Chad Matthews named president of ABC-owned TV stations

NEW YORK – Chad Matthews, WABC-TV’s multi-award-winning news director, has been named president, ABC Owned Television Stations, effective immediately, Debra OConnell, president, Networks, Disney Media announced today. & Entertainment Distribution. In this role, Matthews will report directly to OConnell and be responsible for managing eight ABC-owned television stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham and Fresno.

“Chad is an exceptional leader with a track record of success, always championing innovative content and storytelling, programs that have a meaningful impact on the community at large, and achieving and maintaining the highest standards of operational excellence while by generating huge success across linear and digital platforms,” ​​OConnell said. “His strategic vision, passion for local news, forward-thinking attitude to roll up your sleeves and commitment to teamwork are among the many attributes that will ensure that, under his leadership, our owned television stations will continue to thrive.”

“I’m truly honored to have the opportunity to lead the best group of resorts in the country! The Big Dipper as I like to call it,” said Matthews. “The team members who make up ABC-owned stations are the best in the industry. Their talents, innovation, perseverance and flexibility are a constant source of inspiration. I look forward to working with them to further grow the business while continuing to find new ways to super serve our viewers and our communities in a way that raises the bar for local television.”

Matthews steps into the role of President and CEO of ABC7/WABC-TV – New York, the #1 station in New York and the most-watched station in the country. In this role, he was responsible for the overall management of ABC7/WABC-TV and its ancillary activities, including operational oversight of “Live with Kelly and Ryan”.

Under his leadership, the team transitioned the station to a remote workforce to produce Eyewitness News without interruption at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic when New York was at the epicenter of the initial outbreak in the United States, helping to provide vital information and resources. ; oversaw the station’s airing of the intensely watched New York mayor’s debate, which went from distance to person a week before the broadcast; and has produced countless stories and specials documenting the calculus of social justice leading and then rising after the murder of George Floyd. To mark the anniversary of 9/11, his team produced “Eyewitness to 9/11: Behind the Lens”, a harrowing 50-minute documentary that featured interviews with members of the WABC team who reported and lived through the horrific events. of September 11 as they unfolded.

He played a pivotal role in developing the station’s digital presence, overseeing the station’s launch on connected TV apps on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV and Roku, and driving record growth across the platforms. digital. Over the past year, WABC has grown its digital unique viewers by more than 20% year-over-year growth in viewership across all platforms, driven by significant gains in connected TVs, including a 41.5% increase in unique viewers and a 215% increase in total minutes watched.

Over the past year, the station won 17 Emmy Awards, including the key categories of Overall Station Excellence and Overall News Excellence, and Best Morning and Daytime Newscasts of 2020. They were also honored with three regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for Overall Excellence, Best Newscast and Best Current Affairs Documentary, including a National Murrow Award for Best Newscast. At the end of the year, Broadcasting and Cable named Matthews GM of the Year for 2021.

Matthews has extensive experience in television journalism locally and significantly in the tri-state area. He began his career at WABC in 2000 and was promoted to Senior Executive Producer in 2002. He spent 12 years in executive positions for Eyewitness News and won both a Peabody Award in 2001 as a theatrical producer Live Control for the station’s 9/11 coverage and a 2007 Emmy Award for Outstanding Evening News. In 2012, Matthews temporarily left WABC for a five-year term as deputy news director at NBC-owned WTVJ in South Florida. At WTVJ, he won another Emmy Award in 2017 for making headlines during the Ft. Lauderdale airport shooting incident before returning to WABC as assistant news director later that year. .

He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from Westfield State University. In 2020, he proudly served as a board member of the non-profit organization Dance to Unite, which provides free dance lessons and promotes diversity for inner-city children. He is a member of NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists and is a Senior Advisor and PRIDE Executive Champion at ABC News and ABC Owned Television Stations Business Employee Resource Group.

About ABC-owned television stations:

The eight ABC stations owned by Disney Media Entertainment & Distribution are multiplatform leaders in local news and information. Collectively No. 1 on all of American television, reaching 23% of households and more than 34 million total viewers and 62 million digital visitors per month, the eight stations are made up of WABC-TV New York, KABC- TV Los Angeles, WLS-TV Chicago, WPVI-TV Philadelphia, KGO-TV San Francisco, KTRK-TV Houston, WTVD-TV Raleigh-Durham and KFSN-TV Fresno. The stations also bring locally-sourced stories to more than 17 million viewers across America through its cross-platform lifestyle network, Localish. In 2020, the stations received five Broadcast & Cable awards, including Best in Local TV Awards 2020 as Station Group of the Year for Innovative, Next-Gen News Reporting, and Main market category for 2020: Best News Coverage, Best Digital Multi-Platform or Website, Best Investigative Reporting Station Group and Best Public Affairs Programming, illustrating the strength of the group and its ever-increasing growth and reach growing in the cross-platform space.

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