Broadcast TV’s longest-tenured chief just got a big promotion.
Mark Pedowitz, who has been president of The CW since 2011, was named chairman and CEO of the network, signing a multiyear deal to continue overseeing the joint venture between ViacomCBS and Warner Bros. Entertainment.
He’ll oversee all creative and business aspects of the network in his new role.
In 2012, a year after arriving at The CW, “we implemented a strategy and redefined the brand,” Pedowitz told Adweek. “We’ll continue with the thought process of making sure this brand is unique and distinctive. We know what works on our brand and what doesn’t. We’re rooted in our foundation of broadcasting on linear, but our ad-VOD digital services and our social media services completes the whole”
Since arriving at the network in 2011, Pedowitz has increased its original programming to 18 scripted series a year while adding a summer slate of shows like Whose Line is it Anyway? and Penn & Teller: Fool Us.
He has also built a stable of superhero series, including Arrow, The Flash and freshman show Batwoman as well as critically acclaimed shows like Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
In 2018, the network expanded to Sunday nights, a move that added 20% more national ad inventory.
Pedowitz has been a pioneer in embracing digital platforms ahead of his broadcast peers and last year oversaw a shift in the network’s digital strategy after its Netflix deal lapsed. The network has secured in-season streaming rights to all new shows, enabling it to stack episodes from the entire current season on CWTV.com and The CW app, which does not require authentication to use.
His promotion by the ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia boards, said Pedowitz, “is reflective of how they feel the network and my job has grown over the past few years by the new [Sunday] night, the [expanded] originals, the digital programming, the year-round summer programming, and trying to chart our way with our new full-stack strategy, in-season in the new post-Netflix world. And hopefully that they have believed in the strategy we’ve put together as a team.”
Earlier this week, The CW renewed a whopping 13 shows, almost its entire current lineup, for next season including The Flash, Riverdale and freshman series Batwoman and Nancy Drew.