Expanding its push into original content across all platforms, Media General ("Media General" or the "Company"; NYSE: MEG), one of the nation's largest connected-screen media companies, has named Tony Optican as Head of Programming. Mr. Optican, a senior television development and programming executive, is based in Los Angeles and reports to Deb McDermott, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
In this newly created role, Mr. Optican is responsible for building the Company's content strategy, while continuing to enhance current program offerings, such as BiteSizeTV's entertainment variety show "Hollywood Today Live", which will air in several of FOX TV's markets, including New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, and two-thirds of Media General's markets, beginning September 14, 2015. He will directly influence and impact all strategic aspects of the programming efforts, providing creative vision as well as partnering on the connected-screen sales opportunities that will leverage Media General's unique position in the marketplace and capitalize on the Company-owned BiteSizeTV and industry partnerships.
"Tony has the strategic and creative vision, as well as the deep connections and business acumen to really maximize Media General's full range of content possibilities," Ms. McDermott stated. "He also has a proven track record of building new content models for multiple genres that drive ratings growth. We are thrilled to have someone of his caliber joining our team."
Mr. Optican has a wide range of experience in successfully developing and launching programs for broadcast networks, cable television, syndication and digital screens.
Mr. Optican began his programming career at MGM Worldwide Television Group, where he was involved in all phases of development for drama, comedy and reality series. He then served as Vice President, Current Programming for FOX Broadcasting Company, where he oversaw network creative decisions, from story development through on-air implementation to long-term strategic planning, for popular series, including 24, The X-Files and MADtv. Subsequently, the SYFY Channel recruited him to be Senior Vice President, Original Programming and he helped grow the network into one of the top 10 cable channels in the country. Prior to forming his own media consultancy and production company that focused on content creation across television, digital and OTT platforms, Mr. Optican was Senior Vice President, Head of Scripted Programming for FremantleMedia North America. In that role, he oversaw the entire creative chain, worked with worldwide distribution and production teams and sold dozens of shows to cable and broadcast networks.
"I am incredibly excited to help Media General expand their nationwide original programming efforts across all platforms," said Mr. Optican. "As one of the largest connected-screen media companies in the country, we are enviably positioned to leverage our incredible portfolio of assets to expand our programming efforts and deliver unique and engaging content to more broadcast, digital and mobile audiences than ever before."
About Media General
Media General (mediageneral.com) is one of the nation's largest connected-screen media companies that operates or services 71 television stations in 48 markets, along with the industry's leading digital media business. Our robust portfolio of broadcast, digital and mobile products informs and engages 23% of U.S. TV households and more than two-thirds of the U.S. Internet audience.
Media General has one of the industry's largest and most diverse digital media businesses that includes LIN Mobile, Federated Media, HYFN, Dedicated Media and BiteSizeTV, all under the LIN Digital banner. With unmatched local-to-national reach and integrated marketing solutions, Media General is a one-stop-shop for agencies and brands that want to effectively and efficiently reach their target audiences across all screens.
Media General trades on the NYSE under the symbol “MEG.”