Leigh White, the general manager of Sacramento’s Fox affiliate, announced her resignation on Tuesday after spending more than four years with the station.
In a memo circulated to station staffers, White said she decided to step down from KTXL (Channel 40) to spend more time with her family and for other personal reasons. She hinted the end of her tenure at the station would also close the chapter on a television career more than three decades in the making.
“I have been in TV for 35 years, and it’s been a great run,” White wrote. “I can’t imagine a more exciting and rewarding career. But it is time for me to step back—time for me to take time for myself and my family. I need flexibility to manage aging parent issues and spend time with grandkids.”
KTXL was acquired by Nexstar Media Group last year as part of a deal that saw the acquisition of more than three dozen stations across the country formerly owned by Tribune Media. The deal made Nexstar Media the biggest owner of local television stations in the country and brought KTXL under common ownership with Los Angeles CW station KTLA (Channel 5), San Diego Fox affiliate KSWB (Channel 69), San Francisco MyNetwork affiliate KRON-TV (Channel 4), Fresno NBC affiliate KSEE (Channel 24), Bakersfield NBC affiliate KGET (Channel 17) and Visalia CBS affiliate KGPE (Channel 47).
White said KTXL had more good days ahead of it under Nexstar’s ownership. She intends to stay on at the station until the end of March.
The full memo appears below:
Most of you know of my decision to leave FOX40 at the end of March. It is a decision that I am making based completely on my personal needs and needs of my family. I have been in TV for 35 years, and it’s been a great run. I can’t imagine a more exciting and rewarding career. But it is time for me to step back—time for me to take time for myself and my family. I need flexibility to manage aging parent issues and spend time with grandkids. And I plan to travel, and enjoy extended trips that I have put off because of work/time constraints.
My husband and I will stay in the Sacramento area. I will be working with a couple of clients on some community projects and will remain very involved as the Board Chair for the Sacramento Metro Chamber as well as my other board roles.
It’s an exciting time to be at FOX40, with new ownership and the opportunity to develop local content and initiatives with five other CA stations and be the capital hub. Many good things ahead and wonderful career opportunities for all. The station is poised for a fantastic 2020 and beyond, both in ratings and revenue.
I plan to continue in my role through March 25th, and will be working on several station projects to ensure a smooth transition for the next GM. It has been a joy to work with each of you the past almost 5 years—it’s hard to leave, but it’s time to take some time for me.
White was hired by Tribune to fill the general manager spot after former station president and general manager Jerry Del Core was fired in May 2015. Under White’s leadership, the station turned around its news division, invested heavily in digital platforms and began to see an increase in both news ratings and advertisement revenue.
Turnover at KTXL has been high over the last year during Nexstar’s acquisition of Tribune, with producers, reporters and anchors leaving the station for other opportunities. But the station quickly managed to fill those vacancies and expanded its employee roster to include other roles, a testament to White’s ability to make KTXL a top-market destination for television talent.
Disclosure: The author of this article is a former employee of KTXL.