After working for WLOS/WMYA-TV for nearly seventeen years, the last four as Vice President/General Manager, Joe Fishleigh, has announced his retirement. His last day on the job will be May 14, 2021.
Initially joining the stations in 1997 as Director of Sales, Joe first served as general manager from 2000 until 2002. Returning in December 2009, Joe worked as director of sales until being promoted to general manager in June 2017. A 35-year broadcast veteran, Joe has also worked at Regional Reps, MMT, Telerep, and at WJW and WEWS TV stations, all in Cleveland, Ohio.
Regarding WLOS, Joe states, “It’s been an honor to have been part of this team providing local news and entertainment to folks here in the mountains of Western North Carolina. I’m looking forward now to ‘rewiring’ and spending more time with my family and grandkids.”
A graduate of Ohio University, Joe has been married to his wife, Terry, for 36 years. They have three daughters, five grandchildren, and an Old English Sheepdog.
During his tenure as WLOS TV general manager, the station’s news operation has won multiple awards for its coverage and production, including Emmy’s, Murrow’s, and in 2018 the Station of the Year award from the National Press Photographer’s Association
“Joe always gave his full support to covering the news that needed to be covered,” says WLOS News Director Brian Nemitz. “He is not only a great advocate for the people who worked at WLOS but also for this community. Every day, it was evident how much he cared about our success and the success of the people in WNC.”
In March 2020, when the pandemic hit, Joe oversaw the station’s rapid transition to a work-from-home environment and the creation of safety protocols for those who continued to work at the station and in the field.
“There was never any doubt that Joe’s first priority was for the safety of the staff,” says Seth Bird, WLOS Chief Engineer, “Especially the people who had to remain at the station or had to go out in public to cover a story.”
As general manager, Joe and his team have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations for Eblen, Children First, Asheville Humane Society, and many more community organizations. In 2020 alone, WLOS helped to raise more than half a million dollars for Manna Food Bank.
Joe is a former board member and board president of Helpmate, an organization dedicated to helping victims of domestic abuse. He has also worked with Leadership Asheville, Asheville Rotary, Red Cross, and Boys and Girls Club of Henderson County.
“I’m proud of so many things, the awards, how we covered the news, the goals we hit, our work to help our community, the spirit on this staff of being on a mission,” Joe says. “But there is not one thing we achieved that I could have done by myself. It simply boils down to what I’m most proud of is having done my part, just one player on a very talented team.”