CW Executives Are Leaving In Droves
After the departure of The CW CEO Mark Pedowitz, two more senior executives have left the network.
The CW is experiencing turmoil as their Nexstar takeover becomes reality. Now, as reported by Deadline, 2 more senior executives have announced that they will be out as soon as the new owners are in place. Specifically Rich Haskins–president of streaming and chief branding officer–and finance chief Mitch Nedick are leaving the network
This news comes after the CW network’s 11 year CEO, Mark Pedowitz, announced his departure yesterday. He has overseen every aspect of the network — from content to lineups, marketing and distribution.
Without Pedowitz, the CW is going to have a whole new feel and other executives are apparently not on board with that. As the chief branding officer and president of streaming, Rick Haskins’s departure in particular has potential to have a lasting impact. Branding is everything in modern entertainment and there’s no telling just what kinds of hoops will need to be jumped through by his replacement in order to appease Nexstar.
The CW’s finance chief Mitch Nedick has been with the network from its start, moving over even during the change when the WB was bought out. His decades-long dedication to the network also speaks of the trouble that is expected throughout the changeover as other executives are expected to quit.
Nexstar is a huge media entity. They already control more than half of the television markets in the United States.
In the wake of taking over The CW, Nexstar is likely to be giving their new audiences very different kind of content. The group has already announced its intention to move away from campy comic book heroes and storylines. While series like The Flash and Superman & Lois may be continuing for the time being, Nexstar has made it clear they intend to move away from scripted content; with most of the scripted shows they offer falling more in the realms of police procedurals.
In the lead-up to Nexstar’s buyout of The CW, much of the network’s original content was wiped out including those DC Comics related series considered part of what is known as the “Arrowverse.” DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman, and Naomi all got the axe; whittling its superhero content down to The Flash, Superman & Lois, and Stargirl. In the meantime series like Dynasty, In the Dark, The 4400, Charmed, and Roswell, New Mexico were all cancelled.
One of The CW’s most popular series, Riverdale, was given one more season to wrap things up.
What remains one of the biggest question marks in the wake of Nexstar’s takeover is the fate of J. Michael Straczynski’s reboot of the classic sci-fi series Babylon 5. The series had been in development for a while with the network, but Straczynski warned fans in September that they need to start getting loud otherwise it might not happen. Considering the potential cost of a special effects heavy sci-fi series plus Nexstar’s intentions to move away from scripted content, it seems likely the voices will need to be loud indeed.