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Heidi Shaffer, Published May 06 2010

KVLY’s Charley Johnson resigns

After 36 years in the Fargo-Moorhead media, Charley Johnson resigned Wednesday from his general manager position at KVLY-KXJB-TV, citing personal reasons.

“I have a lot of reasons why it’s a good time for me (to resign),” he said, adding that it’s a decision he had thought about for “quite some time.”

“There’s no scandal, and my health is good,” he said Wednesday.

Johnson served as general manager since 1998 and anchored for the station until 2007. Prior to that, he was the news director at KVLY, according to a statement on the station’s Web site.

Johnson also hosted the station’s “McDonald’s High School Challenge,” a televised academic competition for area students.

In his time as general manager, Johnson helped negotiate a deal between the local CBS affiliate KXJB and service provider DirecTV after a more than two-month blackout. The 2009 dispute stemmed from KXJB’s decision to not allow DirecTV to rebroadcast the local signal without charge.

The station is owned by Dallas-based Hoak Media. “We’ve lost a great leader in Charley. He’s had great success, and we wish him even more,” said Rich Adams, Hoak’s chief operating officer, in the station’s website statement.

The CBS and NBC stations will immediately begin the search for a new leader. Johnson will serve in a consultative role at Valley News Live for a six-month period, the statement says.

Johnson said he doesn’t have any immediate plans, but he is not retiring and is open to new opportunities.

“I hope to have a new adventure somewhere,” he said.

Johnson plans to stay in the Fargo-Moorhead area, where he and his wife raised their three grown children.

Johnson said he wishes the company and station the best, and his only regret in resigning is the friends he leaves behind.

“I loved working with those people for a long time. … They’re all a bunch of my good friends,” Johnson said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Heidi Shaffer at (701) 241-5511