Steve Carlston is the President and General Manager of NBC4 Southern California, the NBC-owned station serving Los Angeles and its surrounding areas. Carlston, who has more than 30 years of television industry experience, is responsible for the overall management of the station and its digital platforms, including NBCLA.com. He joined NBC4 in October 2011.
Since his arrival, Carlston has improved NBC4’s news gathering operations and strengthened its enterprise reporting. In addition to rebranding the station to ‘NBC 4 You,’ Carlston has expanded the station’s newscasts and has developed its social media strategy, resulting in NBC4 having the largest Facebook fan base in the history of local broadcast news. He has also launched three news franchises, ‘Ask Dr. Bruce,’ a health segment in which Dr. Bruce Hensel answers questions submitted by viewers; ‘Get Garcia, Get Results,’ a consumer news segment in which investigative journalist, Ana Garcia, exposes corruption and exploitation; and ‘Life Connected,’ a series that features inspirational acts of community goodwill and the strength that comes from diversity.
In addition, under Carlston’s management, NBC4 swept the Emmy Awards in 2012 for all three highly competitive regularly scheduled newscasts for a second consecutive year, including the Best Daily Morning Newscast for ‘Today in L.A.,’ Best Daily Daytime Newscast for ‘NBC4 News at 6 p.m.;’ and Best Daily Evening Newscast for ‘NBC4 News 11 p.m.’ The station also won a Regional Murrow Award in 2012 for its achievements in electronic journalism, a first for the NBC4 website.
Prior to joining NBC4, Carlston was the Vice President and General Manager of sister stations KUTV (CBS) and KMYU (MyNetworkTV) in Salt Lake City since 2009. In this role, he immediately developed and implemented a strategy to reinvigorate KUTV, which included rebuilding the news and marketing departments and introducing innovative advertising partnerships to generate revenue growth. In just one year, Carlston led a ratings turnaround, launching the station into first place and displacing the long-time market leader by winning every local newscast. Under his leadership, KUTV also tapped into social media to grow its audience, creating one of the largest Facebook communities in the broadcasting industry.
From 2004 to 2009, Carlston worked as President and Managing Partner of Las Vegas Television Partners, the owner of Vegas TV (KTUD), an independent television station, and Sun Media Productions, a full-service production company. In this role, he directed the negotiation and acquisition of Vegas TV and Sun Media Productions and oversaw the day-to-day operations of both companies. Carlston was Executive Vice President of Affiliate Relations at Viacom’s United Paramount Network in Los Angeles from 1999 to 2003, where he oversaw all affiliate relations, affiliate marketing and network distribution activities. During his tenure, more than 35 new stations were added to the network’s affiliate base.
Previously, Carlston was President and Chief Operating Officer of SF Broadcasting in Los Angeles, a division of USA Broadcasting, from 1996 to 1998. He was recruited to this position to turn around four FOX-affiliated stations in New Orleans, Louisiana; Mobile, Alabama; Green Bay, Wisconsin; and Honolulu, Hawaii. Additionally, Carlston was the Vice President and General Manager of KSTU, the FOX owned-and-operated station in Salt Lake City, from 1992 to 1996. While there, he expanded the amount of local news coverage from 3½ to 16½ hours a week, including launching morning and noon newscasts. The station won an Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Newscast under his leadership. Earlier in his career, Carlston held a variety of sales roles at Buena Vista Television, WTAE-TV/Hearst Broadcasting and Katz Communications.
Carlston is committed to community involvement. In Utah, he served on the Boards of the Utah Broadcasters Association and the Utah Council for Crime Prevention.
A native of Southern California, Carlston holds a BA in Broadcast Communications from Brigham Young University. He currently resides in Studio City, California with his wife Loni Coombs, a former prosecutor for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office. They have five children and one grandchild. Carlston is an avid skateboarder and enjoys snow skiing and playing basketball.