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Journal Names New CTO

Andy Laird to retire

Journal Broadcast Group has named Brian McHale the company’s new vice president and chief technology officer. He succeeds Andy Laird in the position. Laird plans to retire later this year after more than 15 years in the role.

The Milwaukee-based Journal owns 13 television stations and 35 radio stations.

McHale will oversee the leadership, management, implementation and long-term planning of the company’s technical and physical infrastructure across its broadcast portfolio. He will also ensure the efficient and on-schedule delivery of media content, identify emerging technologies and how to profitably deploy them, and work closely with Journal’s leadership team to develop the company’s operational and strategic direction, according to the broadcaster.

McHale will report jointly to Debbie Turner, executive vice president — Television, and Steve Wexler, executive vice president — Radio.

He joins Journal from Fisher Communications, where he was vice president of technology for three years. Prior to Fisher, McHale was chief technologist at Mobile500 Alliance, a group created to promote mobile DTV. Journal is a member.

McHale also held a variety of senior technology roles at Liberty Media, DirecTV Sports Networks, Starz Entertainment and Discovery Communications.

McHale begins his new role on April 7 and will work with Laird to transition Laird’s responsibilities throughout 2014.

Laird began his broadcast engineering career at KWGN(TV), Denver as a staff engineer in 1966. He became chief engineer at KLAK(FM) in 1967 and later at KDAY(AM), Santa Monica, Calif., according to his LinkedIn page. Before coming to Journal in 1998, he was vice president of radio engineering for Heritage Media.

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