Longtime local news director Gary Coursen dies at 55

Staff report

YOUNGSTOWN

Gary Coursen, news director for local television stations WKBN and WYTV, died Monday after battling cancer. He was 55.

The longtime newsman’s career began in 1979, when he graduated from Youngstown State University and began working at WKBN as a news photographer.

The Hubbard native later was named chief photographer at the station.

In 2003, he was promoted to news director.

Coursen, who spent his entire 34-year career in the Youngstown market, was a key to the 2007 merger of the WKBN and WYTV news departments.

He took the helm of the combined news operation and oversaw it until he was diagnosed with cancer in the summer.

He was operated on Thursday at University Hospitals in Cleveland to remove the cancer, but lapsed into a coma afterward.

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