Matthews Appointed President of ABC Owned Stations


As of today, there’s a new individual charged with overseeing the day-to-day management for the eight ABC-owned television stations owned by The Walt Disney Company.

Now President of ABC Owned Television Stations, which comprise properties in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham and Fresno, is Chad Matthews.

He reports directly to Debra OConnell, President of Networks at Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution.

“Chad is an exceptional leader who has a track record of success, always championing innovative content and storytelling, 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 commented, “I am truly honored to be given this opportunity to lead the best station group in the country! 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 in a way that raises the bar for local television.”

Matthews presently serves as President/GM of WABC-7 in New York, overseeing the station known for the most-watched newscasts in the U.S. and for its role as the hub of “Live with Kelly and Ryan.” The syndicated program was born out of the WABC Morning Show, starring Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford, in the mid-1980s.

Matthews started his career at WABC in 2000 and was promoted to senior executive producer in 2002. In 2012, Matthews exited WABC for a five-year stint as Assistant News Director at NBC-owned WTVJ-6 in Miami-Fort Lauderdale. He returned to New York in 2017.



WABC-7 Selects OConnell’s Successor

In fall 2020, Debra OConnell was elevated to President of Networks for Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution, thus leaving the role of President/GM of WABC-7 in New York open for her replacement. ABC Owned Television Stations has just chosen that individual, and it is WABC’s News Director.