WCPO-TV is searching for a news director after Chip Mahaney's promotion to a newly created position at the E.W. Scripps Company headquarters downtown to recruit and mentor journalists.
Mahaney, who came to WCPO 2-1/2 years ago from being Scripps' regional digital general manager, will be replaced for now by Mike Canan, Scripps senior director of content strategy.
Canan previously worked at Channel 9 as the digital editor-in-chief at wcpo.com.
"I know Chip will do well in this (new) position because he has a passion for what we do, is well connected and cares deeply about Scripps," said Jeff Brogan, WCPO vice president and general manager, in a note to staffers.
"Chip has had many accomplishments while News Director here at WCPO. His biggest may be helping to combine the digital and broadcast newsrooms into one. That was no easy task. The quality of our journalism is high, and the proof is in the many regional awards we’ve won the past two years," Brogan said.
In his Facebook post today, Mahaney wrote: "I've had an amazing adventure leading the WCPO-TV newsroom, working with the finest award-winning journalists in the area. My 2-1/2 years as WCPO's 11th news director have been both challenging and fulfilling; this has been a dream job in journalism. Our team has won more awards in my tenure than any other local broadcast newsroom, and we're still waiting on a few more to be announced.
His new role – which Mahaney called "right in a wheelhouse of skills I’ve developed over many years" – will allow him "once again to build friendships and partnerships for Scripps across the country, something I have done in many roles at the corporate headquarters over the past decade."
Mahaney also praised his longtime friend and colleague Canan: "Whether Mike is there a month or a decade, he'll lead the team well."
Mahaney brought stability to Channel 9's newsroom, along with integrating the WCPO.com staff with the TV journalists. He replaced Alex Bongiorno, who also served 2-1/2 years as Channel 9 news director. During her tenure (2013-16), Channel 9 changed its anchor team to Craig McKee and Tanya O'Rourke from Clyde Gray (retired) and Carol Williams (moved to part-time; since retired). She also hired anchors Tamyka Artist, Chris Riva, Ken Broo and Julie Dolan, and meteorologists Jennifer Ketchmark and Jason Adams. Bongiorno let go meteorologists Sarah Walters and Larry Handley, who famously called Channel 9 "a very dark place for me" after his contract was not renewed after 15 years in 2014.
Mahaney reshaped the morning show by letting go Riva and 20-year veteran Kathrine Nero. Williams, Broo and reporter Tom McKee retired during his tenure. Meteorologist Barack Shapiro and traffic reporter Jaclyn DeAugustino left the station in February.
Canan starts Tuesday, May 28, Brogan said.