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WRTV GM stepping down, other changes planned

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WRTV-TV General Manager Don Lundy will retire in January after 31 years with the ABC affiliate's parent company.

Lundy, who turns 65 in December, said he is leaving the McGraw-Hill Cos. Inc.-owned station because he “is of retirement age.”

He isn’t sure of his plans, but said the draw to Southern California, where he has children and grandchildren, “will be strong.”

Lundy may not be the only WRTV departure. Sources said morning meteorologist Crystal Wicker also will depart soon when her contract runs out. Lundy declined to comment on Wicker’s future. Wicker, a Kendallville native, was not available for comment Monday morning.

It’s been a month of change for Channel 6. Earlier this month, officials there decided not to renew news anchor Todd Wallace’s contract and hired a replacement from New York, Todd Connor.

And on Aug. 30, WRTV plans to expand its 5 p.m. newscast from 30 minutes to an hour, giving it two hours of early-evening news programming.

But Lundy’s departure will be the biggest change for the station that has long lagged its local competitors in TV news ratings—a key measure of a general manager’s success because it is one element local affiliates have sole control over. Ads sold during those time slots generate about 45 percent of the station's revenue.

Lundy has been with New York-based McGraw-Hill for 31 years, the last nine as WRTV general manager. Lundy started his career at McGraw-Hill as WRTV production manager, before departing for 19 years to work at TV stations in San Diego and Bakersfield, Calif. He returned to WRTV in 2001.

McGraw-Hill officials have launched a nationwide search for his replacement, Lundy said.

“They’ll look at candidates from outside the company as well as some from within,” Lundy said. “That’s why I wanted to make my announcement early, so they have plenty of time to find a suitable replacement.”

Lundy is confident WRTV is ready to improve its local standing. WRTV completed a major brand study of its station and newscasts last year, and Lundy and his staff have been working on changes to improve ratings ever since.

“The brand of our local news is good, the viewer feedback we’ve been getting on Todd Connor is strong, and our other anchors are solid,” Lundy said. “Everything is in great shape and we have a great plan to move ahead.”

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  • Love Crystal
    Crystal was the only reason we watched 6
  • changes
    This morning I finally looked on line to see what in the heck happened to all the regular faces I don't see anymore. After reading that my favorite channel let them all go, I think Fox 59 will be my new station. Just tired of all the changes.
  • wow
    whats the deal crystal wicker is probably one of the reasons 6 news gets as much attention as it does
  • Where is Crystal? :-(
    Why in the world did they let Crystal Wicker go?? Really 6 NEWS... Really!! Come on!
  • Lineup
    Dan Spehler is on in the evenings now. I don't think he ever left the station. All of these sudden changes are certainly not helping the station's reputation or ranking.
  • unhappy viewer
    I loved Paul, he was the best! I loved Tom, after he was on for a while! I liked Crystal and was getting used to her. Why all the changes. I'm getting ready to start watching another channel, because of that, at least they are consistant!
  • What is channel 6 doing??
    The Indy channel has gone from bad to worse. It used to be my favorite morning show and would watch nothing else. Now, I will watch anything but that morning show. I turn it back for GMA, but will NEVER watch the local news again. First, Paul(THE VERY BEST!!!) and now Dan, Tom and Crystal. What are they thinking??? I can't believe they treat their employees that way! I love Grace, but unfortunately won't be watching her anymore. No wonder they're in last place!
  • What a shame
    I remember when Paul Poteet left, i didnt think anything about it, but when they didnt renew Todd Wallace contract and read that their rating was going down cause they are 3rd to WTHR, WISH TV, and probably FOX59. That didnt make sense at all. Todd is a great man, and i know he will get a job somewhere in Indiana as a News Anchor, he may not be at the news desk, but he will be reporting the news live at any location on another news station. Crystal Wicker is a smart woman, there was nothing wrong with her either. Just management is making BIG mistakes in letting key personnel go like this. Didnt know Dan Spehler was gone from Good morning Indiana as well. If they let Grace go and Kevin Gregory, then WRTV6 deserves to fail. All i have to say is this; "Todd, Crystal, and Dan, you will find another job soon wherever you go, god bless".
  • Hello Channel 13!
    As other comments have noted, WRTV is a revolving door of talent. Their rating problems are due to the constant changes they make, rather than the talent they hire. I liked Paul Poteet and Tom Davis. Crystal Wicker was OK, as were Dan Spehler and Todd Wallace. I like to turn on the news and see the same faces everyday.
    The problem at WRTV is management and not the talent!
  • Later
    That is it ! Channel 8 here I come. I loved Tom, Paul, and Dan. Without them Channel 6 is not worth watching.
    Bye !
  • GOOD BYE
    First Paul, Then Tom now Crystal, and Tom. Hello FOX.
  • Live by the sword, die by the sword
    In a just world, Don would be treated the exact same way he's treated Eric Weisfeld, Ray Cortopassi, Paul Poteet, Todd Wallace, Dan Spehler, and now Crystal Wicker (and most likely Tom Davis). Nothing would please me more than for Don to be fired before he can retire. He's certainly incompetent and heartless enough to warrant it.

