Macy's ends sponsorship of WPXI's holiday parade

PITTSBURGH — For 32 years, a major downtown Pittsburgh department store has sponsored a holiday parade on Saturday after Thanksgiving, but that's about to change. WPXI-TV announced Thursday that Macy's, the sponsor of the "My Macy's Holiday Parade," will discontinue its parade sponsorship effective immediately.

Macy's informed WPXI that it is pulling its support of the parade so that it can focus on other projects.

"We were disappointed to hear of Macy's decision," said Ray Carter, Vice President and General Manager of WPXI-TV.

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The parade has been very successful on many fronts. Pittsburghers have come out by the thousands to watch the parade. Television ratings for the parade on Channel 11 have always been quite substantial. It's generally the No. 1 show of the day.

"It's sad to see Macy's walk away from such a successful event," said Carter.

WPXI, which has televised the parade for 26 years, will continue its strong participation and support. Channel 11 is determined to find a new sponsor that will become a long-term partner in one of Pittsburgh's most-coveted events.

"We will do everything in our power to keep this parade alive, and we fully expect to," said Carter.

"While the route for the parade may change (moving from 5th Avenue), the tremendous quality of entertainment won't," said Mark Barash, WPXI executive in charge of the parade. "We will still present the best local talent around, as well as nationally known music, movie and TV stars."

In a letter to WPXI informing them of the news, Amy Kule, Vice President of Macy's Parade and Entertainment Group in New York wrote, "I'm sure there is another worthy sponsor waiting in the wings that will be a great partner to you for your fine parade."

The 2014 parade is scheduled for Nov. 29 at 9 a.m.