Both Sherwood’s promotion to co-chairman, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group (he officially starts in February), and ABC’s concerns with ongoing primetime shortfalls were significant topics of discussion when the board met in Las Vegas April 8.
“Ben Sherwood is a great friend and supporter of the affiliates,” said Mike Devlin, chairman. “It was a fascinating and intriguing decision, and we have a lot of support for that move.”
The meeting also included a “good, candid discussion” about primetime, and how to draw more viewers—a frequent topic in the affiliates board’s meeting with the network each year in Vegas. ABC showed the board members a few snippets of its development slate. “We got a look forward at the pilot process,” said Devlin, WFAA Dallas president and general manager. “It was a great conversation with the network.”
Posts Tagged ‘Anne Sweeney’
Sherwood is a longtime ABC News veteran who has been president of the news division since 2010. In his new role, he will have oversight of the ABC Owned Television Station Group, as well as ABC Television Network and ABC Studios.
“It was Ben’s intense passion and incredible insight that made us confident he’d do great things as President of ABC News. Over the years, he has moved from success-to-success, and helped create a more vibrant, collaborative and powerful News division that embraces innovation and risk-taking,” Sweeney said in a statement. “Ben’s now set to bring those same attributes to bear for the larger Group, and I could not be more thrilled.”
Anne Sweeney has announced she will step down as the president of the Disney/ABC Television group next year to pursue a career in television directing.
“The past 18 years at Disney have been the highlight of my executive career,” Sweeney said in a statement. “But as wonderful as the experience has been, there has always been a nagging voice in the back of my head pushing me to step out of the comfort zone of the executive ranks and more directly into the creative arena that enticed me to TV in the first place.”
Sweeney oversees the ABC Owned Television Station Group, as well as ABC Television Network and ABC Studios. For more on her departure, visit our sister site TVNewser.
This week, ABC will become the first major broadcaster unveil an app that allows users in New York and Philadelphia to live-stream local programming. Content from WABC and WPVI will be available first, with plans to introduce it in other markets later this year, The New York Times‘ Brian Stelter reports:
ABC, a unit of the Walt Disney Company, said the live stream would be available in the other six cities where it owns stations sometime this summer. It is also in talks with the companies that own ABC’s more than 200 affiliates to make the “live” button work in their markets.
ABC finished the first of its affiliate deals, with Hearst Television, on Sunday afternoon; it said the live streams would work in Hearst’s 13 markets, including Boston and Pittsburgh, in the coming months.
The app is also a way for ABC to get ahead of Aereo, the streaming television service that allows subscribers to watch over-the-air programming on Internet-connected devices. Anne Sweeney, the president of the Disney-ABC Television Group, told The New York Times that plans for ABC’s app were in place before Aereo was launched.
It’s official: Katie Couric has signed a new deal with ABC to host and produce her own syndicated talk show as well as join the ABC News team.
In announcing the multi-year, multi-platform agreement, ABC said that Couric’s new talk show, which will be helmed by Jeff Zucker, has already been cleared in the 3 p.m. time slot at the eight stations owned and operated by ABC, which reside in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham and Fresno.
“Katie Couric is one of television’s iconic figures and we are thrilled to have forged such an exciting partnership with her,” said Anne Sweeney, president of the ABC Television group, in making the announcement. “We look forward to having Katie join the best News team in the business, and to working with her to create a dynamic and successful talk show franchise.”
Couric’s daytime talk show is set to premiere in September 2012. Clearing the show in a coveted time slot was a major factor in Couric’s negotiations with networks this spring. According to The New York Times, the former “CBS Evening News” anchor tried to get NBC to clear its stations’ 4 p.m. spot for her.
A handful of ABC-affiliates have struck a deal with Walt Disney Co. to share a portion of the retrans fees they collect from cable and satellite providers.
Here’s Bloomberg on the development:
The agreement, along with accords Disney-owned stations have reached with pay TV operators, covers 64 percent of the U.S., Anne Sweeney, president of the Disney/ABC Television Group, said at an investor meeting today. Stations may pay a license fee to Disney or share fees they collect from cable and satellite TV systems, she said. Other terms weren’t disclosed.
The agreement comes days after Disney reported that its profits were up 54%, with 43% of the overall revenue coming from the company’s media networks division.