Michael J. Hayes has been promoted to chief operating officer and deputy group head of Hearst Television, effective immediately.
In addition to his new responsibilities, Hayes, who was promoted from senior vice president to executive vice president of Hearst Television in 2017, will continue to share oversight of the television and radio stations with Ashley Gold and Eric Meyrowitz, also executive vice presidents of Hearst Television.
“Over many years Mike has been a cultural beacon for Hearst Television,” said Hearst Television President Jason Wertlieb. “He has particularly distinguished himself with his leadership, not just at our company but as an important voice in our industry’s ongoing evolution — such as his exceptional chairmanship of the ABC Affiliate Board. Throughout his career, he has amassed an unmatched depth of operational experience, including leading two of Hearst Television’s iconic television stations. I look forward to working even more closely with Mike as we move Hearst Television forward, and to innovate and assist our businesses to do great things for their audiences, advertisers and communities.”
Hayes served as a Hearst Television senior vice president from 2013 to 2017. Previously, he was the president and general manager at Hearst’s WTAE-TV, the ABC affiliate in Pittsburgh. At WTAE, he led a rejuvenation of the station, returning one of the company’s heritage properties to first place in morning and late news. Before moving to WTAE, Hayes was president and general manager of one of the most prominent stations in the Southeast, Hearst’s WYFF-TV, the NBC affiliate in the Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C., television market. During his time there, the station was honored with a Peabody Award, a National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Service to America Award and a national Edward R. Murrow Award, among multiple other honors for news and public service.
Prior to WYFF, Hayes was general sales manager of WLWT-TV, Hearst’s NBC affiliate in Cincinnati, after serving in sales and management positions in Grand Rapids, Mich., Austin, Texas, St. Louis and Peoria, Ill. He began his broadcast television career as a sportscaster and producer at WISH-TV, at the time the CBS affiliate in Indianapolis.
Hayes holds a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications from Indiana University Bloomington and serves on the Indiana University Media School Dean’s Advisory Board. Hayes is also the immediate past chairman of the ABC Television Affiliates board of governors. He has also served as a director of the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters and was the first chairman asked and elected to a second term of the South Carolina Broadcasters Association, into whose Hall of Fame he will be inducted later this month.
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