Bob Ellis is the vice president and general manager of WJXT and WCWJ, the Graham Media Group Inc. duopoly in Jacksonville, Florida. He has held the position with WJXT since 2009 and added WCWJ duties in 2017 after GMG completed its acquisition of the station from Nexstar Broadcasting.
Under Ellis’ leadership, WJXT has widened the gap as the most-watched television station in Jacksonville. In 2013 Ellis was named General Manager of the Year for markets 25-50 by Broadcasting and Cable Magazine, the industry’s leading trade publication.
Ellis has helped WJXT sharply focus its efforts to leverage its News4JAX news brand to its digital platforms. The station’s news4jax.com is Jacksonville’s No. 1 source for local news and information, distancing itself from all other local media in the market including newspapers. In 2014 news4jax.com earned the national Edward R. Murrow award as the best local television website in the United States.
On WCWJ, he has worked to strengthen, its local brand in the market developing and launching several local programs including The Mark Brunell Show a weekly Jacksonville Jaguars football show featuring the former Jaguars quarterback and JaxBest, a comprehensive local online guide to all the best places to see, eat and experience Jacksonville.
Ellis has led WJXT in launching several innovative projects to emphasize its popular station brand, The Local Station. WJXT turned Jacksonville’s annual July 4th fireworks show into a prime-time television event celebrating the active and former military members at the two military bases located in the market. He also started PositivelyJax a station-wide project that inspires viewers by telling stories about people and organizations leading positive efforts to make Jacksonville a better place to live.
The station has turned the market’s regional Spelling Bee into and prime-time broadcast event, televised the first-ever local high school musical into a prime-time show, and created the Bold City Showcase, a one-day high school football event featuring six local teams in three games played on one field, all broadcast live on WJXT.
In 2014 Ellis won the Station Excellence Emmy Award from the Suncoast chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Before joining WJXT, Ellis had been news director of WDIV, the Graham Media Group Inc. station in Detroit. Previously he served in many other management roles at WDIV including assistant news director and executive producer of special projects. He began his TV career in sports, his first job was producer of the football and basketball coach’s shows at Michigan State University. Ellis is an 11-time Emmy winner and has earned several regional Edward R. Murrow Awards and state broadcast association honors throughout his career.
In addition to serving on the board of the Florida Association of Broadcasters, Ellis is very active in the Jacksonville community. He is a trustee with the Jacksonville Chamber, serves on the board of Goodwill Industries of North Florida, is a member of the advisory board of the Career Academies for the St. John’s County School District, is on the board of High School 9:12, a local organization helping to prepare students for college, and is a board member for Take it to Heart a non-profit program in Jacksonville focused on educating minority women about heart disease.
He is also a member of the Chairman’s Club for the Jacksonville Sports Council, an organization dedicated to generating economic impact and growth through sports in Jacksonville, including running the annual Gator Bowl college football game played each January.
A Michigan native, Ellis is a proud graduate of Michigan State University and holds a BA in Radio, Television and Digital Communication. He and his wife Melanie have two children.