Jordan Wertlieb has been named executive vice president and chief operating officer of Hearst, effective May 1, Hearst President and Chief Executive Officer Steven R. Swartz has announced. Wertlieb, 58, who is currently president of Hearst Television, succeeds Mark E. Aldam, 59, who is stepping down after five years in the job and 17 years at Hearst, including six years as president of Hearst Newspapers.
“Jordan’s 10 years atop Hearst Television have produced record operating results and journalism of great distinction,” said Swartz, 60. “He has established himself as an outstanding leader both at Hearst and within the television industry, and he will be a great partner to me and to all of our Hearst colleagues in the next stage of our company’s growth.”
Aldam will remain with Hearst, first as an executive vice president to help with the transition until Nov. 1, then as executive at large and special adviser to the CEO, continuing to oversee the e-commerce and data innovations he championed as COO. “In his 17 years at Hearst, Mark has led our newspaper company, pioneered numerous innovations, including those in technology and e-commerce, and brought many talented individuals into our Hearst family,” said Swartz. “We thank him for all he has done for our company, and we are quite pleased that we will continue to benefit from his guidance going forward."
Michael J. Hayes, 57, currently chief operating officer of Hearst Television, will succeed Wertlieb as Hearst senior vice president and president of Hearst Television. “Mike has continuously distinguished himself through more than two decades of leadership positions at Hearst Television and is a fitting successor to Jordan and other great Hearst Television leaders, including Hearst trustees David Barrett and John Conomikes,” Swartz added.
Wertlieb has been president of Hearst Television since 2013. He moved to the company’s New York City headquarters in January 2011 as an executive vice president. He is currently a senior vice president and director of Hearst.
“I couldn’t be more excited to work more closely with Steve, the Hearst executive team and our company’s outstanding business leaders,” said Wertlieb. “Hearst has been a staple of my life and my family’s life for nearly 30 years, and each day, its creativity, community leadership and customer focus make me proud. I am grateful to Steve, Frank Bennack, Will Hearst and the Hearst board of directors for this opportunity.”
Wertlieb added: “Throughout his entire career, Mike has been an important voice in our company and an instrumental thought leader during his tenure in corporate leadership and specifically over the last year as Hearst Television’s chief operating officer. In every assignment, he has exemplified the Hearst culture. His unparalleled leadership, commitment to localism and focus on the advancement and growth of individuals throughout the company have positioned him perfectly to lead Hearst Television into the future.”
Aldam was named executive vice president and chief operating officer of Hearst in February 2018. He previously served as president of Hearst Newspapers and as a senior vice president and director of Hearst.
“After lengthy reflection, I’ve concluded it is the right time to step back and prioritize other purpose-directed interests,” said Aldam. “It has been an honor to serve alongside such a talented group of mission-resolute leaders, and I am thrilled to be staying at Hearst to support the recent investments we’ve made in e-commerce and data innovations.”
Hayes was promoted to chief operating officer and deputy group head of Hearst Television in January 2022.
“It is an honor to follow John Conomikes, David Barrett and Jordan Wertlieb,” said Hayes. “Working with each of these impactful leaders over the years shaped my affection, appreciation and understanding of Hearst Television, our culture and our values. All over the country, our talented teams produce best-in-class content as they reflect and serve their diverse communities. Their work — and commitment to excellence in all facets of what we do — defines local broadcasting. The future of the industry is bright. I look forward to working with Steve and Jordan to continue capitalizing on our success and the extraordinary opportunities ahead.”
In 2021, Wertlieb was recognized by the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) with its Lew Klein Award for Leadership and by the Library of American Broadcasting Foundation (LABF) for lifetime achievement during the LABF's Giants of Broadcasting & Electronic Arts awards ceremony. In 2018, he was inducted into the Broadcasting + Cable Hall of Fame, and in 2015, he was inducted into the Maryland D.C. Delaware Broadcasting Hall of Fame.
