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Jan. 5 – Deb Thompson, General Manager of WSAV-TV for 12 years, leaves to join Senior Citizens, Inc’s management team

Category: Local Media & Agencies

By Lou Phelps, Savannah Business Journal

January 5, 2017 – WSAV-TV’s longtime General Manager, Deb Thompson (pictured), has announced her resignation from Media General, the station’s parent company, to join Senior Citizens, Inc. of Savannah as Chief Business Development Officer.

For Thompson, it was a long thought out decision to pursue a career change ... “where I could make more of a personal impact in my community,” she explained, in an interview this week.

Thompson has been a member of a number of non-profit boards in the area over her career in the Savannah market, and came to know Patty Lyons, president of SCI, through those activities. “She has built an incredible team here,” Thompson added, that she is excited to now be a part of. 

WSAV’s parent company Media General, Inc. did not have a statement regarding her departure, which she initially announced on her Facebook page over the New Year’s holiday period.  

Last January, it was announced that Nexstar Broadcasting Group, a local TV station operator, had agreed to acquire competitor Media General for about $2.12 billion, a deal that is still not yet fully closed due to the FCC review process.  Nexstar had to sell off some stations in order to complete the purchase. The new merged ownership of WSAV will be named Nexstar Media General, and will be one of the largest local TV station operators in the country with 171 stations nationwide, reaching 39% of U.S. television households.

Thompson said that she had had excellent discussions with Nexstar, but had decided to go in this new direction after 28 years in the television business. 

WSAV is currently being managed jointly by News Director Kevin Brennan and Laura Lovejoy until after the Nexstar transition, explained Thompson.   

She leaves a legacy at the station of successfully growing both audience and ratings for WSAV, and leading the company’s expansion of local news coverage with the development of the MyLC station in the South Carolina Lowcounty, among her long list of accomplishments.  

About Senior Citizens, Inc.

One of the Savannah area's largest non-profit organizations, the mission of Senior Citizens, Inc. is to help people age successfully. For more than fifty years, the non-profit organization has worked to provide direct services that allow seniors to remain in the homes of their choice for as long as possible.

For more than 50 years, SCI has been helping people  age successfully through programs such as Meals on Wheels, Adult Daytime Care, In-Home Care, Geriatric Care Management, Neighborhood Centers, Sterling Rides, and The Learning Center.

Contributors may choose to designate tax-deductible gifts to one of the programs that help people age successfully, or make a general contribution.  SCI’s major programs include:

  • Meals on Wheels -- delivers a hot, nutritious lunch by a friendly volunteer
  • Sterling Rides -- offers free transportation to and from doctors' offices, the grocery store, church and more for seniors who can no longer drive themselves.
  • Adult Daytime Care -- provides all-day care for frail seniors including those with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia and offers much-needed respite for caregivers.
  • Senior Companions -- assists with care in the home to help with daily life in three distinct areas: personal care assistance, nursing services, homemaker services and companionship

For more information, visit www.seniorcitizens-inc.org or call (912) 236-0363.

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