CW and WB Network alum John Maatta has signed on as president and CEO of Wizard World, a company that hosts comic book conventions and live events for fans tied to movies, TV shows, gaming and technology.
Maatta had been a board member of the publicly traded company since 2011 and had recently served as chairman. His appointment as CEO is effective May 3.
Maatta most recently had worked in the entertainment and media practice at the law firm Greenberg Traurig. Before that he had a more than 20-year run at the WB Network, where he was the first employee, and its successor, the CW.
“John brings Wizard World his solid entertainment industry experience and proven success in creating innovative content and distribution strategies. Wizard World is poised to expand its already significant footprint, and John will work with us to guide the company to its next phase of growth and beyond,” said Wizard World board chairman Paul Kessler.
Maatta said Wizard World’s business model rooted in local market events reminded him of the local-national approach to the broadcast network business.
“It’s just amazing to get out there and see how the fans react to seeing (favorite content) right in front of them,” he said. Maatta said he sees expansion opportunities for the company in the nature of its convention style events, particularly as it involves live performances. The upcoming June 2-5 Comic Con in Philadelphia, which will feature appearances by Marvel stars Tom Hiddleston, Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans, will also include a concert with pop star Grimes.