ABC merging programming/studio operations


ABC Entertainment and ABC Studios are being merged into a new division, ABC Entertainment Group, to be managed by Steve McPherson. The move to more closely align the broadcast network with its co-owned production studio follows similar moves by CBS Corp. and NBC Universal.

“Responding to the changing realities of the entertainment landscape, and addressing an opportunity to streamline the creative process,” is the company’s description of why ABC Entertainment and ABC Studios will now be operated as a coordinated business unit. McPherson, who had previously been President, ABC Entertainment, is now President of the merged operation, ABC Entertainment Group.

Mark Pedowitz, former President, ABC Studios, has moved into a new role as senior advisor to the Office of the Co-Chairman, where the company says he will work alongside Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney-Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group “on a myriad of evolving business, labor relations and emerging media issues.”

“The landscape of our business and an opportunity to coalesce the creative process dictated this change in structure. By operating these units in a coordinated fashion, we’ll be able to present the industry with a unified, cohesive creative vision for ABC programming, which will serve us well as we move forward,” said Sweeney.

The newly formed ABC Entertainment Group will combine ABC Studios and ABC Entertainment, with all operations of the two separate units reporting to McPherson. The new division’s primary mandate will be to develop and produce compelling programming for broadcast on ABC. However, “when appropriate, the studio will look for outside opportunities,” the announcement stated. partnership between ABC Studios and ABC Entertainment has previously delivered such hits as “Desperate Housewives,” “Lost,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Ugly Betty” and “Brothers & Sisters.”