GM of downtown arena fired; move underway for reinstatement

Harold Workman
Harold Workman
Ron Carmicle (Source: Kentucky State Fair Board)
Ron Carmicle (Source: Kentucky State Fair Board)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – The man who has been in charge of the KFC Yum! Center since its opening is out of a job, but that may not be the case for long.

Ted Nicholson was fired from his position as general manager by Harold Workman, the president of the Kentucky State Fair Board. Nicholson was hired in early 2010 and oversaw the opening of the facility in October of that year.

The firing was confirmed to WAVE 3 by Steve Pence of Louisville, a KSFB member. Pence told us he learned of Nicholson's firing in an email and had no prior knowledge of it.

But WAVE 3 has learned that at least one member of the Fair Board wants Workman to reinstate Nicholson. When we spoke with Ron Carmicle, the chairman of the KSFB, he said, "I cannot deny that." Carmicle, however, would not confirm it either.

Carmicle said he would issue a statement on the matter early Tuesday afternoon.

Amanda Storment, vice president of public relations and media for KSFB, would not comment on the reason for Nicholson's firing, calling it a personnel issue.

Storment also said that Workman, as president of the Fair Board, has the authority to act alone to fire someone and that he would be the person who signs the papers on who will be hired. She did say there is a hiring process, however, that includes input from the Fair Board and Louisville Arena Authority.

Until a new general manager is hired, Storment said three people will be filling in immediately to cover the duties of the general manager. They are Laura Chandler, vice president of the KFC Yum! Center, Robbie Valentine, KFC Yum! Center's assistant general manager, and Mike Sausman, operations for Kentucky State Fair Board, Kentucky International Convention Center and the Kentucky Exposition Center.

Storment said there is no timetable for the hiring of a new general manager.

Last week, the Fair Board took steps to start phasing out Workman as its president, a position he has held since 1993. Workman is also executive director of the Louisville Arena Authority.

Copyright 2012 WAVE News. All rights reserved.