YouTube hires Fox, WGN vets to help run original programming team

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Wax’s and Cherniss’s exits from WGN America came as the network decided to shift its programming strategy away from costly scripted series.

YouTube is building out its executive team for original programming hub YouTube Red by bringing on two veteran execs from WGN America and Fox Broadcasting.

Jon Wax, former head of scripted for WGN America, is joining YouTube as the new head of drama, scripted and current programming. Wax’s new job comes as former WGN America president Matt Chernis, also this week, found a new gig at Apple as head of U.S. programming.

RELATED: Former WGN president Cherniss joins Apple as head of U.S. programming


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At YouTube, Wax will be working alongside Dustin Davis, who is the head of comedy development and current programming. During Wax’s tenure with WGN, he helped the network launch well-regarded scripted series including “Outsiders” and “Underground.”

Wax’s and Cherniss’s exits from WGN America—whose parent company Tribune Media is being bought for $3.9 billion by Sinclair Broadcast—came as the network decided to shift its programming strategy away from costly scripted series.

“As WGN America evolves and broadens the scope and scale of its portfolio of series, we recently announced that resources will be reallocated to a new strategy to increase our relevance within the rapidly changing television landscape. This move is designed to deliver additional value for our advertising and distribution partners and offer viewers more original content across our air,” Tribune Media CEO Peter Kern said in a statement.

In addition to Wax, YouTube also hired former Fox Broadcasting CMO Angela Courtin to serve as global head of YouTube TV and originals marketing. As Deadline pointed out, Courtin left Fox in March after a year and a half with the company, and she previously served as CMO of Relativity Media.

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