterday that the addition of Montour would assist the station's efforts on several fronts. Montour recently directed the hurricane-recovery efforts of the company's WVUE station in New Orleans.
"As the sale of KHON ... moves forward, and as we continue discussions with other potential buyers of KGMB, it is important to prepare KGMB and KHON for completely separate operations," the memo said.
The memo thanked Blangiardi for his 3 1/2 years of service and said he "will continue to drive the strong position that KHON has attained within the Honolulu market as the No. 1 station in Hawaii.
"He has done this under difficult circumstances, running two stations in different locations. With the pending sale, this change is now necessary."
When KHON's sale was announced, Blangiardi told the Star-Bulletin he had been offered a new multiyear contract, "that was agreed to by whatever potential buyers they were talking to." He had not signed the contract at that time and was unavailable for comment late yesterday afternoon.
The management change addresses local concerns about one company's ownership of two top-rated media outlets with statewide reach.
Such arrangements, known as duopolies, are permitted only when both stations are not among the top four in the market, which KHON and KGMB are. The Honolulu duopoly was allowed under a long-running waiver issued by the Federal Communications Commission.