Tribune, Univision, and CBS’ "The Talk" undergo exec shake-ups

Numerous executive shake-ups in the last few days… in the offices and behind the scenes:

Another protege from the Court Jester era is out the door… Tribune Broadcasting President Jerry Kersting exited on Tuesday and his position eliminated while Nils Larsen was elevated up to CEO of Broadcasting. Effective immediately, Larsen will be responsible for Tribune’s 23 television stations, cablers CLTV and WGN America, and WGN Radio. Larsen (a Sam Zell protege) is also retaining his titles as Chairman of Tribune Broadcasting and Chief Investment Officer.

Kersting was brought on in April 2008 by former Tribune CEO Randy (Court Jester) Michaels as yet another former Clear Channel/Jacor employee. Last year, Kersting replaced syndication veteran Ed Wilson as President of Tribune Broadcasting.

Larsen promotion to his position may be short-lived. The ongoing saga surrounding Tribune’s bankruptcy (which it entered in 2008) is expected to be resolved in court this summer, with a new Board of Directors elected. With this, the board will more than likely select a new CEO and make changes in the executive ranks. 

Meanwhile, in the “Wow…that didn’t last long file”

– One-time WGN-TV vice-President and General Manager Peter Walker has decided to exit after nearly a year as President of Univision Local Media, as reported Monday by Robert Feder at Time Out Chicago. Walker was hired to manage Univision’s Spanish-language media properties in Chicago, including WGBO/WXFT-TV and several radio stations including WOJO-FM.

– But if you think lasting less than a year on the job is something, how about lasting just a week? That’s exactly what happened to Susan Winston, who exited as Executive Producer of CBS’ The Talk last Friday after just one week, in a story that broke first on B&C’s website. Winston was hired to replace original EP Brad Bessey, who exited after only a few months.

The Talk is a horrid rip-off of ABC’s The View –  with five female co-hosts who are mothers. It helps to note the format did spawn two failed ripoffs: 2001-03’s The Other Half, which featured male co-hosts, and 2004-05’s forgettable Life & Style, perhaps the worst daytime talk show ever produced (How bad was this show? One former co-host of Life pulled an Harlan Ellison and had her name removed from the show’s IMDB page.)

Having to work with co-hosts Leah Remini, Sharon Osbourne, and Ms. Church of Tisch herself, Julie Chen (husband of Church of Tisch pastor Les Moonves), you can easily see why Ms. Winston wanted to bolt from the premises after only a week.