Michael Saffell Promoted to Regional Director of Engineering at Hearst Television

Michael Saffell
(Image credit: Hearst Television)

NEW YORK—Michael Saffell, who has been the director of engineering for Hearst Television’s WMUR-TV in Manchester, New Hampshire since 2015, has been promoted to regional director of engineering for Hearst Television.  

He will be based in New England with offices at WMUR and WCVB-TV, the company’s Boston station, and will share direct engineering oversight across the station group with fellow regional director of engineering Greg Turner.

Saffell succeeds Joe Balkan, who is retiring at the end of this year after 24 years with Hearst Television and nearly five decades in broadcast television.  

“Michael is a versatile broadcast TV industry veteran with valuable experience spanning production to distribution,” said Stefan Hadl, Hearst Television senior vice president of engineering.  “He’s been instrumental in managing the technology at one of our company’s most high-profile stations and he’s the right person to succeed Joe in this important position.” 

Before joining Hearst Television in 2014 as assistant director of engineering at WMUR, Saffell served for seven years as director of technology for New Hampshire Public Radio, with management responsibilities including IT, studio facilities and remote transmission sites.  

Before that, he developed deep experience in mobile television production, serving for eight years in various roles, most recently lead project manager, for New Hampshire-based production company Game Creek Video.  His television career dates back to his teen years; he was the acting chief engineer for a 5-megawatt suburban New York TV station when he was 18 years old.  

Saffell is a member of IEEE, SMPTE and SBE; he has served within the SBE’s Mentor Program since the program’s inception in 2016.  He is a two-time Emmy Award winner in the Outstanding Technical Team Remote category, for his work on the 1998 Summer X Games and the 2002 Winter Olympics.

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.