John Misner, a senior broadcast executive who led Phoenix’s highly rated NBC affiliate, 12 News/KPNX-TV, for more than a decade, is joining Arizona State University.
In a dual appointment, Misner will join the faculty of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and serve as a special adviser to the Arizona State University Foundation. The appointment begins Jan. 9.
At the Cronkite School, Misner will teach and mentor students and serve as a senior counselor to Arizona PBS, the university-operated media outlet that is the main public television station for Arizona and the seventh largest in the nation. He also will assist the Arizona State University Foundation with fundraising efforts, focusing on local and regional corporations.
“John Misner is one of the leading thinkers in the broadcast industry today,” said Christopher Callahan, Cronkite School dean and CEO of Arizona PBS. “He will be a tremendous asset for our students, our school, our university and our public television enterprises. We’re thrilled to have John as part of the Cronkite Sun Devil family.”
Misner has served as president and general manager of 12 News since 2002. He also leads KMSB-TV, the Fox affiliate in Tucson, and KNAZ-TV, the NBC affiliate in Flagstaff. All are part of TEGNA Inc. He was a finalist for Gannett’s Manager of the Year award in 2010 and 2014.
“John has a passion for the role of local journalism in our democracy,” said Dave Lougee, president of TEGNA Media. “The Cronkite School, its students and our industry will be the beneficiary of his unique knowledge of the intersection of business and journalism.”
Prior to the separation of Gannett Co.’s broadcast properties into TEGNA last year, Misner served as chief operating officer of Republic Media, which, at the time, operated 12 News, The Arizona Republic, azcentral.com and La Voz Spanish-language newspaper.
Before coming to Phoenix, Misner served as vice president and director of sales at WXIA-TV in Atlanta from 1996-2002. Previously, he served as local sales manager at KARE-TV and in sales positions at KSTP-TV, both in Minneapolis/St. Paul. He started his media career at KYNO Radio in Fresno, California.
Misner has deep connections to ASU. He served as president of the Cronkite Endowment Board of Trustees from 2009–2013, endowed a scholarship at the school and earned his Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree from the university. His eldest son Michael is a graduate of ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business and younger son Christopher is an ASU senior studying communications and marketing.
“This new opportunity at ASU, the Cronkite School and the Foundation is the perfect blend given my great respect for the university, as well as my belief in the value of great journalism in our community, our state and our nation,” Misner said. “I am grateful to Chris and to ASU Foundation CEO Rick Shangraw for providing an opportunity the enables me to merge my passion for the university with the professional experience provided by Gannett and, most recently, TEGNA.”
He serves on the Boards of Directors of the Arizona-Mexico Commission, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and the Cronkite Endowment Board. He also served as chairman of the Arizona Broadcasters Association.
A San Francisco-area native who competes in triathlons and Ironman competitions, Misner lives in Scottsdale with his wife, the former television anchor and reporter Angela Astore Misner.
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