Pedowitz Upped to Chairman/CEO of The CW

Exec built successful streaming strategy and expanded network’s linear scope
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Mark Pedowitz, president of The CW, has been promoted to chairman and chief executive of the network. He will oversee all creative and business aspects of The CW, which is a joint venture between Warner Bros. Entertainment and ViacomCBS.

Mark Pedowitz

Mark Pedowitz

It is a new multiyear deal for Pedowitz.

Pedowitz joined The CW as president in 2011. He expanded the network’s programming to Sundays in fall 2018, launched digital channel CW Seed, established the network as an AVOD streaming service and secured full in-season digital rights to all new CW scripted shows.

Related: The CW Renews 13 Series

Awarded series during his time at the network include Jane the Virgin, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, The Flash and Riverdale.

Pedowitz’s day to day won’t change much, though he said the promotion “allows me to think more about digital strategy.”

His new titles are “reflective of what has already been an expanded workload,” added Pedowitz. “The title I had did not really reflect my responsibilities.”

Pedowitz said The CW has no plans to hire an entertainment president with his promotion.

Earlier this week, The CW renewed all 13 current returning series for 2020-2021.

In 2016, Pedowitz was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame.

Prior to his time at The CW, he was president of ABC Studios from 2004 to 2009. Before that, he was executive VP of ABC Entertainment Television Group.

Pedowitz said he’s proud of The CW’s diversity efforts on both sides of the camera. This season, two-thirds of the network’s executive producers, directors and writers on scripted series are women and/or people of color. Nearly half of series regulars are women and more than 50% are people of color.

He also mentioned the network establishing itself as “the premiere AVOD service out there,” and a free one to boot.

Over the summer, The CW secured in-season streaming rights to all new CW series going forward, which means the network can stack episodes of its new series on its own streaming platform. That allows viewers who may have fallen behind on a series to get caught up before a new episode airs.

“That allows us to control our branding and bring our fans back to us,” he said.

After going from 10 hours per week to 12 in fall 2018, Pedowitz said the network is in “preliminary discussions” about expanding to seven nights of prime a week, though the discussions have not gone beyond that.

Next up for The CW is Katy Keene, which premieres Feb. 6. The CW recently ordered an additional 13 scripts for the series, which Pedowitz described as “a blue-sky look at New York.” It’s about four aspiring artists having a go of it in the big city. Lucy Hale stars.

“I think it’s gonna be a really big hit, in terms of what it will do on social media, digital and linear,” said Pedowitz.

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