Alan J. Bell has been named president of the broadcast division of Freedom Newspapers Inc. of Irvine and will oversee the operations of the company’s five VHF television stations.
Bell succeeds Gary Chapman, Freedom’s former senior vice president for broadcasting, who left the company last December to join LIN Broadcasting Co. in New York as president of LIN’s television group, a Freedom spokesman said.
Bell, 56, spent the last 4 years as president of the Lorimar Broadcast Group, first creating and then dismantling the company’s television station business.
“I was there to put Lorimar in the television station business,” Bell said. “We had purchased some stations and were operating them. . . . I had to walk away from it because the company was sold to Warner Bros. What my responsibility had become was to sell the stations, which was a condition of the merger.”
While Bell’s specialty at Lorimar was acquiring stations for the company, Freedom spokesman Michael Maloney said Bell’s arrival does not signal that Freedom intends to embark on an acquisition program.
“I don’t know that (Bell’s arrival) would mean anything other than that he’s in charge of Freedom’s television operations,” Maloney said. “If something would come up, I presume it would be something that Freedom would look at. But that would be determined on a case-by-case basis.”
From 1965 through 1985, Bell managed television stations in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Baltimore and San Francisco. He is a native of Boston, graduated from Harvard College and attended Harvard Business School.