WISH-TV hires news director to replace departing Bray

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WISH-TV Channel 8 has hired a successor for the departing Steve Bray, who has been with the Indianapolis station for more than 20 years.

Elbert Tucker, who spent much of his 30-year TV news career leading stations in Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio, has been named news director, WISH and sister station WNDY-TV Channel 23 announced Tuesday.

IBJ reported April 10 that Bray was leaving his job as news director and chief meteorologist next month.

Tucker has been news director at WBNS-10TV in Columbus since 2010. The CBS television affiliate is owned by the Dispatch Broadcast Group, which also owns WTHR-TV Channel 13 in Indianapolis.

Prior to WBNS, Tucker spent 18 years as an executive at WKRC-TV Channel 12 in Cincinnati, including almost a decade as news director. The CBS affiliate is owned by Deerfield Media.

“For more than two decades, Elbert has served in leadership capacities at two of the finest news operations in the country,” WISH General Manager Les Vann said in a written statement. “His strong history of content, strategy, and research-based innovation across all platforms has resulted in strong No. 1 news operations in these extremely competitive markets.”

Tucker, a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, also previously worked at WBRC in Birmingham, Alabama, and WTVC in Chattanooga.  

Bray joined WISH as a meteorologist in January 1995 and was promoted to chief meteorologist in 1999. In 2009, he was named news and weather operations manager. He became WISH’s assistant news director in 2011 and, in late 2012, was named WISH’s news director while retaining the title of chief meteorologist. He ascended to news director following the August 2012 ouster of news director Patti McGettigan.

It’s not clear if Bray is stepping down or was terminated, but sources familiar with the situation said he agreed to stay at WISH through the critical television ratings sweeps period, which concludes May 20.

He notified WISH staffers of his departure on April 9, but didn't elaborate on the reason, saying it was the right time for his exit.

Bray steered WISH through a tumultuous time. Last August, CBS announced it would end its 58-year affiliation with WISH and move it to WTTV-TV Channel 4. That change happened Jan. 1.

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