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Bruno Cohen is the new boss at CBS 5; Longinotti out

Friday, September 14, 2012

It didn’t take long for CBS 5 to name a successor to ousted president and general manager Ron Longinotti. He’s Bruno Cohen, who’s served in the same capacity at WBBM-TV in Chicago since 2008, and who did stints here as the station’s executive news producer and news director from 1979 to 1986. He starts Monday.

The station memo (after the jump) barely mentions Longinotti, except for one of those “wish him all the best in his future endeavors” graphs at the end. His departure was first reported by blogger Rich Lieberman.

Bruno Cohen has been named President and General Manager of the CBS Television Station group's San Francisco Bay Area properties, KPIX-TV and KBCW-TV, as well as KSTW-TV, the CBS-owned affiliate of The CW in Seattle, it was announced today by Peter Dunn, President, CBS Television Stations.

Cohen, who has served as President and General Manager of WBBM-TV, the CBS-owned station in Chicago, since October 2008, is returning to Northern California, where he was President and General Manager of KOVR-TV and KMAX-TV, the CBS-owned duopoly in Sacramento, for three-and-a-half years following CBS’s acquisition of KOVR in April 2005. Prior to that, he had served as Vice President and General Manager of KMAX since 2004.

Cohen, who grew up in the Bay Area and graduated from Palo Alto Senior High School, has ties to KPIX that date back to when he served as the station’s Executive News Producer and later as News Director from 1979-86.

“Bruno has done a terrific job of improving the performance of our stations everywhere he has been,” Dunn said. “He did a great job of launching our duopoly in Sacramento; and since coming to Chicago four years ago, he has done an impressive job of leading the team that has put WBBM in its best competitive position in more than 20 years. Given his long track record of success, great leadership skills and experience in Northern California, Bruno is ideally suited to work with the talented and successful teams we have in place in San Francisco and Seattle and help us raise the bar even higher.”

“I’m excited about this new assignment and honored by Peter’s and CBS’s confidence in me,” Cohen said.  “The staff at WBBM is doing an exceptional job.  I’ll miss them and the City of Chicago.  But I look forward to returning to the Bay Area – the place where I grew up, where my sons were born and where I had such a wonderful experience at KPIX.”   

Cohen will be based primarily in San Francisco. Mark Boe, Vice President, Station Manager and Director of Sales at KSTW, will continue to oversee that station’s day-to-day operations and will report to Cohen.

Before joining the CBS Television Stations group in 2004, Cohen served as the Senior Vice President of Programming and Executive Vice President of Business News for CNBC from 1996-2002. During this time, he oversaw the development of CNBC's primetime and signature daytime business news coverage which resulted in ratings growth during a period of dramatic growth in the financial markets.

Prior to that, Cohen was Vice President and News Director for WNBC-TV in New York from 1992-96 and was responsible for orchestrating a sea change in the station's approach to local news coverage which propelled the station to first place in the local ratings.

Cohen's background also includes work as a syndicated programming development executive for Buena Vista Productions from 1987-92. Prior to working for KPIX, he served as a news producer for KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh from 1978-79, and got his start in television as a news producer for KEZI-TV in Eugene, Ore.

Cohen graduated from Princeton University with a B.A. in English.

Cohen is succeeding Ron Longinotti, who is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities.

“Ron Longinotti has been a valued member of our team and a class act throughout his decade of service to CBS,” Dunn added. “We sincerely thank him for his many contributions to our success and certainly wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

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