John Maatta, the longest-serving employee of the WB Network and the CW, is segueing to a post with the entertainment and media practice at Greenberg Traurig.
Maatta, a well-liked and respected biz exec, will focus on legal matters related to entertainment development, production, new media, VOD, employment, co-production and financing agreements and issues involving TV and Internet distribution. Maatta’s got hands-on experience in all of those areas thanks to his long run at the WB and CW, and before that at Lorimar/Warner Bros.
“We are very pleased to welcome John to the firm and continue to build our strong entertainment practice in Los Angeles,” said Dan Black, chair of Greenberg Traurig’s West Coast Entertainment and Media Practice. “John’s multi-faceted, hands-on television and digital experience, combined with his extensive network of high level contacts, will be a great benefit to our clients.”
Maatta joined WB shortly after its inception in 1993 — he was employee No. 1 after founder Jamie Kellner struck his deal with Warner Bros. to back the nascent effort. He rose to chief operating officer and managed the transition to the CW in 2006, when the WB and UPN merged operations.
Maatta shifted to exec VP and general counsel after Mark Pedowitz came to the CW as president in 2011. He will consult for the CW through the rest of this year.
“From The WB to the CW, we thank John for more than 20 years of service, as well as his important contributions to building two new broadcast networks,” Pedowitz said. “We wish John the absolute best in this next chapter of his career.”
(Pictured: John Maatta with former ‘Beverly Hills 90210’ star Shannen Doherty)