Vickie Burns out as NBC 4 VP for news

VickieBurns-nbc.jpgBurns only got to Channel 4 in July 2010, hailed when she arrived from New York as "a seasoned journalist who has extensive experience running a newsroom." But then she moved around some anchors and reporters, tried going webby on the newscasts without much success and ticked off local Latino groups. When Valari Dobson Staab took over the NBC local stations she noted that KNBC had become "sloppy" and also killed off Burns' digital initiatives Finally, the guy who hired Burns moved upstairs last year, and Steve Carlston took over as station general manager. So now Burns is headed back "east of the Mississippi," as she says in her farewell note to the staff. It's below.

Subject: Note From Vickie

After discussions with Valari and Steve, I've decided to move my career back to my roots. As a Chicago girl, who eventually got very comfortable on the East Coast, it was loyalty to NBC, Larry Wert and Craig Robinson that brought me to Los Angeles in August 2010.

When Craig moved to his new role, I committed to helping a new leader with transition.

Now, it's time for Steve to select a News Director to lead the next phase of growth for KNBC and time for me to get back east of the Mississippi.

My LA Adventure...

Unexpected is perhaps the single best descriptive about my time at KNBC. The unexpected opportunity to lead the local news operation for another NBC flagship. And the unexpected surprises, challenges and delights that awaited me.

Yes, this is one of those "the time has come" departure notes. But indulge me in sharing how much the time spent with this team has enriched me personally and professionally.

First, I discovered an amazing newsroom full of whip smart, quirky, creative people who had been tested by circumstances, many beyond control. That may have dampened the spirit for a time, but none of it dampened the will to succeed or the desire to excel.

Now, the cool stuff. We got bought by Comcast. Winning is the mission again, along with serving viewers better through enterprise reporting and distinctive storytelling. Not to mention the gift of unprecedented resources to accomplish competitive goals. I’ll never forget the single most common question from the early days: can we get the chopper back? Well, News Chopper 4 is once again flying high, as will your ability to win.

I's been so rewarding to watch the evolution of telling stories on multi-platforms. Today the newsroom is buzzing with energy and excitement, embracing the competitive mission around newscasts, the web, Face Book, and Twitter too.

There was a lot of good stuff along the way, accomplished together. Launching Prime Time News LA, during my first month. Thanks to Chuck, Colleen, and a host of talented people, that seemed easy and paved the way to more shared experience. Launching our digital channel, California Nonstop. A year ago this month, stretching our breaking news muscles again to deliver amazing coverage of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan. Then last fall, raising the bar with gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Conrad Murray Trial, plus re-launching a competitive newscast at midday. Just two weekends ago, telling LA and the nation about the death of the incomparable Whitney Houston.

Through it all, maintaining the station's legacy of recognition for excellence: a clean sweep of best newscast awards at this year's Golden Mike ceremony. Another clean sweep at the 2011 local Emmys too.

Now, there' a new chapter with Steve on board. I know you'llll work hard for him, but also remember to have fun and enjoy the ride! You've earned all the success coming your way.

And yes, I will miss the legendary LA weather. But, I will miss you guys more.



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