- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 4, 2003

Allbritton Communications Co. yesterday named veteran broadcasting executive Bill Lord to run the newsroom of its recently merged Washington-area operations, WJLA-TV (Channel 7) and NewsChannel 8.
"There isn't any operation in the country like this one. I can't think of any place with so much potential under one roof," said Mr. Lord, who previously ran television newsrooms in Los Angeles, Seattle and Nashville, Tenn.
Allbritton merged WJLA and NewsChannel 8 in September, creating the largest local television newsroom in the Washington area. It has about 180 employees, roughly 60 more than the typical big-city TV station.
Mr. Lord, whose title will be senior vice president of news, said his top priority will be filling several empty positions in the newsroom. His long-term goals include boosting ratings for WJLA, the local ABC affiliate that has trailed its competitors for years.
"I'm perfectly happy to be the underdog, but only for a while," he said.
Christopher W. Pike, WJLA's president and general manager, asked Mr. Lord to apply for the job. He said Mr. Lord's record shows "quality journalism and commercial success don't have to be mutually exclusive."
He declined to comment on reports NBC executive Steve Schwaid turned the job down.
The position was created when WJLA news chief Steve Hammel departed in November. The two executives who ran the newsroom in the interim, Jim Church and Alex Likowski, are expected to stay as Mr. Lord's lieutenants.
Senior newsroom staffers had lunch with Mr. Lord in Mr. Pike's office yesterday, and several said their new boss impressed them. "The company hit one out of the ballpark with this one," WJLA weatherman Doug Hill said.

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