Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group said it hired local news veteran Princell Hair as president of Allen Media Broadcasting.
Hair had been president of Blank News Channel, which was acquired by Allen last year and renamed theGrio Television Network. He will also be executive VP of Allen Media Group and be based in Atlanta, where Allen Media Studios and Weather Group have a campus.
Veteran broadcasters Bob Prather and Andy Fisher, who have run the broadcast division for three years, are leaving the company.
Allen owns 27 TV stations affiliated with either ABC, NBC, CBS or Fox.
“Princell Hair is a phenomenal media executive who brings an overwhelming amount of industry experience and excellent leadership skills to our 2,400-employee company,” Allen, the founder/chairman/CEO of Allen Media Group. “Princell’s seasoned expertise now plays a crucial role in supporting Allen Media Group’s acquisitions and continued expansion across our ever-increasing number of media assets and distribution platforms worldwide.”
Before Black News Channel, Hair was general manager of NBC Sports Boston. Earlier in his career he was senior VP of news operations and studio programming for Comcast Sports Group, general manager at CNN, and news director of TV stations in Los Angeles, Baltimore, Chicago, Orlando, Detroit and Miami.
“Local news matters, and the connections these local stations have in their communities cannot be overstated. The owned-and-operated Allen Media stations are a strong broadcast group in growing markets,” said Princell Hair, President of Allen Media Broadcasting. “I am excited to lead this team of accomplished General Managers as we navigate the complexities of local television management while acquiring more broadcast stations and media assets.”
Prather and Fisher will continue to work together, with Fisher serving as COO of Prather’s company Heartland Media.
In an email to the Allen stations, Fisher noted that when Allen asked him and Prather to run the group, it had only nine stations. Over the past three years, the company has survived a pandemic and doubled in size through four transactions.
“Many of your stations grew viewership; more than half now lead the bellwether afternoon news block. And all of this happened because of your hard work,” Fisher said. “The revenue effort has been similarly successful. We’ve improved our local direct sales, the financial heartbeat of local television.”
“We’ve had, in two words, incredible success,” he concluded.