Consider the lives this man touched during his 44 years with the company. Not only the thousands of employees, but the millions of listeners and viewers.

History | Leadership Changes

The Charlotte Observer, July 30, 1977

Jorgenson to succeed Charles Crutchfield

Wallace J. Jorgenson, 53, will succeed Charles H. Crutchfield as president of Jefferson-Pilot Broadcasting Co. on Jan 1. Crutchfield will retire Dec. 31, after 44 years with the company, the last 31 as its chief executive officer.

The announcement Friday by W. Roger Soles, president of Jefferson-Pilot Corp. which owns the broadcast company, came as no surprise. Jorgenson, now executive vice president of the company which operates Charlotte's Radio Station WBT and WBT-FM and WBTV (Channel 3), had been widely rumored as Crutchfield's successor.

A native of Minneapolis, Jorgenson joined WBT Radio as a sales representative in 1948 and when WBTV signed on the air a year later became local sales manager of the television station.

He served successively as general sales manager, assistant managing director of WBTV before being named executive vice president of Jefferson-Pilot Broadcasting. In addition to the Charlotte stations, the company operates Jefferson Productions and Jefferson Data Systems in Charlotte and WQXI-AM-FM in Atlanta, WWBT-TV in Richmond and KIMN-AM-FM in Denver, Col.

Jorgenson is a member of the Television Code Review board of the National Association of Broadcasters and chairman of the board's children's committee, first vice president of the Association of Maximum Service Telecasters and a member of the board of governors of the American National Red Cross.

He has been chairman of the trustees of Lenoir Rhyne College for six years and is a director of First Union National Bank.

A Sunday School teacher at St. Luke's Lutheran Church, Jorgenson has served twice as a delegate from the North Carolina Synod to national Lutheran Church in America convention. He and his wife, the former Solveig Tvedt, have five children.

Jorgenson's successor as executive vice president has not been named.

Crutchfield joined WBT in 1933 as an announcer and in his 31 years as chief executive officers has built both the radio and television stations into dominant market forces. The first and largest television station in the Carolinas, WBTV is ranked in the industry as the most dominant station in the top 50 markets.

"I have observed him (Jorgenson) for 30 years, and for the last 15 have worked with him closely on a daily basis," said Crutchfield, in commenting on Jorgenson's election.

"He has one of the quickest and most perceptive minds of anyone I have known, possessing an in depth knowledge of the business second to none."