Derek Dalton named general manager of CBS 2

Derek Dalton

Just in from Rochester, New York, longtime television station executive Derek Dalton has been named president and general manager of CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2. He succeeds Marty Wilke, who stepped down after six years at CBS 2.

Dalton, 61, who most recently was vice president and general manager of WHEC, the NBC affiliate in Rochester, previously worked in Chicago as national sales manager for WGN-Channel 9 and director of sales for Tribune Broadcasting.

“Derek comes to us with a great reputation and track record of success everywhere he has worked,” Peter Dunn, president of CBS Television Stations, said in announcing the appointment Tuesday. “We look forward to having him lead the evolution of WBBM as it continues to deliver premium content via all of our broadcast and digital platforms.”


At CBS 2, Dalton’s first order of business is expected to be hiring a replacement for Jeff Kiernan, who resigned as vice president and news director to rejoin WTMJ, the NBC affiliate in Milwaukee, as senior director of local content. Kiernan’s last day here is Friday.

Dalton inherits a deeply troubled station that’s been underperforming in the market for decades. In both revenue and news ratings, CBS 2 languishes in fifth place, according to industry sources. Under Wilke and Kiernan, little progress was made.

A graduate of Boston College, Dalton started his career at Xerox Corp. in New York City before he shifted to broadcasting at WLVI in Boston as a sales executive. In addition to his time in Chicago, he held sales and management positions at KWGN in Denver, and KGTV and KZSD in San Diego. He joined WHEC in Rochester in 2011.

“It’s a thrill for me and my family to return to Chicago and have the opportunity to contribute to the future success of WBBM,” Dalton said in a statement. “I am excited to make this move and work with my new colleagues at the station, our clients and community partners.”