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Nexstar Media tabs new GM for Springfield operation

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A longtime television executive has been promoted to a new role that puts him in charge of several media entities in the Queen City.

Irving, Texas-based Nexstar Media Group Inc. (Nasdaq: NXST) has named Chris Pruitt as vice president and general manager of its broadcast and digital operations in Springfield, according to a news release. He will be responsible for the long-range planning and day-to-day operations of Fox television affiliate KRBK, MyNet affiliate KOZL and OzarksFirst.com, along with their related digital and social media channels. He also will oversee Nexstar’s operational agreements with Mission Broadcasting Inc., to provide services for CBS affiliate KOLR.

Pruitt began in the position last week, according to the release, and reports to Mike Vaughn, senior vice president and regional manager for Nexstar’s broadcasting division. In his new role, Pruitt succeeds Mike Spruill, who was promoted in December to vice president and general manager of Nexstar’s broadcast and digital operations in Nashville, Tennessee, according to a separate news release.

“Chris is the perfect choice to lead our media operations in Springfield,” Vaughn said in the release. “Just as he will do in Springfield, Chris has managed major network affiliates across multiple television stations in Waco and Twin Falls, and his recent large-market experience will be a real asset in this new role. Throughout his career, Chris has been successful by connecting to viewers and advertisers with the kind of local content that is both relevant and meaningful, and I am confident he will do the same in Springfield.”

Pruitt brings nearly 30 years of executive broadcast television management, sales and marketing experience to his new role at Nexstar, where he most recently oversaw the company’s media operations in Houston, Texas, including CW affiliate KIAH and CW39.com, according to the release. During his tenure in Houston, KIAH expanded local programming, launching a weekday morning news show, a new weekday lifestyle show and two weekend sports shows highlighting local high school, college and professional sports.

Prior to Houston, Pruitt was responsible for Nexstar’s multiple local television stations in Waco, Temple and Bryan, Texas. He’s also held past broadcasting management and sales positions in the industry, including five years as vice president and general manager of CBS and Fox affiliates in Twin Falls, Idaho.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my nearly four years in Houston, and I’m proud of everything the team at KIAH accomplished,” Pruitt said in the release. “I am just as happy to be joining our broadcast and digital teams in Springfield and look forward to forging a deep relationship with the community.”

NXST shares were trading at $162.26 as of 9:53 a.m., compared with a 52-week range of $132.30 to $192.86 per share. The 52-week high was hit Feb. 27, 2023.

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