Even the most successful businesses have had to face an unprecedented crisis with the COVID-19 pandemic. Sinclair Broadcast Group is no exception. Its President of Broadcast and Chief Advertising Revenue Officer, Robert Weisbord, has demonstrated stable leadership for all of 2020. When COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 13, Weisbord honed his leadership approach. He focused on the local markets and leaned into the vital relationships Sinclair has with its affiliates.
Who is Rob Weisbord?
Robert Weisbord is a longtime executive at Sinclair Broadcast Group. According to him, Sinclair’s size and scale made it easier for him to protect its employees’ health and well-being. Sinclair’s integrity, which is well-established in the industry, facilitated the process of putting employees first. Weisbord started his current position at Sinclair in January 2020, and he has demonstrated sound leadership related to the COVID-19 pandemic. His responsibilities include managing all revenue, operations, programming, and promotions across the broadcasting group’s 190 local stations. Those stations spread across 88 markets. Weisbord is also in charge of the 21 regional sports network brands, platforms, networks, and revenue streams.
What Weisbord Did At the Beginning of the Pandemic
When states first started issuing stay-at-home orders in March, local Sinclair stations and business units had to shift to home offices in a hurry. They also had to create makeshift studios. Some anchors delivered the news from their living rooms. The marketing and sales teams had to figure out how to do Zoom calls with businesses. According to Weisbord, his team was able to do all of this within just a couple of days, and they did it well. In less than 48 hours, Sinclair managed to switch from an in-office workforce to one that works almost entirely from home, and it went as smoothly as their highest expectations.
The Show Must Go On
In the middle of a pandemic, a company like Sinclair Broadcast Group can’t just stop what it’s doing. Sinclair Broadcast Group has continued to make big deals. In November, the company announced a new partnership with Bally’s Corporation, a casino operator. The agreement includes naming rights for Sinclair’s regional sports networks and integration with local broadcast stations. It also includes integrating gaming with local programming, digital products, and shows on the Tennis Channel.
Weisbord’s Experience As a Leader
Weisbord has been with Sinclair since 1986. Before this position, he served as its Chief Revenue Officer. A while back, he pioneered Sinclair’s entry into digital services. He also served as the COO of Sinclair Digital Group. Weisbord understands what’s required to operate a successful local television station. With all this experience and the variety in his background, Weisbord is uniquely suited to understand Sinclair and lead it well into the future. He noted that Sinclair’s health, legal, and services brands are doing well, and automotive is on the upswing. Weisbord credits strategic investments in technology and local television stations in emerging and thriving markets.
Future Plans for Sinclair Broadcast Group
Weisbord has some big ideas for Sinclair. One is the acquisition of sports networks from Disney and Fox. Plans also include the integration of Bally’s casinos, adding more fresh content and interactive features. Weisbord says these will enhance the user experience of Sinclair’s digital platforms. Between seasons, Sinclair Broadcast Group will add gaming elements to keep fans engaged. The media conglomerate also plans to adapt to ATSC 3.0, which will allow it to deliver targeted content to every device and geographic zone based on its IP address. The ability to customize content is just one way that Sinclair will make programming more relevant for each user.
Sinclair is a diversified media company and leading provider of local sports and news. The Company owns and/or operates 23 regional sports network brands; owns, operates and/or provides services to 190 television stations in 88 markets; is a leading local news provider in the country; owns multiple national networks; and has TV stations affiliated with all the major broadcast networks. Sinclair’s content is delivered via multiple platforms, including over-the-air, multi-channel video program distributors, and digital platforms. The Company regularly uses its website as a key source of Company information which can be accessed at www.sbgi.net.