John Idler has overall management responsibility for the top-rated station in Chicago, the nation’s third-largest television market. Under his leadership, ABC 7 continues their 40+ year’s news ratings dominance and claims the strongest streaming audience in Chicago, and is among the top local streamers in the country. Idler also oversees additional businesses, including the Localish Network on 7.2, abc7chicago.com, as well as its streaming, mobile and other new media businesses. This is the third time Idler has called ABC 7 home, after serving in key sales positions at the station earlier in his career. He has served as president and general manager of ABC 7 Chicago since 2012.
Idler began his broadcast career in Chicago in 1991. He has been active in various industry associations and community groups. Idler is the immediate past chairman of the board of directors, Illinois Broadcasters Association. In that role, he initiated the ILLINIOS BROADCASTERS UNITING AGAINST HUNGER campaign, which raised more than $1.5 million dollars for Illinois food banks during the COVID-19 crisis.
He has co-chaired the American Cancer Society’s Real Men Wear Pink of Greater Chicagoland campaign to raise awareness and funds to save lives from breast cancer. Idler also serves on the boards of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, USO of Illinois, 100 Club of Chicago, Greater Chicago Food Depository, as well as the Executive Club of Chicago. He received a mayoral appointment to serve on the State Street Commission. Additionally, he is active with the American Red Cross and spearheaded a partnership that has resulted in the collection of more than 1,800 units of blood, making it the largest single-day Red Cross Blood drive in the country.
Prior to joining ABC 7 Chicago, Idler has served as president and general manager of WTVD-TV in Raleigh-Durham-Fayetteville since December 2007.
He has held local TV management posts in Chicago and Raleigh-Durham-Fayetteville since joining the ABC Owned Television Stations Group as a WLS-TV sales account executive in 1998. He moved to WTVD-TV as a sales manager in 2000, and subsequently returned to WLS-TV as a sales manager in 2002. Idler was named WLS-TV vice president and general sales manager in 2004 before his promotion to president and general manager at WTVD-TV in 2007.
Idler earned his Bachelor of Science degree in history from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and his Master of Business Administration from the University of New Haven. He and his wife have two children.