As the TV station turns: Mark Pimentel out as GM at CBS46

Credit: Rodney Ho

Credit: Rodney Ho

Posted Tuesday, January 9, 2018 by RODNEY HO/ on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

This morning, CBS46 (WGCL-TV) ousted its general manager Mark Pimentel, replacing him with Lyle Banks.

The station, owned by Meredith, has a reputation for chronic turnover.

Pimentel joined CBS46 three years ago. His predecessor Trey Fabacher was in that role two years. Before him, Kirk Black had the job for two years, nine months. Andy Alford prior to him was general manager for four years.

Pimentel's replacement Banks describes himself as a turnaround expert. According to his Linkedin page, Banks is part of a team of executives that goes into companies on an interim basis seeking rapid and significant changes. It's called the Association of Interim Executives.

"We are like the Navy Seals of operating executives," Banks told the Chicago Tribune in 2016. "When a company loses a CEO or an executive, they would hire someone like me to parachute in to run or fix the company, and then we parachute out."

It's unclear how long Banks is committed to the station.

Meredith Local Media Group President Paul Karpowicz said in a press release: "Lyle is a proven leader who has achieved tremendous success in both news and sales. Lyle is a strategic thinker who isn't afraid to take chances, and we are looking forward to great things at CBS46 and Peachtree TV under his leadership. He understands what it takes to win."

Banks ran his own TV company Banks Broadcasting from 1998 to 2010. In the 1990s, he managed an NBC station in Chicago and a station in Norfolk, VA.

Pimentel lost his job despite the fact ratings had improved in the most recent November sweeps, making the station competitive with typical third-place station 11Alive, the NBC affiliate, during several time slots.

CBS46's morning show had been picking up new viewers, especially since former "Good Day Atlanta" host Gurvir Dhindsa joined Amanda Davis at the desk in October. But that momentum is in doubt since Davis passed away from a stroke two weeks ago.

Pimentel made a raft of changes at the station while he was there, overturning much of the staff and bringing in a new news director last July.

Earlier in his career, Pimentel was an executive news producer at Channel 2 Action News and news director at 11Alive.

Banks will also oversee sister station Peachtree TV (WPCH-TV), which runs a heavy mix of judge shows and sitcoms but simulcasts the early morning CBS46 news programs. Pimentel recently added a 9 p.m. newscast on that station using CBS46 news personnel.