Granite Broadcasting Founder to Exit

NEW YORK: Granite Broadcasting Corp. said today its founder, W. Don Cornwell, will step down as chairman and CEO of the company. John Deushane will also step aside as COO. Peter Markham, a board member since 2007, and Duane Lammers, a consultant to the company since mid-2008, will step in as chairman and COO, respectively. No specifics were provided about why Cornwell and Deushane are leaving.

Granite, which owns and/or operates 14 TV stations, is one of the few African American-owned media company’s in the United States. Cornwall has been running the company for 21 years. He was previously an investment banker with Goldman Sachs.

“Since Stuart Beck and I founded the company in 1988 with the purchase of stations in Duluth and Peoria, Granite has developed from an entrepreneurial idea into a diverse station group which operates and provides services to 23 channels in 11 markets, reaching more than six percent of U.S. television households,” he said. “I am proud of all that we have accomplished during a period that witnessed its share of opportunities and challenges. The hallmark of our company, stations and employees is our dedication and service to our local communities. I am extremely proud of the people at Granite and the numerous relationships I have developed over these many years, and I will always treasure them and our work together. Our stations are well positioned to continue serving viewers and advertisers. I believe the future is bright for Granite.”

Deushane was with Granite for 20 years.

“When I started directing newscasts at WEEK-TV in 1976, I had no idea it would be the only job for which I would have to apply,” he said. “I am blessed to have had all subsequent positions offered to me. The years have been both fulfilling and challenging, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with the extraordinary people of Granite.”
-- Deborah D. McAdams