    WRTV's failings are not the fault of its on-air talent; the burden falls squarely on Mr. Lundy, who has made some of the worst decisions in the history of television management. Whereas other Indy stations have had the same talent for YEARS, Don won't give anyone a chance. I could understand making some personnel adjustments in a competitive market, but Don's approach is pathologically cruel. This goes way beyond standard business practices--Mr. Lundy is a sick man. I pray that whoever's left at WRTV, like Grace Trahan and Kevin Gregory, can survive until this menace is out the door for good.
  • Crystal, where are you?
    Well, I can finally decide to change channels from 6 to 13. It was the last straw when Crystal left. I couldn't care less about "Toad" (sic) and "Tooshie" (sic), but Crystal leaving is just too much! Farewell channel 6!
  • Todd W.
    I don't know what is really going on at ch. 6 but i really liked Todd W., Tricsha, Paul & Crystal. They all complimented each other while delivering a good news product. You will be missed.
  • Crystal Will Be Missed!
    I used to watch channel 13, but Crystal visited my daughter's 3rd grade class to talk about weather. She made such an impression on my daughter that we switched to Good Morning Indiana. I can't believe that she is leaving. My daughter is going to be heartbroken. Crystal will be missed!
  • Ch 59 Toyota?
    The Toyota of the unexpected acceleration that kills people or the one that has the gas pedals that get stuck?
  • Finally!
    It's about time they decide not to renew the contract of Crystal, she is terrible & her voice is most annoying. Grace & Dan are excellent in the morning. bring back Paul Poteet!!!
  • Dan's gone!
    I had the chance to meet Dan Spehler on both of the Colts Super Bowl weeks in Miami - what a great guy and I felt, a very compelling news anchor. That is sad. Hopefully someone picks him up. As far as the ratings, I think so much of it has to do with what channel your TV is already on. Whether is it the afternoon soap operas, whatever talk shows are on a 3:00 or 4:00, or in my case what I was watching the night before. So really, the network is more responsible for the success of the affiliate programs, in my opinion. I can't imagine turning to a channel to see a particular anchor. I am not that picky but I never saw anything wrong with Todd W. and Trisha - corny, but I am after the news content not necessarily how it is delivered.
  • Grace
    Grace is the only bright spot on the morning show. That is if anyone watches it anymore. That channel has been in decline ever since Clyde Lee left years ago.
  • Dan who?
    Dan who? I know who he is. I'm just kidding but WRTV has had an identity crisis for years. As I have said before, WTHR and WISH are the Ford and Chevy's of the area, while WRTV is the Chrysler brand (59 is the Toyota).
    • Bad decisions
      They let Paul Poteet go and things have gone down hill from there!! And several others have gone in the past few years. I hope they are smart enough to keep Grace Trahan
    • More leaving
      My son heard on this morning's broadcast that Dan Spehler's last day is Friday.

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