WTOL-TV, Channel 11, recently announced the hire of C.J. Hoyt as its news director.
Hoyt, the news director of WFIE-TV, Channel 14, the NBC affiliate in Evansville, Ind., for four years, will join WTOL on or about July 18. Both stations are owned by Alabama-based Raycom Media. Hoyt replaces Andi Roman, who left Channel 11 in early June to spend more time with her family.
Once the dominant station of northwest Ohio for local news, WTOL now trails WTVG-TV, Channel 13, overall in the number of viewers tuning in to weekday and weekend newscasts. Hoyt, 34, said he has a history of working with struggling former No. 1 stations and returning them to ratings prominence, and he believes he can do the same for Channel 11.
"When I see a challenge, where the foundation's there and the people are there, it's really just a matter of having a strong strategy. I think it's a challenge I can take on and succeed in," Hoyt said.
"Everyone knows that ratings are important, but that's not what the viewers care about," he added. "My job will be to serve the viewers of Toledo and the surrounding communities with the best newscasts we can put together. That's where our focus will be, delivering for the viewers. If we do our job, the ratings will come, but the ratings won't be my No. 1 priority. The news will be."
Making changes to the station's personnel or newscasts is not in Hoyt's plans for WTOL. Instead, he will focus on increasing the CBS affiliate's electronic presence.
"I see the future of where news is going and I think it's moving toward your computers and smart phones," Hoyt said. "TV continues to be the No. 1 source, and I think it will be in the future. But the online and mobile world [is] growing exponentially. That's where the explosive growth is, particularly with younger people.
In a statement to Channel 11 staff, Bob Chirdon, WTOL's general manager, welcomed Hoyt to the station, saying the news director "has been instrumental in leading [WFIE] back to its historic position as the top-rated news provider in the market."
Evansville is the No. 103 market in the nation and Toledo is No. 70. Hoyt, of York, Pa., is a 1998 graduate of Syracuse University with a bachelor's in broadcast journalism.
Contact Kirk Baird at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6734