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Published May 14 2010

KVLY/KXJB names new general manager

Chris Sehring assumed duties as general manager of local television stations KVLY and KXJB on Thursday, taking over for Fargo television veteran Charley Johnson, who resigned May 5 citing personal reasons.

Dallas-based Hoak Media Corp., which owns both of the Fargo stations, announced Columbus, Ohio, native Sehring’s appointment Thursday.

KVLY, an NBC affiliate, and KXJB, a CBS affiliate, broadcast the same newscast. The broadcast operation also includes a third station, which broadcasts programming from the This TV network.

Sehring has more than 30 years of broadcast experience, according to Hoak Media. Most recently, he was general manager of KSFY-TV, the ABC affiliate in Sioux Falls, S.D.

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

“I have a lot of reasons why it’s a good time for me (to resign),” Johnson said earlier this month, 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.

Sehring said that “unlike other places I’ve been where things are broken, this is a place that’s running very smoothly.”

The husband and father of two says he doesn’t yet know what changes he will make as general manager.

“Honestly, as I told the staff this morning, it would be presumptuous of me to come in and say, ‘Well, this is how I did it in Portland, Ore.,’ ” Sehring said. “Well, Fargo N.D., isn’t Portland, Ore., or Cincinnati, Ohio, or any other place I’ve been. And I need to learn what our customers here want and how I can serve them better.”

Hoak Media owns, operates or programs 23 television stations in nine markets in Colorado, Nebraska, the Dakotas, Louisiana and Florida.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Shane Mercer at (701) 451-5734