The president and general manager of WGN America and Tribune Studios is stepping down, with the company announcing the resignation today of Matt Cherniss. The executive will remain on board through the end of this month to help with the transition.
Cherniss has been in the post since March 2013. “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,” the company noted.
Said Cherniss: “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. 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, CEO of Tribune Media Company, added: “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.”
The announcement notes that WGN America’s advertisers more than doubled and distribution increased by nearly 10 million homes under the watch of Cherniss.
“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 announcement notes. “The momentum continued with the 2016 launch of ‘Underground’ and ‘Outsiders,’ which consistently ranked among the top 20 cable dramas on television.”
TV industry veteran Gavin Harvey has been named as interim president of WGN America.