Larry Wert was appointed President/Broadcast Media in February 2013. He is responsible for overseeing the strategy and day-to-day activities of Tribune Media Company’s 42 owned or operated television stations, their related websites, and the company’s Chicago radio station WGN-AM. Wert currently serves on the NAB TV Board of Directors and the CBS Board of Governors. In 2017, he was named “Broadcaster of the Year” by the Illinois Broadcaster’s Association.
Wert came to Tribune Media Company from WMAQ-TV, the NBC owned and operated station in Chicago where he was President/general manager. During his tenure there, he expanded local news hours, launched the first street side studio in the city and oversaw integration of WSNS-TV/Telemundo into the station. Under his leadership, he brought key events to the station including the Chicago Marathon, Chicago Auto Show, and hired Ginger Zee, Paula Faris, and Don Lemon as on-air talent prior to their national roles.
A Chicago-area native, Wert has spent nearly 40 years in broadcasting. He started at Leo Burnett Advertising in Chicago in 1978, and moved on to television sales with ABC, working in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, where he became local sales manager at WLS-Ch. 7.
In 1989, Wert shifted to radio as president and general manager of WLUP-97.9 FM and AM 1000, better known as “The Loop.” In 1993, under his guidance, Loop AM 1000 switched formats to sports talk (WMVP), later becoming ESPN Radio. In 1996, he was named president of Evergreen Media. When it merged with Chancellor Broadcasting, he became senior vice president of Chancellor, overseeing 13 radio properties. During his career in radio, Wert developed on-air talent including Jonathon Brandmeier, Steve Dahl and Garry Meier, Kevin Mathews and Danny Bonaduce.
In 1998, he joined NBC’s WMAQ-TV. During his time at NBC he also had group responsibilities. He was named president of NBC Local’s central and western regions in 2008, overseeing NBC-owned stations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Dallas, and Chicago. In September 2011, he became executive vice president of station initiatives for all 10 NBC-owned stations.
Wert is very involved in the community. He is the Chairman of the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago and serves on the Board of Directors for several charities, including the Children’s Brittle Bone Foundation, Catholic Charities, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, and the 100 Club. He is a member of the Governing Board of Gilda’s Club of Chicago, an advisor of the Chicago Chapter of Make-A-Wish Foundation and honorary board member of RAINBOWS, an organization that helps children cope with loss. Wert also sits on Board of Trustees for Fenwick High School in Oak Park, Illinois.
Wert holds a BA degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is married with four children and resides in his hometown of Riverside, Illinois.