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Network veteran Cherniss joins Apple

Ex-studio and US network veteran Matt Cherniss has joined former Sony execs Jamie Erlicht and Zack van Amburg at tech giant Apple, which is set to invest US$1 billion in original and acquired programming.

Zack van Amburg & Jamie Erlicht

Zack van Amburg & Jamie Erlicht

Cherniss has been named as head of domestic creative development at Apple, having left his role president and general manager of US basic cable channel WGN America (WGNA).

He oversaw the launch of WGNA’s first original series, supernatural horror Salem and atomic bomb drama Manhattan.

Apple, known for consumer electronics products such as the iPhone and iPad, has moved into original programming with shows such as Battle of the Apps.

Apple, Facebook and other digital and tech giants are increasingly keen to own content as part of wider strategies to control the entertainment supply chain.

A Wall Street Journal report today claimed Apple has readied a war chest of more than US$1 billion for programming over the next year.

In June, Apple hired Sony Pictures Television co-presidents Erlicht and van Amburg as co-heads of worldwide video programming.

Cherniss will report to the pair in his new post, and it is expected other high level executives will join him in coming months.

Prior to joining WGNA and Tribune Studios in 2013, Cherniss was senior VP of production for Warner Bros., where he worked on the Burbank studio’s film slate.

He was also executive VP of Fox Broadcasting Company, where he worked on series such as Bob’s Burgers and Glee, and SVP of original programming at FX.