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KNBC's News Director to Exit

Television * The departure of station veteran Nancy Bauer Gonzales comes amid an apparent shakeup that began last year under a new general manager.

August 28, 2001|BRIAN LOWRY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Nancy Bauer Gonzales is being replaced as news director at KNBC, the station confirmed Monday, with the local news veteran to exit the position officially this Friday.

KNBC described Bauer Gonzales' departure in a statement as "mutual and amicable," though sources indicated she is leaving as part of an ongoing shakeup at KNBC under President and General Manager Paula Madison. The station said a search is underway for a replacement.

KNBC has undergone numerous changes since the arrival of Madison last November, among them letting go the "Today in L.A." morning anchor team of Kent Shocknek (who subsequently resurfaced at KCBS) and Kathy Vara. The station is also expected to drop an hour of local news in the afternoon come next fall, scheduling a new show featuring "Oprah Winfrey" regular Dr. Phil McGraw, "Dr. Phil," at 4 p.m.

In recent rating sweeps periods conducted in February and May, KNBC remained the top-rated station in the early-morning hours as well as at 11 p.m., where the news benefits from following such NBC programs as "ER" and "Law & Order." KABC has been the traditional ratings leader in the block from 4 to 6:30 p.m., coming out of "Oprah."

Madison is the third general manager to run KNBC since Bauer Gonzales became news director. Bauer Gonzales is a 12-year KNBC veteran who became executive producer of its newscasts after serving as news director at the NBC station in San Diego. She was elevated to news director and vice president of news in 1997.

KNBC will have a prominent platform to show off its local news talent in February, when the network broadcasts the Winter Olympics from Salt Lake City.

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