Apple Adds to Video Team With Hire of Former WGN America Head

Former president and general manager of WGN America and Tribune Studios Matt Cherniss has jointed Apple to help oversee the development of the company's worldwide video unit, reports Variety.

Cherniss will serve under Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, two former Sony executives who joined Apple earlier this year to lead Apple's video programming efforts on a worldwide scale. Erlicht and Amburg report to senior vice president of internet software and services Eddy Cue.

mattchernissoutsiders
Back in June, Cherniss stepped down from his role as president at WGN America and Tribune Studios after Tribune was acquired by Sinclair Broadcast Group. Cherniss led WGN's own push into original content and away from re-runs, overseeing the launch of shows like "Salem," "Outsiders," "Underground," and "Manhattan," so he's well-positioned to help Apple make a deeper dive into original programming.

With the addition of Cherniss, Apple has a solid team, as its former two hires, Erlicht and Amburg, helped produce shows like "Breaking Bad," "Better Call Saul," and "The Crown."

Over the course of the last several months, Apple has been experimenting with original content as a way to promote its Apple Music service. The company has launched two shows so far, including "Planet of the Apps," a series about app developers pitching ideas to investors, and "Carpool Karaoke," a music-based show developed from the Carpool Karaoke segment on "The Late Late Show with James Corden."

Apple is said to have bigger ambitions when it comes to original content, though, with rumors suggesting the company is pursuing deals with "triple-A-list" talent to create a roster of shows on par with Netflix and Amazon.

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Top Rated Comments

ignatius345 Avatar
90 months ago

The company has launched two shows so far, including "Planet of the Apps ('https://www.macrumors.com/2017/06/06/planet-of-the-apps-launches-june-6/')," a series about app developers pitching ideas to investors, and "Carpool Karaoke ('https://www.macrumors.com/2017/08/08/carpool-karaoke-the-series-officially-launches/')," a music-based show developed from the Carpool Karaoke segment on "The Late Late Show with James Corden."
Yeahhhhhh... gonna have to do better than that kind of advertainment if they want anybody to tune in here.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Zirel Avatar
90 months ago
Apple is first and foremost a software/hardware company. Content is not their forte, and it's one of the reasons they are struggling to get into the video business.
If you can’t do it right, don’t do it!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HiRez Avatar
90 months ago
What on earth is "triple-A-list" talent?...
Gwyneth Paltrow, obviously.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nt5672 Avatar
90 months ago
I won't claim to know him personally, but I've met him a few times and had drinks with him at various events and he's a good guy. I loved Underground, Outsiders, Salem, Manhattan, etc. But they were shows that had a very narrow audience and you had to be in the right mood for. A service that Apple is trying to build probably needs to be broader, not sure if his sensibilities fit that. . . . . .
Most good series right now stray way out of Apple's idea of PG-12 rating for everything. Violence and sex sells. What people tolerate in their iPhone apps is not what they will tolerate for their entertainment.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Pilgrim1099 Avatar
89 months ago
Most good series right now stray way out of Apple's idea of PG-12 rating for everything. Violence and sex sells. What people tolerate in their iPhone apps is not what they will tolerate for their entertainment.
Here's the weird thing if people hadn't noticed. On the iTunes store, Apple has a huge backlog of R-rated movies and yet, when they produce their own content, they won't do anything that's beyond PG or PG-13. However, I heard rumors that Dr. Dre was supposedly going to do an R-rated show for them, I believe, on Apple TV or Apple Music. Nothing came out of it.

But you're right in that violence and sex does sell to the masses. Carpool Karaoke was put in Apple Music when it should've been on Apple TV.

So what does Apple want to be? A rebel or a wuss?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fhall1 Avatar
90 months ago
These three guys need to get spun up really fast - they have an impressive resume. Hopefully Eddy Cue stays far away from them and lets them do their thing.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)