Over the past decade, KTTV-TV Channel 11 has gone from a sleepy local station to Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Los Angeles powerhouse emerging as the most-watched station on weeknights among men and women aged 18 to 54.

KTTV is perhaps best known as the local outlet for "The Simpsons" and Fox's slightly naughty situation comedies. But the locally produced programming is also making an impact. The station's 10 p.m. newscast, for example, has toppled longtime champion KTLA-TV Channel 5 as the news leader in its time slot.

Diana L. Vargas has been a key part of the station's success. Recently promoted to the position of general manager, Vargas started at KTTV in 1988 as advertising account executive. She rose to general sales manager in 1994 before making the move to station general manager last January.

Vargas, one of seven women general managers at Fox's 22 stations, had previously worked at KCOP-TV Channel 13 in Los Angeles and Group W Productions in New York.

Question: How different is it at KTTV compared to when you started here nine years ago?

Answer: We were a completely different station back then. First of all we were just starting to launch our prime (shows in prime time). Nine years ago we had two nights of prime. We were known as the Dodgers station. Years ago people didn't really define Channel 11 in the same breath as Fox television, so we were just developing our own brand identity. We were always really strong with kids.

Q: Will you shift away from children's programming?

A: We'll definitely be more broad-based. We start the day with the young kids, and as our day continues our programming starts to bring in the teen audience and the 18-to-34 audience and the 18-to-49 audience and the 25-to-54 audience. We won't stop doing what helped put us on the map, but as we continue to grow we start to evolve that audience and they stay with us. I think that that after 10 years of programming, this television station hasn't lost its core audience.

Q: What's the secret to the station's success?

A: It's stability and growth. I think that our audience sees us as a station that not only identifies with its community but also program product that the community can identify with. I think that in the last several years we have definitely been a station that has increased its viewership. As for the advertising community, they know that we're a good investment.


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