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Exec Promoted to President of New ABC Unit

Broadcast: Robert Callahan will oversee TV and radio stations and the No. 1.-ranked network.

April 28, 2000|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Consolidating its broadcasting assets under one division, Walt Disney Co. promoted Robert Callahan to president of the newly created ABC Broadcast Group. In addition to overseeing ABC's television and radio stations, as he has for nearly two years, Callahan will be responsible for the No. 1-ranked TV network.

Callahan's promotion probably eliminates the need to fill two top positions at ABC Inc., sources said, noting that former chairman Robert Iger, who became president of Disney in January, and Steve Bornstein, who left as president to take over Disney's Go Network Internet group, were not replaced.

The sources said ABC Inc. is all but dissolved, its pieces absorbed into Disney.

Callahan's group will be the third-most-profitable Disney unit, after theme parks and ESPN. The group, along with other ABC Inc. divisions, will report to Iger.

Callahan, 48, also will be responsible for the ABC news, entertainment, sports, daytime and late-night divisions, as well as affiliate relations and network sales and marketing.

The new president said he will eventually move to replace Patricia Fili-Krushel, former president of ABC Television Network, who left last month to become head of consumer products at Healtheon/WebMD Corp., an Internet health site.

Fili-Krushel's interim replacement, Alex Wallau, will report to Callahan, ABC said.

Callahan, who started his career in advertising and publishing, took over ABC's radio group several years ago, adding the television stations nearly two years ago.

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