Press Release

February 17, 2021

Media relations
Elita Fielder Adjei
Director, Communications & Publicity
(424) 247-3517
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WABC News Executive Chad Matthews Named President and General Manager of ABC7/WABC-TV New York

Disney Enterprises, Inc.*

WABC News executive Chad Matthews has been named the president and general manager of WABC-TV, announced Wendy McMahon, president, ABC Owned Television Stations. In his new role, Matthews has overall management responsibility for ABC7/WABC-TV and its ancillary businesses.  

Matthews replaces Debra OConnell, who was elevated to president of Networks for Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution last fall, and is now responsible for operational leadership for all of the Company’s linear television networks, including the ABC broadcast network, and its cable channels, as well as oversight of the ABC Owned Stations, Nat Geo Media and commercial marketing across the networks and home entertainment. 

“As news director of WABC, Chad has repeatedly proven his incredible dedication to the station and the community ABC7 serves,” said McMahon. “During his tenure, he led the direction and modernization of the market’s leading local television news and information brand, increasing audience reach and engagement while expertly navigating change and driving innovation. Chad is an insightful, forward-thinking and collaborative executive who will continue successfully leading ABC7/WABC-TV forward.” 

“It is an honor and privilege to lead New York City’s and the nation’s No. 1 station,” said Matthews. “Since the first day I walked in the door in May 2000, I have been in awe of both the leadership and the many talented individuals that collectively make Channel 7 the most-watched station in the country. Together, we will continue to serve the tri-state region. We have never been more committed to creating impactful programming and lifesaving information for our viewers during these unprecedented times.I am extremely proud to lead this amazing team who not only care about the quality of work produced but also, just as importantly, the diverse communities we serve.”

As the news director of WABC for the past three years, Matthews oversaw the overall function of exclusive content creation and operations for WABC’s television and digital channels as well as the launch of connected TV apps on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV and Roku. In 2020, he successfully transitioned the station to a remote workforce to produce Eyewitness News without interruption during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, finishing the year with the largest audience of any television station in the nation and carrying a wider margin of success than it had in 2019. During his tenure, the station’s digital platforms experienced record growth adding more than 4 million unique viewers in 2020 alone, a more-than 20% increase from the prior year. Matthews is an award-winning news executive with a total of six Emmy® Awards, four of them as recent as 2020 when WABC won for best newscast in every daypart. He and his Eyewitness News colleagues were presented with the prestigious Governors Award commemorating WABC’s 50th anniversary.

Matthews has an extensive background in local TV journalism and significantly in the tri-state region. He started his career at WABC in 2000 and was promoted to senior executive producer in 2002. He spent 12 years in senior roles for Eyewitness News and won both a Peabody Award in 2001 as the live control room producer for the station’s 9/11 coverage and an Emmy Award in 2007 for Best Evening Newscast. In 2012, Matthews temporarily left WABC for a five-year stint as assistant news director at NBC-owned WTVJ in South Florida. At WTVJ, he won another Emmy Award in 2017 for breaking news coverage during the Ft. Lauderdale airport shooting incident before returning to WABC as the assistant news director later that year.

Matthews has a Bachelor of Arts in mass communication from Westfield State University. In 2020, he proudly served as a board member for the nonprofit organization Dance to Unite, which provides free dance instruction and promotes diversity for inner-city children. He’s a member of NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists and serves as a senior adviser and executive champion on PRIDE at ABC News and ABC Owned Television Stations Business Employee Resource Group.

About WABC
WABC-TV has been the leader in local news and entertainment programming in the New York City area for more than 60 years. Producing more than 45 hours of live, local news and weather each week, Channel 7 “Eyewitness News”is the most-watched local news in New York and the United States. WABC-TV also produces “Live with Kelly and Ryan,” weekdays at 9:00 a.m., which is seen in more than 200 markets across the U.S. Quality news and programming, cutting-edge technology and ongoing community outreach are the hallmarks of excellence that have consistently kept WABC-TV New York’s No. 1 station and the most-watched television station in the nation.


About ABC Owned Television Stations 
Walt Disney Television’s eight owned ABC stations are multiplatform leaders in local news and information. Collectively No. 1 across all U.S. television, reaching 23% of households and more than 34 million Total Viewers and 62 million digital visitors a month, the eight stations are comprised of WABC-TV New York, KABC-TV Los Angeles, WLS-TV Chicago, WPVI-TV Philadelphia, KGO-TV San Francisco, KTRK-TV Houston, WTVD-TV Raleigh-Durham and KFSN-TV Fresno. The stations also deliver locally sourced storytelling to more than 14 million viewers across America through its digital-first national lifestyle brand and broadcast channel, Localish. Most recently, the stations received four Broadcast & Cable awards in the major market category for 2020: Best News Coverage, Best Digital Multiplatform or Website, Best Investigative Reporting Station Group and Best Public Affairs Programming, illustrating the group’s strength and ever-increasing growth and reach in the multiplatform space.

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Media Contact:
ABC Owned Television Stations
Elita Fielder Adjei, Director of Communications & Publicity
(424) 247-3517