The ICG Publicists announced that Chris McCumber and Jeff Wachtel, co-presidents of USA Network, are this year’s recipients of the television showman of the year award. The award will be presented at the ICG Publicists’ 50th annual awards luncheon, held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Feb. 22, two days before the Oscars.
McCumber and Wachtel jointly oversee strategic direction, programming and operations across all platforms for the network.
“We’re delighted to recognize them for their extraordinary efforts, which have led USA to be the most-watched cable network for an unprecedented seventh summer in a row,” said awards committee chairman Henri Bollinger. “The executives have delivered the network’s most profitable third quarter this year, while developing and launching award-winning and critically acclaimed original programming.”
McCumber and Wachtel took over as co-presidents in March of 2011. McCumber has been with USA since 2001, previously serving as executive vice president of marketing, digital and brand strategy. He is responsible for the conception, development and execution of Characters Welcome – the first comprehensive multiplatform brand identity for USA in its 30-year history, as well as Characters Unite – USA’s public service commitment to combat prejudice and discrimination.
Wachtel also joined USA in 2001 and most recently served as president, original programming. Wachtel is a veteran television executive and executive producer and also serves as co-head, original content of Universal Cable Productions. Over the past 10 years, Wachtel has overseen all original programming, where he and his group developed and launched numerous original series, movies and miniseries. The network’s current programming lineup includes Suits, Burn Notice, White Collar, Royal Pains, Covert Affairs, Necessary Roughness, Graceland and WWE Monday Night Raw. USA recently announced its new series Partners in Crime, the pilot All In and The Cowboy Way for development. Unscripted series The Moment and The Choir are slated for 2013 premieres plus Bride or Best Man begins production next month on a pilot.
Also to be handed out at the Publicists luncheon are the motion picture showman of the year award; a lifetime achievement award; the Maxwell Weinberg motion picture and television publicist awards – awards voted on by members for domestic and international press; the Bob Yeager award, given to a member for community work, and the Les Mason award – the top honor for a publicist.