Nexstar has appointed Sharon Rachal as Vice President and General Manager of its broadcasting and digital operations in Champaign-Springfield, IL, including WCIA-TV (CBS), WCIX-TV (MyNet) and WCIA.com.
Throughout her nearly 25-year career in broadcast management and sales, Ms. Rachal has consistently demonstrated the ability to grow ratings, revenue and profitability, and forge deep relationships with the community. She joins Nexstar from KHQA-TV (CBS) in Quincy, IL, where she served as General Manager and Director of Sales since 2015.
As KHQA-TV’s leader, Ms. Rachal was responsible for expanding local content and the reach of the station’s newscasts, identifying and developing new revenue streams, sponsorship opportunities, and maintaining customer relationships. During her tenure, KHQA-TV won its first-ever Edward R. Murrow Regional Award for Excellence in Journalism for an in-depth story about children and guns. Ms. Rachal and her team also developed several unique news sponsorships, including “Veteran Spotlight,” which highlighted the lives of veterans residing in the Illinois Veterans Home, and “From the Ground Up,” a series of stories that focused on area farm families. Ms. Rachal also deepened KHQA-TV’s commitment to the Quincy community by working with the Special Olympics Region H, the Adams County States Attorney, the Quincy Police Department and several local businesses to stage “Hoopin’ with Harlem,” featuring the Harlem Wizards basketball team.
Prior to KHQA-TV, Ms. Rachal served in positions of increasing responsibility at WNTZ-TV in Alexandria, Louisiana. Starting as an account executive in 1996, Ms. Rachal rose through the station’s sales ranks to become General Manager and Director of Sales in 2003, a position she held for 12 years.
“Sharon is an outstanding choice to lead Nexstar’s Champaign-Springfield operations and her impressive career is a reflection of her talent and determination,” said Mr. Romines. “She’s an innovative leader and has extensive experience in the creation, development and execution of successful local multi-platform solutions for advertising and marketing clients. She also understands the importance of connecting with viewers by developing unique local content and establishing meaningful community partnerships. I am looking forward to working with Sharon as she assumes leadership of our broadcasting and digital operations at WCIA-TV, WCIX-TV and WCIA.com.”
Commenting on her appointment, Ms. Rachal said: “I am very much looking forward to joining Nexstar Broadcasting and the talented and experienced teams at WCIA-TV, WCIX-TV and WCIA.com. For more than 60 years, these television stations and their digital operations have delivered outstanding journalism and exceptional service to advertisers and marketers, while maintaining strong relationships with the Champaign-Springfield community. Viewers have consistently relied on their exclusive local content and commitment to excellence, and they are highly regarded across the Central Illinois region. I am also looking forward to working with the University of Illinois and its high-quality faculty and dynamic sports teams. This is a unique career opportunity in an incredible market, and I couldn’t be happier about what lies ahead.”
Ms. Rachal is a former officer in the United States Army and served as the Environmental Science Officer and Preventive Medicine Officer for the 3rd Infantry Division in Würzburg, Germany from 1992 to 1995. She also served in the Louisiana Army National Guard from 1995 to 1998. Throughout her career, she has been committed to the communities where she’s worked and lived, and most recently served as mentor in the Quincy Chamber of Commerce Mentorship program.
Ms. Rachal graduated from Northwestern State University with a degree in biology. She has three grown daughters and will be relocating to the Champaign-Urbana area immediately. Ms. Rachal will begin her duties on February 10th, and report to Ron Romines, Senior Vice President and Regional Manager for Nexstar Broadcasting.