Former GM Bill Spellman is coming back to KHON
BILL SPELLMAN left Hawaii but Hawaii never left him -- and now he's coming back. The former vice president and general manager of KHON will return to the station Tuesday as general sales manager.
Spellman led KHON for Indiana-based Emmis Communications Corp. until 2002, when Emmis declined to renew his contract.
That does not bother KHON's new president and general manager, Joe MacNamara.
"Not at all," MacNamara said. Emmis hired Spellman as a consultant "and asked him to take the position full time. That doesn't bother me one bit," he said.
"He's got a pretty long career in the broadcast industry, in creative services, working in sales, as a corporate sales manager and then being general manager, and what better credentials could he have than to understand the workings of the station and understand sales?"
Other people from the Hawaii industry were interested in the job, MacNamara said, as were other candidates from the mainland. Of the local candidates there was "nobody ... that could fit, that was able to leave the job they were at to join us at this time," he said.
Spellman already had contacts here from his previous tenure, giving him an edge over other mainland candidates.
He established Incite Marketing LLC in Honolulu in June 2003 and did consulting work for clients including PBS Hawaii, BBiTV, Clifford Projects and Actus Lend Lease before moving to Illinois, Spellman told TheBuzz. He later served as general manager of a group of three television stations in Rockford, Ill.
MacNamara and Sandy Benton, chief operating officer of Montecito Broadcast Group LLC -- the new owner of KHON -- issued a joint statement saying they were "pleased to bring Bill back to Hawaii and to KHON2. We recognize his previous contributions in Hawaii as well as his achievements on the mainland."
When Spellman left KHON, he was replaced by Rick Blangiardi, under whom the station's already top ratings grew, as did revenue. Blangiardi resigned in January and now runs KGMB, which Emmis is working to sell.
Art director leaving
KHON Art Director Jocelyn Racoma's last day, after nearly 19 years with the station, is tomorrow.
She decided to accept Montecito's severance package after discussing the new owner's plans for the KHON Marketing Department with Joe MacNamara. "It wasn't going to be a marketing department as we have come to know it," she said.
It was also a matter of numbers. The nine-member department was going to be cut to six.
"Major commercial production has to get done," she said. "You cannot afford to let go of any of your editors."
She created the logo for KHON, the design of the station letterhead, the branding graphics on station vehicles and graphic design elements that were used on the air as well.
Racoma is exploring other opportunities.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org