Veteran TV Executive Kerry McCluggage Named CEO of IDW Media Holdings (Exclusive)

Kerry McCluggage Ted Adams Split - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of IDW (2)

McCluggage, one of the co-founders of UPN, is stepping into the role as current CEO Ted Adams takes a sabbatical.

Kerry McCluggage, a veteran television executive who co-founded UPN, has been named CEO of IDW Media Holdings, the company behind comic company IDW Publishing and home of TV show Wynonna Earp.

McCluggage is replacing Ted Adams, the current CEO and founder who is taking a sabbatical. The leave is meant to be brief, with Adams’ planning on returning to IDW in a new creative role down the road.

McCluggage, who was already on the company’s board of directors, is best known for his 10-year stint as chairman of Paramount Television Group, a run that included the development and launch of series such as Cheers and its spinoff Frasier, the Star Trek franchise and Entertainment Tonight. In the mid-1990s, he also helped create UPN, the channel that was home to Star Trek: Voyager and Moesha.

His hiring comes at a crucial time for IDW as the company furthers its focus on screen media. Earp, a cult hit on Syfy, just received a renewal for a fourth season. Netflix recently gave a straight-to-series order for V-Wars, based on the company's book of the same name, and picked up the adaptation of its award-winning horror comic Locke and Key after Hulu passed on the pilot.

“As chairman of Paramount TV, Kerry grew that operation from $700 million to $3.2 billion in just over a decade, making it one of the world’s leading television production companies,” said IDW chairman Howard Jonas in a statement. “His leadership abilities and keen understanding of the entertainment industry have also enabled him to achieve success with his own film and television production company Craftsman Films. Similarly, his contributions as a member of the IDW board of directors have provided him with beneficial insights necessary to continue IDW’s story of success as the company seeks to expand upon its business model.”

McCluggage said he plans to build on the company’s achievements in its core divisions, which on top of comics include video games, television shows and films.

“Its media unit, encompassing publishing and games as well as reimagining the entertainment production model, has achieved tremendous success and is poised for phenomenal growth,” said McCluggage. “There is also a great team of passionate, talented professionals that I am eager to lead and learn from as we continue to build upon the incredible foundation created by Ted Adams and others over the past 20 years.”

This is the latest executive shuffle at the company. In November, Adams stepped aside as publisher, moving to the CEO position. In March, Chris Ryall stepped down as chief creative officer and editor-in-chief after helping grow the company to the fifth largest comic book company in North America and joined Robert Kirkman’s Skybound Entertainment.

“I’m excited to see where Kerry takes the company I’ve been building for the last 20 years,” stated Adams. “I’m looking forward to taking a brief sabbatical and returning to IDW in a new role, and have complete confidence that the company will continue to build upon its current trajectory in the very capable hands of Kerry McCluggage. I leave him with very dedicated and smart teams across all three of our divisions. I’m proud of the work we’ve been able to do together.”

McLuggage has also been an investor in media companies, including Allumination FilmWorks and Content Media Corp. Since 2002, he has served as president of Craftsman.