TAMPA, Fla. and IRVING, Texas — Nexstar Media Group, Inc. announced today that it promoted Mark A. Higgins to Vice President and General Manager of its Tampa duopoly WFLA-TV (NBC) and WTTA-TV (MyNetworkTV), as well as associated digital / mobile operations under wfla.com.
Higgins most recently served as Vice President and General Manager of Nexstar’s Spartanburg, SC broadcast and digital operations including, WSPA-TV (CBS), WYCW-TV (CW) and wpsa.com. Mr. Higgins will assume his new responsibilities immediately and continue to report to Andrew Alford, Senior Vice President and Regional Manager of Nexstar Broadcasting.
During his tenure in Spartanburg, Mr. Higgins successfully rebranded WSPA-TV as “Carolina’s Family,” expanded local news to a total of 60 hours a week, and developed multiple exclusive local community and sports partnerships. Under his leadership, WSPA-TV became the flagship station of Clemson sports and the home of a first-ever weekly local broadcast coach’s show during the football and basketball seasons. WSPA-TV created and launched a unique partnership with the Southern Conference enabling the station to televise a full slate of the conference’s football and basketball games across not only the Spartanburg market, but three additional markets, including Nexstar stations in Charleston, SC, Tri-Cities, TN and Roanoke, VA.
Over his 35-year career in local broadcasting, Mr. Higgins has led television stations in a variety of large markets, including Phoenix, AZ, Las Vegas, NV, Orlando, FL and Hartford/New Haven, CT. Throughout his broadcasting career, he has leveraged his extensive experience in station management, operations, sales, marketing and audience development, to consistently improve upon ratings and revenue results. He has developed exclusive community projects by expanding local programming and delivering innovative multi-platform advertising and marketing solutions to his clients and community partners. Mr. Higgins has long-standing ties to the Tampa Bay and Central Florida area, where he served as Station Manager and Director of Sales for WTVT-TV (FOX) in Tampa and as President and General Manager of WOFL-TV (FOX) in Orlando and WOGX-TV (FOX) in Gainesville/Ocala. Under his leadership, the Orlando and Gainesville stations developed and launched original local morning news.
“Mark is an exceptional broadcast executive who has successfully led multiple duopolies in a variety of large and medium size markets across the country,” said Mr. Alford. “In Spartanburg, Mark grew ratings, revenue and market share by expanding local content with an understanding of the diverse needs of our local audience, advertisers and marketers across three different states. He and his team revitalized a legacy broadcast operation that needed to rebuild a long-standing, deep-seeded history in these communities. In Tampa, Mark returns to an area of Florida with which he is intimately familiar and where he has strong existing community relationships. His experience and successful track record of leadership is the perfect fit for our Tampa broadcast and digital operations. I look forward to continuing to work with him as he leads WFLA-TV, WTTA-TV and wfla.com following this promotion within Nexstar.”
Commenting on his appointment, Mr. Higgins said, “I’d like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to the Spartanburg community and to the local clients, businesses and public organizations I’ve proudly served during my tenure, as well as the fantastic teams at WSPA-TV and WYCW-TV. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to move up within such a dynamic broadcast company. It has been a goal of mine to oversee these outstanding stations and work alongside the excellent staff of our Tampa operations. I am looking forward to returning to a wonderful community and thriving market, where I have long-standing professional relationships, and where my wife and I have deep ties to the community. I’m excited to lead one of the truly great broadcast operations in the U.S. and to immerse myself once again in the community I call home.”
Mr. Higgins has a long record of involvement in the greater Tampa community, serving as a member of the University of Tampa Board of Fellows and as President of the Tampa Bay Broadcaster’s Association. He majored in Business at the University of Arizona and continued his education at Cornell University. He and his wife Beth will be immediately relocating to Tampa.