senior ABC advertising sales executive John Watkins is retiring after 42 years with the TV station group.
Watkins, who is the president of ABC Owned Television Stations National Television
Sales, will leave at the end of January. A replacement has yet to be named.
Watkins had been president of national TV sales since February 1986, overseeing national sales media deals for
the eight ABC owned TV stations, including WABC-TV New York; KABC-TV Los Angeles; WLS-TV Chicago; WPVI-TV Philadelphia; KGO-TV San Francisco; KTRK-TV Houston; WTVD Raleigh-Durham, NC and KFSN-TV
He was also responsible for ABC Full Circle Development Sales, the division’s integrated ad sales group, ABC Regional Sports & Entertainment Sales and ABC
Digital Sales. The entire ABC National TV Sales division has 156 full-time employees in nine U.S. offices.
Before heading up ABC TV station group national spot advertising sales, Watkins
was general sales manager for WABC-TV New York, from 1981 to 1986, where according to ABC, he achieved the highest advertising revenue for any station in the country. Before that, he was sales manager
for ABC Spot Sales in Los Angeles, where sales revenues increased by some 60%.