Paul Rennie named general manager of ‘Chicago’s Very Own’ WGN

WGN TV

WGN TV

Paul Rennie, a veteran of Tribune Broadcasting stations in Indianapolis and Seattle, has been named president and general manager of WGN-Channel 9, the hometown flagship of Tribune Media in Chicago.

Rennie’s appointment, effective immediately, was announced Tuesday by Larry Wert, Tribune Broadcasting’s president of broadcast media. In addition to “Chicago’s Very Own,” Rennie also will oversee CLTV, the regional cable news channel.

Paul Rennie

Paul Rennie

Since 2013 Rennie has been vice president and general manager of WTTV and WXIN, Tribune Broadcasting’s duopoly in Indianapolis. For nine years before that was general sales manager of KCPQ and KXJO, the company’s duopoly in Seattle.

“Paul did a great job in Seattle for us and has really grown as a leader in Indianapolis,” Wert said. “He has great experience with the Seattle Seahawks and Indy Colts, along with eight years of selling equity in Chicago. I am looking forward to him joining the great legacy at WGN 9/CLTV and joining [president and general manager] Jimmy [deCastro] at WGN AM 720.”

Rennie succeeds Greg Easterly, who has shifted to senior vice president/group operations for Tribune Broadcasting stations and interim general manager of WPIX in New York. Easterly joined WGN in April 2014 from WJW in Cleveland.

The change in management coincides with WGN’s momentous switch from CW Network affiliate to full-fledged independent station, effective September 1, with plans to expand its local news and sports programming significantly.

“WGN is a solid station with a legacy of serving the community with outstanding local news and programming,” Rennie said in a statement. “I’m excited to be part of a new chapter in WGN’s rich history.”

A graduate of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, Rennie worked early in his career in Chicago, including sales positions at Petry Television, ABC National Sales and ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7.

Here is the text of Wert’s memo announcing the appointment:

Good morning:

I am happy and proud to announce our new leader in Chicago;  Paul Rennie. Paul is completing his 13th year with Tribune, and after over 10 successful years at our Seattle duopoly, he has performed admirably as our VP and General Manager in Indianapolis. After only 6 months in his role at our Indy duop FOX/CW, we gave him an athletic challenge of switching the CW to CBS, and getting a news product on the air. Paul and his team had just over 4 months to strategize, build out and make their first impression with CBS 4 news (they also had to protect FOX 59 while launching.) Getting the Indy Colts, and keeping a 3rd station viable (sans the CW) were other wins. Under his leadership, our Indy team has made us all proud.
 
Additionally,  earlier in his career, Paul spent 8 years in various sales roles in Chicago, including WLS TV. He has a strong sense of the Chicago market, and WGN 9/CLTV. He also has many great relationships here.
 
Please join me in welcoming Paul and his family to his new role in Chicago.    
 
Larry Wert
President Tribune Broadcasting