Tribune is rolling out plans for its studio relaunch, with the newly formed Tribune Studios to be headed up by former Warner Bros. executive Matt Cherniss. B&C reports that Tribune named Cherniss president and general manager of WGN America and Tribune Studios.
“Cherniss, 40, will be responsible for overall strategy, execution and day-to-day strategy operations of both properties, based in Los Angeles, and report to Tribune CEO Peter Liguori. He’ll oversee the development of original content for WGN America and Tribune’s 23 local TV stations,” the story reports.
“Julio Marenghi, who has headed WGN America since 2009, will now be president of broadcast media sales, overseeing ad sales for the company’s local stations and WGN Radio in Chicago.”
Cherniss and Liguori previously worked together at FX, the report notes, adding: “And just like ‘The Shield’ put FX on the map in 2002, Cherniss will be tasked with finding that breakout piece of programming that can redefine WGN America.”
Cherniss told the publication: "It all begins with one show. It starts that process of building WGN America to be on the same level with all the other general entertainment networks out there."
The piece notes that Liguori and Cherniss didn’t have much to say about which viewers the retooled network will seek out, but that they will let the programming point the way to an audience. “Cherniss did say that both scripted and unscripted will eventually be a part of the mix,” the report adds.
Said Liguori: "It’s difficult for us at this point to get into any specific targets. Matt, who has a research background, will do some digging. We’ll see where there’s some white space and we will make our case internally and to the creative community of who we should go after and who we can draw into our network."