First Coast News President and General Manager Eric Land.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Eric Land was named the new President and General Manager of First Coast News Monday afternoon.
Gannett Broadcasting President David Lougee made the announcement to the First Coast News staff at a 3 p.m. meeting.
"I'm very anxious to be part of making history here," said Land upon meeting the staff.
Land has an extensive business background. He served as President and General Manager at WFLA-TV in Tampa before departing to become Chief Operating Officer of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"I started my career in news and moved into sales and management and love every aspect of the business and I can't wait to get started," said Land, who also headed WIAT in Birmingham, Ala. and WGRZ in Buffalo, N.Y. at different points in his career.
Referring to Gannett, which owns First Coast News, Land said, "For those of you that have been with the company, you know what a great company it is."
Land also has a background in the aviation business, previously serving as President and CEO at Walkabout Air and as Chief Operating Officer at Aztec Air Aviation.
"Eric brings a rich and diverse background of innovation and experience to our duopoly in Jacksonville," said Lynn Beall, executive vice president of Gannett Broadcasting. "He possesses strong leadership abilities and dynamic business skills that will benefit both WTLV and WJXX. Eric knows how to build brands and has a proven track record of taking major market stations to new levels."
Land, who is married to his college sweetheart, has two grown sons and is in the process of relocating to Jacksonville.
He takes over WJXX-ABC 25 and WTLV-NBC 12 from Dodie Cantrell-Bickley, who retired at the end of June.
First Coast News