Changes at the top of Houston’s public stations, WRVO newsroom

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In a reorganization of the University of Houston’s pubcasting stations, top managers John Proffitt of KUHF-FM and John Hesse of KUHT-TV will depart on Dec. 31, according to the Houston Chronicle. The shake-up, announced as commercial broadcasting exec Lisa Trapani Shumate prepares to sign on as c.e.o. of the recast Houston Public Media, was announced yesterday.

Proffitt and Hesse, both veteran pubcasters, have been reassigned to special projects until their departure at year’s end. Shumate is a former TV news reporter who most recently directed programming for Houston’s CBS affiliate KHOU. She was appointed last month to lead the pubcasting stations through the merger.

Proffitt, who led KUHF through a major signal expansion project in the past year, told the Chronicle: “I’m not angry or bitter about any of this. Times change . . . . This is a change. The stations will be fine. They have a great staff, and I wish them the best of luck.”

In north-central New York state, Oswego’s WRVO recently lost four full-time staff in its newsroom, including news director Dave Bullard, according to the Syracuse Post-Standard. General Manager Mike Amleigh said the university-owned station hasn’t cut its budget or laid-off staff; each of the employees chose to leave or work as freelancers.

WRVO plans to refocus its news coverage on local reporting, Amleigh says, and is recruiting a director of regional content development to lead an expanded newsroom over the next year.

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