Former Pop TV president Brad Schwartz has been tapped as the new entertainment president at the CW, the network announced Wednesday, just a day after PR chief Paul Hewitt exited after 22 years amid dozens of layoffs.
Schwartz had been consulting for The CW, which is owned by Nexstar, under former network CEO Mark Pedowitz after a brief time as head of originals at Audible. He will start his new role Nov. 7 and report to former Nexstar board member and current CW president Dennis Miller.
Schwartz will be responsible for programming strategy, creative and brand development and day-to-day operations. The station group is also starting efforts to turn America’s fifth broadcast network into a more profitable one.
“I have had the pleasure of working closely with Brad and I have seen his entrepreneurial approach to reinvigorating brands,” Miller said in a press release. “He knows how to develop and acquire hits with limited resources, nurture talent, and broaden the appeal of diverse media assets.”
Prior to joining the CW, Schwartz spearheaded the rebranding of the TV Guide Network to Pop TV. As president, he oversaw both creative and business operations and grew the network’s audience and revenue for six years.
He also discovered Pop TV’s flagship original series, “Schitt’s Creek.” Its four Emmy nominations made Pop TV just the second basic cable network in history with a Best Comedy Series Emmy nomination, and in 2020, the show won more Emmys than any other comedy series between the time of “Schitt’s Creek” and the original “One Day at a Time.” In 2020, Pop TV became the fastest growing non-news network in all of television.
Schwartz also helped land Pop TV programs like “Flack” and “Nightcap.”
Before Pop TV, Schwartz served as Senior Vice President of Programming and Operations at Fuse; before that, he served as General Manager of a portfolio of eight music and pop culture networks in Canada, including MTV Canada and MuchMusic, where his team produced “The Hills After Show,” hosted by a young Dan Levy, the co-creator of “Schitt’s Creek.” He led Fuse’s award-winning re-brand and discovered critically acclaimed programming, including the Emmy-nominated “Billy on the Street,” the Emmy and Peabody-winning “Hip Hop Evolution” for Netflix, Prentice Penny’s Image-Award winning “The Hustle,” and GLAAD-winning Best Reality Series “Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce.”
“I have respected and admired The CW for a long, long time and, quite frankly, I have always dreamed of
working there,” Schwartz said in a press release. “I am thrilled to get back together with Dennis and build upon its great foundation. It is an exciting challenge, backed by a fantastic team at Nexstar, and we’re going to have a ton of fun.”