Head of WTTW parent company to retire at end of 2017

on Jun23

22 June 2017 | 10:47 pm

The president and CEO of WTTW’s parent company will retire at the end of 2017, the Chicago PBS affiliate announced Thursday.

Daniel J. Schmidt, who joined Window To The World Communications, Inc. in 1991, will leave his posts as of Dec. 31, according to a statement from WTTW.

The company oversees WTTW and the classical music radio station WFMT.

“I cannot imagine a greater privilege than leading WTTW and WFMT during a time of tremendous change and opportunity,” Schmidt said in the statement.

James Mabie, chair of the WWCI board, has appointed a committee of trustees to oversee the search process for the organization’s next president and CEO, according to the statement.

“Dan has skillfully and passionately steered WTTW and WFMT to significant success during his tenure. His sharp understanding of the rapidly changing media landscape has been instrumental to the organization’s strength and evolution,” Mabie said in the statement.

WTTW credited Schmidt with leading “the digital transition and formation of WWCI’s digital broadcasting operations center” and taking the lead on a $50 million capital campaign. Schmidt also worked to secure $47 million from the U.S. Department of Education to launch the television station’s entry into the PBS “Ready To Learn” campaign, a media program targeted at helping at-risk youths.

Chicago media critic Robert Feder reported that Schmidt’s critics, though, said he spent an inordinate amount of time “managing his board of trustees than fulfilling the mission of serving the community.”

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