Helen Swenson is the General Manager of WIAT 42. She is a University of Florida graduate who has worked all over the country. Her most recent stop before joining the WIAT 42 family was in Atlanta working for The Weather Channel.
The Weather Channel | Atlanta, GA
SVP Live Programming:
Responsible for all aspects of Live Programming on this 24-hour network. Create and implement programming strategies to grow ratings and generate revenue. Create and launch live shows. Transformed a lackluster “weather data” network into a network that provides competitive severe weather coverage, relevant storytelling, compelling content and shows. Reinvented all systems, processes, and workflow and changed the culture. Built and lead a team of 160 people, comprised of 35 on-camera meteorologists, forecasters, journalists, graphic artists, directors, studio crew. Work closely with ad-sales to create revenue-generating content across all platforms. Manage content sharing relationships with NBC network divisions including The Today Show, Nightly News, NBC Sports, The Golf Channel, CNBC, MSNBC, as well as NBC affiliates. Create and launch programming such as “Wake Up With Al”, a daily live weather/news/lifestyle show featuring Al Roker. Negotiate talent contracts, manage a $24 million dollar annual operational budget.
2007-2009 Frank N. Magid Associates | Delray Beach, FL
Consulted television clients in various markets throughout the U.S. and Canada, including reinventing programming for the CBC. Provided strategies and tactics and advised media owners, group executives, general managers, and department heads on how to increase ratings, reach revenue goals, improve the on-air product, programming, websites, mobile distribution, marketing for all platforms, and budgeting. Helped re-engineer operations to be more cost efficient. Analyzed workload and work flow to streamline operations with the integration of new technologies. Interpreted market and national research and provide specific strategies. Advised on-air talent, editorial managers, marketing managers, web managers, staff on how to provide better news, sports and weather content and programming.
2001 – 2007 KIRO-TV (CBS/Cox owned) |Seattle, WA
Led, managed, and motivated team of 130 people. Responsible for setting strategic content and marketing goals to increase demos and ratings. Responsible for $15 million operational budget, and $2 million capital budget. Implemented and oversaw the execution of targeted editorial objectives. Recruited and built talent. Oversaw KIRO-TV.COM news content, created strategies to drive page views, unique visitors and helped develop non-news content for the website. Oversaw news content distribution for mobile and digital channels. Led newsroom through new technology transitions, including Avid, P2 cameras, plans for Ignite and Deko. Grew KIRO’s position from a #3 station, to #1 in demos at 11pm and #2 in demos and households across all other news day-parts.
2000-2001 WPEC-TV (CBS/Freedom owned) | West Palm Beach, FL
Led team of 75 people. Responsible for $5 million operational budget, and $1 million capital budget. Responsible for all editorial aspects of the operation. Created breaking news, severe weather, investigative culture to achieve ratings growth. Led the market in continuous coverage of the 2000 Presidential Election controversy.
1996-2000 WPXI-TV (NBC/Cox owned) | Pittsburgh, PA
Assistant News Director
Managed day-to-day news content and coverage execution with a team of 95 people. Helped develop strategic action plans to grow demos and ratings. Helped take the station to #1 for the first time in 20 years. Was promoted from Nightside EP, to Dayside EP, to Managing Editor, to Assistant News Director within one year.
1995-1996 WCPX-TV (CBS/Post News Week owned) | Orlando, FL
Responsible for the content, coverage, and on-air presentation for all newscasts. Helped transition more than 50% of an 80-person staff in the first year of this start-up operation. Helped create new systems, operations and culture.
WSB-TV (ABC/COX owned) Atlanta, GA
WSVN-TV (FOX/Sunbeam owned) Miami, FL
WPTV-TV (NBC/Scripps owned) West Palm Beach, FL
University of Florida | Gainesville, FL
Studied Mass Communications/English Minor