Tegna’s WZZM-TV (Grand Rapids) has announced the hiring of market veteran Brooks Blanton as its new News Director. Blanton previously served as News Director of crosstown WXMI-TV from 2013-2021. “Brooks knows West Michigan so well which is such a benefit. He knows what’s important and relevant to our audience,” said WZZM-TV President and General Manager, Dan Baylog.
His news experience over the last 28 years has taken him across the country, from Lansing to Phoenix, including network experience as a National Producer with Fox News Channel. Most recently, Brooks held the position of News Director at WCCB in Charlotte, NC.
“I am thrilled to be back in my favorite market serving the people and families of West Michigan. This is my home, and our most important job is to advocate for our community,” said Brooks.
An MSU alum and proven ‘people developer,’ Brooks shares a strong vision for the future of the station. He will be intimately involved in executing content strategies, branding, recruiting, and serving as an amplifier for that station’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.
The station has also announced that Mark Skol, Jr. is the new Weekend Sports Anchor/MSJ at the station. Skol comes to WZZM from South Bend, Indiana where he spent 3.5 years at NBC affiliate WNDU-TV.
He started at WNDU as editor/photographer, working his way up to the Weekend Sports Anchor and then to Sports Director. He has hosted a pregame show before every home Notre Dame football game. In 2019, Mark and the WNDU sports team were given the Indiana Broadcasters Association’s “Best Sports Coverage” award for their coverage of Fighting Irish football.