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‘Rising star’ picked to be KVUE’s next general manager

A “rising star” in the broadcast industry has been picked to lead Austin’s ABC affiliate.

Tegna Media, the owner of KVUE-TV, said this week that Kristie Gonzales is the station’s new president and general manager.

Gonzales arrives from ABC-owned WABC-TV, the No. 1-rated TV station in New York City, the nation’s largest TV market. At WABC, she served as promotion and digital brand manager.

Prior to New York, Gonzales worked for TV stations in several markets, including Philadelphia; Raleigh, N.C.; Fresno, Calif.; and Albuquerque, N.M.

She’s a graduate of the University of New Mexico.

“Kristie is a forward-thinking leader with experience creating strategic campaigns to grow audiences across platforms, specifically in culturally diverse markets, which will be invaluable to KVUE, the Austin community and Tegna Media,” Tegna Media president Dave Lougee said. “Kristie is a rising star in this industry and we are thrilled she is joining Tegna and leading KVUE.”

At KVUE, Gonzales will replace Patti Smith, who said earlier this year she planned to depart after 17 years leading the station. Smith was initially set to leave in May, but agreed to stay a few more weeks to help with the transition.

“KVUE has been a powerhouse of a local news brand under Patti Smith’s leadership,” Gonzales said. “The station has the winning combination of an incredible team and relevant content on every platform for the Austin consumer. I couldn’t be more excited to be joining the KVUE family and continuing that legacy.”

Once she settles in, Gonzales will have a number of key jobs to help fill, including replacing news director Frank Volpicella, evening news anchor Tyler Sieswerda and chief meteorologist Mark Murray.

There were almost 20 open positions, in a variety of departments, listed on the KVUE website Thursday.

Several of those vacancies were created when longtime employees opted to take advantage of a voluntary buyout package Tegna Media offered in the spring.

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