For 15 years, Media & More President/CEO Chuck Spohn was the man at Little Rock television stations KLRT and KASN, the market’s Fox and UPN affiliates. Spohn was vice president and general manager from 1997 to 2013, when his stations were sold and consolidation led to his launching a new career.
KLRT and KASN (now a CW affiliate) were owned by Newport Television, whose TV group was acquired by Nexstar Broadcasting Group. Nexstar already owned Little Rock’s NBC affiliate, KARK, and consolidated the operations of its Little Rock stations. There were talks of transferring Spohn to another market, but the New York native had cultivated roots in Little Rock and decided to stay.
“By the time that conversation was in play, I had established two priorities: I was not moving my family out of Little Rock, and I would be transferring my talents into a position of owning a business — no longer subservient to the big corporations,” he told Outtakes.
Spohn launched his Little Rock boutique agency in February 2013, a month after leaving television. But he left KLRT having overseen major growth, including the launch of KLRT’s local newscasts in 2004. He said the folks at “Fox 16” did some amazing things.
“I worked with some very talented people who dedicated their talents to taking this seemingly sub-par station and turning it into a force to be reckoned with,” he said. “I saw my role as the conductor of a very talented orchestra. Looking back on it, it was a really great gig. We were pretty aggressive and unafraid to take risks.”
His new team at Media & More is positioned to do amazing things as well, he said.
“I’ve come to find that being ‘boutique’ means that we provide exceptional branding/marketing services at a fraction of the cost,” he said. “Our overhead is considerably less then the most mid-sized marketing firms, as we utilize exceedingly talented freelancers.”
Spohn said he hasn’t seen much change in the market since he left local TV.
“The only notable change I can point to is on paper,” he said.
“The ownership changes occurred with Allbritton [KATV] selling to Sinclair, Newport [KLRT/KASN] selling to Nexstar and Gannett [KTHV] shifting its TV properties to TEGNA. From where I sit, I’ve not seen any significant capital investments in quite some time.”