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Chad Matthews has been named president of ABC Owned Television Stations, effective immediately. He takes over the position vacated by Wendy McMahon, who exited the company last year. Most recently, Debra OConnell, who is president of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, Networks, has been managing the team directly with Matthews’ assistance since last April.

Most recently, Matthews was president and general manager of ABC7/WABC-TV-New York, where he had overall management responsibility for ABC7/WABC-TV and its ancillary businesses, including operational oversight of “Live With Kelly and Ryan.”

In his new role, Matthews will report directly to OConnell and have chief management responsibility for the eight ABC-owned television stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham and Fresno.

“Chad is an exceptional leader who has a track record of success, always championing innovative content and storytelling, super serving our viewers with programs that have a meaningful impact on the community overall, and achieving and maintaining the highest standards of operational excellence while driving enormous success across linear and digital platforms,” OConnell said. “His strategic vision, passion for local news, forward thinking roll-up your sleeves attitude and commitment to teamwork are among the many attributes that will ensure that under his leadership our Owned Television Stations will continue to thrive.”

Matthews added: “I am truly honored to be given this opportunity to lead the best station group in the world! The great eight as I like to call it. The team members who make up the ABC Owned Stations are the best in the business. Their talents, innovation, perseverance and flexibility are sources of constant inspiration. I am very much looking forward to working with them to further grow the business while continuing to find new ways to “super serve” our viewers and communities to set the bar for local television.”