Chad Matthews, president and general manager of WABC New York, has been named president of ABC Owned Television Stations. He starts immediately and reports to Debra OConnell, president, Networks, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution. Matthews will oversee the eight ABC-owned stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham and Fresno.
“Chad is an exceptional leader who has a track record of success, always championing innovative content and storytelling, super serving our viewers with programs that have a meaningful impact on the community overall, and achieving and maintaining the highest standards of operational excellence while driving enormous success across linear and digital platforms,” said OConnell, who has been interim president of the station group. “His strategic vision, passion for local news, forward thinking, roll-up-your-sleeves attitude and commitment to teamwork are among the many attributes that will ensure that under his leadership our Owned Television Stations will continue to thrive.”
Wendy McMahon ran the ABC-owned station group until April 2021, when she was named co-head of CBS News and Television Stations.
Matthews was named WABC president and general manager in February 2021, succeeding OConnell. He started at the station in 2000 and was promoted to senior executive producer in 2002. In 2012, Matthews left WABC for a five-year stint as assistant news director at NBC-owned WTVJ Miami, before returning to WABC as the assistant news director. He spent three years as WABC news director before being named general manager.
“I am truly honored to be given this opportunity to lead the best station group in the world! The great eight as I like to call it,” said Matthews. “The team members who make up the ABC Owned Stations are the best in the business. Their talents, innovation, perseverance and flexibility are sources of constant inspiration. I am very much looking forward to working with them to further grow the business while continuing to find new ways to ‘super serve’ our viewers and communities to set the bar for local television.”
Matthews was named General Manager of the Year last month by B+C for his stellar management of the New York powerhouse station amidst Covid, and for the station’s standout programming related to the murder of George Floyd, the anniversary of Sept. 11 and other major stories.
WABC will hire a general manager to succeed Matthews. ■
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.