19 Jun Matt Cherniss Stepping Down at WGN America and Tribune Studios
June 19, 2017—Tribune Media Company (NYSE: TRCO) today announced that Matt Cherniss, president and general manager of WGN America and Tribune Studios since March 2013, has decided to step down at the end of the month. Since his appointment, Cherniss has driven the successful evolution of WGN America from a superstation to a cable network with critical and commercial hits and broad distribution across the country.
“I’ve had the great honor of leading the transformation of WGN America from a superstation to a fully distributed cable network, and the great privilege of leading a talented and wonderful team,” said Cherniss. “I am tremendously proud of all of the strides we’ve made and what we were able to accomplish in a short period of time.”
Peter Kern, Chief Executive Officer of Tribune Media Company said, “We are grateful to Matt for his leadership, and creative vision in transforming WGN America. He’s had a tremendous impact on the company, and we thank him for his significant contributions.”
Cherniss expanded WGN America’s reach, its audience and presence in the minds of viewers with brand-defining original programming. Equally important, the network’s advertisers more than doubled and distribution increased by nearly 10 million homes.
WGN America debuted its first original series “Salem” in 2014, premiering to record highs for the network, followed by the critically acclaimed drama “Manhattan,” which garnered the network’s first-ever Emmy Award. The momentum continued with the 2016 launch of “Underground” and “Outsiders,” which consistently ranked among the top 20 cable dramas on television.
Kern has named television industry veteran Gavin Harvey to serve as interim president of WGN America. Harvey has a long and distinguished history in the cable industry, serving in executive roles with networks such as E! and FX, and leading Versus, Fuse and Sportsman’s Channel through significant growth periods.
“I’ve been fortunate to work closely with Gavin over the years, and he is a terrific executive with an impressive track record of building brands and delivering programming that resonates with viewers, advertisers and distributers,” said Kern. “I have no doubt that he can steer WGN America to continued growth and profitability.”
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Tribune Media Company (TRCO) Tribune Media Company (NYSE: TRCO) is home to a diverse portfolio of television and digital properties driven by quality news, entertainment and sports programming. Tribune Media is comprised of Tribune Broadcasting’s 42 owned or operated local television stations reaching more than 50 million households, national entertainment network WGN America, whose reach is approximately 80 million households, Tribune Studios, and a variety of digital applications and websites commanding 60 million monthly unique visitors online. Tribune Media also includes Chicago’s WGN-AM and the national multicast networks Antenna TV and THIS TV. Additionally, the Company owns and manages a significant number of real estate properties across the U.S. and holds a variety of investments, including a 32% interest in CareerBuilder, LLC and a 31% interest in Television Food Network, G.P., which operates Food Network and Cooking Channel. For more information please visit www.tribunemedia.com.
About WGN America
WGN America, the flagship entertainment destination of Tribune Media Company (NYSE: TRCO), is a nationally distributed television network available in approximately 80 million homes via cable, satellite and telco. The network features a strong slate of popular, first-run syndicated dramas, comedies and blockbuster movies celebrated by fans across the country. Stay connected to WGN America on Twitter @wgnamerica. For additional information, please visit www.wgnamerica.com.
Rita Cooper Lee
EVP, Communications and Publicity
WGN America and Tribune Studios
SVP, Corporate Communications
Tribune Media Company