BUFFALO — Bill Ransom, a former General Manager of Syracuse CBS affiliate WTVH, says he’s ready to call it a career. Ransom, who has been GM at sister station WKBW in Buffalo for the past 18 years, says he’ll retire at the end of June.
Ransom has worked for Granite Broadcasting, the parent company of WKBW and WTVH, for nearly 25 years. National trades including TVNewsCheck and Broadcasting & Cable ran a story based on a press release from Granite, recapping a career that spanned nearly 40 years. Prior to joining Granite via WTVH in 1989, Ransom worked for Capital Cities, and before that, for a number of Philadelphia-based advertising firms.
Buffalo News TV critic Alan Pergmanent says Ransom is 70 years old and “has been telling staffers for some time now that he was considering retirement,” but some staffers apparently were surprised by the announcement, thinking Ransom would stick around for a bit longer.
Pergament also recalls how WKBW’s local news ratings fell from first to third place during Ransom’s watch and Granite’s ownership, similar to the fate which befell former longtime Syracuse ratings leader WTVH — although WTVH’s decline started before Granite purchased the station from longtime owner Meredith in the early 1990s.
The Buffalo ABC affiliate was featured in the 2003 film Bruce Almighty, as the workplace of the title character, a TV reporter portrayed by Jim Carrey. Since filmmakers couldn’t get permission to use the logos of WKBW’s real-life rival, WIVB, they extended their licensing deal with Granite to use WTVH’s logo in portraying Almighty’s competition. (Outside of Buffalo and Syracuse, most moviegoers probably didn’t notice WTVH isn’t really located in Buffalo… or that WKBW is.)
For more than 40 years, Bill has shown to be a talented leader with strong business acumen, which is reflected across the markets he has touched Most importantly, Bill is a mentor and friend to so many at Granite and the local communities he has served. He has been a positive voice for our company, the broadcasting profession and Buffalo, and will be truly missed. We wish him all the best in the next chapter of his life.
Did you work with Bill Ransom at WTVH? Feel free to share your memories/thoughts below in the Comments section.