WJLA Virginia Bureau Chief Jeff Goldberg  joins Arlington-based Live Wire Media Relations LLC as a vice president, while its founder, President and CEO Chryssa Zizos, starts a new company, reports Washington Business Journal.

According to WBJ, “Goldberg will join Live Wire Oct. 18, and will run the daily operations of the firm — managing staff, clients, human resources and accounts for media relations and training. He’ll begin as an employee, with the potential to become a partner down the road, Zizos said. She will stay in her current position and, starting in January, will split her time between Live Wire and her new company, which will provide communications training software to businesses.

“The new company, whose name is still being decided, is slated to formally launch Jan. 2.

“Its product is designed for entry-level employees and mid-level managers, whereas Live Wire’s media training and other offerings are built more for executives. Zizos, a WBJ Women Who Mean Business alum and past 40 Under 40 honoree, is working with Falls Church production company The Biscuit Factory for the software and Indian behemoth Tata Interactive for the educational programming.  The software will use artificial intelligence and algorithms to tailor communications training to each user, provide real-time feedback and report data to employers.”

Goldberg joins a growing list of on-air talent that has left WJLA.  A piece in The Washington Post in January 2017, in part, stated:

“After more than 40 years of anchoring newscasts on Washington TV stations, Maureen Bunyan got some startling news of her own last week: Her employer, Sinclair Broadcast Group, told her that next month would be her last at WJLA (Channel 7), Bunyan’s TV home since 1999.

“The station’s management decided it no longer needed Bunyan, 71, a pioneering figure who was among the first African American women in the nation to anchor a local evening newscast in the late 1970s. And just that quickly, Bunyan met the fate that has befallen other members of her once-familiar news team at WJLA since Sinclair bought the station in mid-2014.

“First it was Arch Campbell, WJLA’s entertainment reporter and a 40-year veteran of local news. Then it was veteran sportscaster Tim Brant, then anchor Leon Harris. Anchor Gordon Peterson — one of the deans of Washington TV news — retired in 2014 rather than work for Sinclair.

“Sinclair, based outside Baltimore, has grown rapidly over the past dozen or so years by buying TV station chains across the country. It now stands as the largest operator in the nation, with 173 outlets spread over 81 markets. Its $985 million purchase of WJLA, and seven other stations owned by Allbritton Communications, of Arlington, was one of the largest of its many deals.

“But all that acquisition, fueled largely with borrowed money, has saddled Sinclair with some $4.93 billion in liabilities, necessitating a sharp eye on overhead at its many stations.

“The rapid departure of so many familiar faces at a station is unusual in the TV news business, for which conventional wisdom holds that audiences flock to familiar anchors and personalities. Stability is a virtue; anchors at big-city stations tend to stay for several years.”

It should be noted that the increasing number of on-air changes is not limited to WJLA nor Washington, D.C.  In July, we reported that “Changes Abound in Baltimore Broadcasting“.

 

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