CHICAGO -- Tribune Co. announced the appointment of veteran television and radio executive Larry Wert
as president of its local broadcasting businesses. Wert will be
responsible for directing the strategy and operations of Tribune ’s 23
local television stations and WGN Radio in Chicago. Wert will assume
his new role in the near future and he will report directly to Tribune
CEO Peter Liguori.
Wert, who has more than 30 years of broadcasting experience, joined WMAQ-TV (NBC5) in Chicago as president and general manager in January 1998.
In April 2008, he was named president of the Central & Western Regions for
NBC Local Media, overseeing five NBC-owned television stations: KNBC-TV
in Los Angeles, KNTV-TV in San Francisco, KNSD-TV in San Diego, KXAS-TV in Dallas and WMAQ-TV in Chicago. In September 2011, he was named executive vice president of Station Initiatives for NBC-owned stations.
Larry’s talent, creativity, and broad television, digital and radio
experience make him the ideal person to lead our local broadcasting and
radio businesses,” Liguori said. “Larry is also a skilled manager of
people, an innovative programmer, and understands the important role our
local TV news operations play in the communities we serve.”
Under Wert’s leadership, NBC5 became one of the top award-winning
news stations in the market. During his tenure, NBC5 has been the home
of a variety of exclusive community and special-event productions,
including the Chicago Marathon and Chicago Auto Show. He helped launch Chicago ’s
first street-side TV studio and joined with Telemundo to create the
city's first co-located, bilingual TV newsroom. Wert also was
instrumental in bringing production of the nationally syndicated Steve Harvey Show to NBC Tower, which is also home to Judge Mathis.
“My 15 years at NBC have been rewarding and I have no doubt that NBC
Chicago and Comcast are on the upswing,” Wert said. “Tribune has a rich
history of broadcast excellence, powerful television and radio media
businesses and an extremely talented staff. I am excited by the
opportunity to build on this great foundation—I can't wait to get
Nils Larsen, president of Tribune Broadcasting, will assist Wert in the transition to his new position with Tribune.
Wert, 56, got his start in the industry at Leo Burnett Advertising in Chicago in 1978. He went on to spend 10 years with ABC-TV in TV sales in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, and then to WLS-TV (Chicago) as local sales manager. In 1989, Wert was named president and general manager of Evergreen's “The Loop” and AM 1000 in Chicago. In 1996, he was named president of Evergreen Media Corp. when it
merged with Chancellor Broadcasting. He was promoted to senior
vice president, overseeing Chancellor ’s 13 radio properties in Chicago and Detroit before joining NBC5.
Wert is deeply involved in the greater Chicago
community, serving on the board of directors for several charities and
organizations, including the Museum of Broadcast Communications, the
Children’s Brittle Bone Foundation, Catholic Charities, the Chicagoland
Chamber of Commerce, and the 100 Club. He is a member of the Governing
Board of Gilda ’s Club of Chicago, and is an advisor to the
Chicago Chapter of Make-A-Wish Foundation. He is an Honorary Board
Member of RAINBOWS, an organization that helps children cope with loss.
Wert also sits on the IBA board of directors and the board of trustees
for Fenwick High School in Oak Park, Ill.
Wert holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He and his wife Julie have four children and reside in his hometown of Riverside, Ill.