Nexstar Media Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Nexstar Media Group, Inc. announced the appointment of James Baronet as Vice President and General Manager of its broadcast and digital operations in Topeka, Kansas (DMA #142). Mr. Baronet will be responsible for overseeing Nexstar’s KSNT-TV (NBC) and KTMJ-TV (FOX), as well as the Company’s operational agreements with Vaughan Media, Inc., providing services to KTKA-TV (ABC/CW). Mr. Baronet will begin his new duties immediately and report to Julie Pruett, Senior Vice President and Regional Manager for Nexstar Media Inc.’s broadcasting division.
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“Jim’s proven leadership experience as a broadcast executive, coupled with his lengthy track-record of success at Nexstar and his familiarity with Kansas and its two major television markets, Wichita and Topeka, make him the perfect candidate to oversee KSNT-TV, KTMJ-TV, and our relationship with Vaughan Media’s KTKA-TV”
Mr. Baronet brings nearly 20 years of broadcast programming, sales, and marketing leadership experience to his new post. Throughout his career, he has consistently demonstrated the ability to grow revenue and profitability by identifying new streams of revenue, cultivating new business, developing a variety of innovative cross-platform solutions for advertisers and marketers, creating sponsorship opportunities, and deepening the ties to the communities in which he has worked.
Today’s announcement represents a homecoming of sorts for Mr. Baronet, who previously served as the Vice President and General Manager of Nexstar’s broadcast and digital operations in Baton Rouge, LA (DMA #94), including WVLA-TV (NBC) and WGMB-TV (FOX/CW), from 2014 to 2016. While overseeing the stations, Mr. Baronet and his team were responsible for rebuilding the stations’ news organization and expanding its local newscasts to six-and-a-half hours per day. He also helped establish the stations’ first news bureau at the state capital, launched a Sunday morning political affairs program, helped produce two gubernatorial debates broadcast across Louisiana, and led the early efforts to construct a master control hub servicing multiple Nexstar stations in the region. In addition, Mr. Baronet spearheaded the creation, development, and production of a variety of local programming, including a series of sports specials centered on the area’s professional and college football teams, the New Orleans Saints and the LSU Tigers, and “Louisiana Haunted History,” a half-hour advertiser-sponsored show devoted to exploring allegedly haunted locations across the state.
Since 2016, Mr. Baronet has served as the General Manager of KSAS-TV (FOX), serving the Wichita, KS area (DMA #70), responsible for all station operations. During his tenure, Mr. Baronet and his team repositioned KSAS-TV as a more dynamic broadcast and digital competitor in the Wichita area, expanding the sales team, implementing a new sales training program, and reinvigorating the station’s digital efforts. Under his leadership, the station developed important sponsorship opportunities for local advertisers, including “Small Business Leaders” and “Kansas Everything Women,” and forged significant community partnerships with local organizations such as “Child Start” and “The Child Advocacy Center of Sedgwick County.”
Prior to joining Nexstar, Mr. Baronet held a variety of sales and marketing positions of increasing responsibility in Waco, TX, Jackson, MS, and Evansville, IN.
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“Jim’s proven leadership experience as a broadcast executive, coupled with his lengthy track-record of success at Nexstar and his familiarity with Kansas and its two major television markets, Wichita and Topeka, make him the perfect candidate to oversee KSNT-TV, KTMJ-TV, and our relationship with Vaughan Media’s KTKA-TV,” said Ms. Pruett. “Jim has grown broadcast and digital revenues, expanded local programming, and developed non-traditional revenue streams and new business opportunities throughout his career. He has consistently built highly successful sales teams who deliver innovative marketing solutions that generate positive results for local and national advertisers. We’re proud to welcome Jim back to Nexstar and we look forward to celebrating his continued success as the leader of our Topeka media operations.”
Commenting on his new role, Mr. Baronet said, “I am extremely grateful to Nexstar for giving me the opportunity to return to the company and oversee its broadcast and digital operations serving Topeka, the state capital and an area with which I am very familiar. These stations have a legacy of success and service to the community, and I look forward to working alongside this talented team to continue generating unparalleled results for our clients and enhancing the overall experience for our dedicated viewers and digital users. Nexstar’s strong commitment to superior local content production and service, combined with its scalable diversified marketing solutions, will deliver distinct competitive advantages for our clients.”
Mr. Baronet earned his BFA in journalism from Sam Houston State University in Texas. He has been an active participant in industry-related and community groups throughout his career, serving on the Board of the Sales Action Committee for the FOX Network, and as a board member of the Baton Rouge Arts Council. Mr. Baronet and his wife, Shannon, have been married 25 years and will be relocating to the Topeka area immediately. They have two children, Julia and Lauren.