In 1999, Wertlieb was promoted to general sales manager of WBAL-TV, Hearst Television’s NBC affiliate in Baltimore, where, in 2005, he became the station’s president and general manager. He joined Hearst’s WCVB-TV in Boston as sales manager in 1993.
Wertlieb is immediate past chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) joint board of directors and, previously, was chairman of its television board. He is a member of the A+E Networks board and serves as a vice chair of the Broadcasters Foundation of America board. He is a past president-chairman of the NBC affiliates board.
Wertlieb began his television career in 1986 and held research and sales positions at Katz Communications before joining Hearst. He will be receiving the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Foundation First Amendment Leadership Award on March 2.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and is a graduate of the NAB Broadcast Leadership Training program.
Prior to serving as president of Hearst Newspapers, Aldam was executive vice president, deputy group head of Hearst Newspapers. In that role, he led the digital transformation across Hearst Newspapers while directly managing eight of Hearst’s properties as group publisher.
Aldam joined Hearst in 2006 as publisher of the Albany Times Union, where he served for three years before adding the Connecticut Media Group to his group publishing role. He was formerly senior vice president/chief operating officer of the Hartford Courant, owned by Times Mirror and the Tribune Company. During Aldam’s 10 years with the Hartford Courant, he served various advertising, consumer marketing and operations roles, in addition to serving as Group SVP for advertising across the seven Tribune east coast newspapers, before serving as senior vice president/chief operating officer/general manager from 2001-2005.
Aldam is the immediate past chairman of the News Media Alliance and trustee of the American Press Institute, on the board of directors of Slickdeals — a leading digital shopping community, and one of the founding consortium partners of Nucleus Marketing Solutions.
Hayes was named an executive vice president and group head of Hearst Television in 2017, with operational oversight over a portfolio of Hearst Television markets. After two decades of success in numerous leadership positions, he came to the New York corporate office in 2013 as a senior vice president and group head.
Before coming to New York, Hayes served as president and general manager at Hearst Television’s WTAE-TV, the ABC affiliate in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, beginning in March 2011.
Prior to moving to WTAE, Hayes was president and general manager of Hearst’s WYFF-TV, the NBC affiliate in the Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina, television market, from 2003-2011. During his tenure, the station was honored with a Peabody Award for an episode of its Chronicle newsmagazine program, as well as an NAB Service to America Award and an RTDNA National Edward R. Murrow Award.
Hayes spent seven years as general sales manager of WLWT-TV, Hearst’s NBC affiliate in Cincinnati, Ohio, after serving in several sales and management positions across the country in St. Louis, Missouri; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Austin, Texas; and Peoria, Illinois. He began his broadcast television career as a sportscaster and producer at WISH-TV — at the time, the CBS affiliate in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Hayes holds a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications from Indiana University Bloomington. Named to the 2022 class of distinguished alumni, he serves as a board member of the Indiana University Media School. Additionally, he has participated in NAB’s Broadcast Leadership Training program and trained at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management as an NAB Professional.
Among various industry and civic activities, Hayes is the immediate past chairman of the ABC Television Affiliates board of governors. He previously served as a director of the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters and was the first chairman asked and elected to a second term of the South Carolina Broadcasters Association, which, in 2022, inducted him into its Hall of Fame.
Wertlieb, Aldam and Hayes are graduates of Hearst’s executive development program, Hearst Management Institute.
Hearst is a leading global, diversified information, services and media company with operations in 40 countries. Its major interests include global financial services leader Fitch Group; Hearst Health, a group of medical information and services businesses; Hearst Transportation, which includes CAMP Systems International, a major provider of software-as-a-service solutions for managing maintenance of jets and helicopters; ownership in cable television networks such as A&E, HISTORY, Lifetime and ESPN; 33 television stations; 24 daily and 52 weekly newspapers; digital services businesses; and nearly 260 magazines around the world. Follow us on Twitter @Hearst. To learn more about Hearst, visit hearst.com.