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Apple Snags Matt Cherniss, Former President of WGN America, for Entertainment Programming Development

1af x99 Matt Cherniss


In one of their first major moves since joining Apple as heads of worldwide video programming, Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht have brought in Matt Cherniss to oversee programming development.


Cherniss, a respected veteran network development executive, had been in demand since he recently stepped down as president and general manager of WGN America and Tribune Studios. He had been approached for multiple jobs though, after stints at Fox, Warner Bros., FX and WGNA, I hear he had indicated his interest in pursuing opportunities outside of the traditional Hollywood system.


At Apple, Cherniss' title is believed to be head of domestic creative development, reporting to Erlicht and Van Amburg. He is one of a series of high-level executive appointments Erlicht and Van Amburg are expected to make as they build TV development and production operation from scratch.


Cherniss served as president and general manager of WGN America and Tribune Studios for the past four years, overseeing WGNA's transformation from a superstation to a cable network and home of high-end original drama series with series like Salem, Manhattan, Outsiders and Underground.


Whatever Apple is creating for Apple TV, it's finally taking shape with industry pros that are likely to take Amazon and Netflix head on. Yet for now the news is simple and positive. A great team is forming for Apple's newest venture into entertainment beyond music and games.


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