Disney–ABC Television Group

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ABC, Inc.
Disney–ABC Television Group
Industry Broadcast
Predecessor Capital Cities/ABC, Inc.
Founded September 19, 1996
Headquarters Burbank, California, USA
Key people
Ben Sherwood (President)
Parent Disney Media Networks
(The Walt Disney Company)
Divisions ABC Entertainment Group
ABC Owned TV Stations
Subsidiaries ABC Television Network
A+E Networks (50%)
ABC Family Worldwide Inc.
ABC Owned Television Stations
Disney Channels Worldwide
Website disneyabcpress.com/disneyabctv/

ABC, Inc.[1] DBA Disney–ABC Television Group[2] manages all of The Walt Disney Company's Disney and ABC-branded television properties. The group includes the ABC Television Network (including ABC Daytime, ABC Entertainment and ABC News divisions), as well as Disney's 50% stake in A&E Television Networks and its 80% controlling stake in ESPN, Inc.[3] While holding the controlling stake in ESPN, Disney-ABC TV Group and ESPN operate as separate units of Disney Media Networks.[4]


In 1996, Disney acquired Capital Cities/ABC[5] bringing ABC Television Network Group, CC/ABC Broadcasting Group (ABC Radio Network, eight TV and 21 radio stations), ABC Cable and International Broadcast Group, CC/ABC Publishing Group and CC/ABC Multimedia Group. The Cable and International Broadcast Group contained ownership shares of ESPN, Inc. (80%) A&E Television Networks (37.5%), Lifetime Television (50%) and its international investments. These investments included Tele-München (50%, Germany; included 20% of RTL II), Hamster Productions. (33%, France) and Scandinavian Broadcasting System (23%, Luxembourg). ESPN also had international holdings: Eurosport (33.3%, England), TV Sport (10%, France; Eurosport affiliate) and The Japan Sports Channel (20%). The Publishing Group including Fairchild Publications, Chilton Publications, multiple newspapers from a dozen dailies (including the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, The Kansas City Star) and more weeklies, and dozens more publications in the fields of farm, business and law trade journals plus LA Magazine to Institutional Investor. The Multimedia Group pursued businesses in new and emerging media technologies, including the interactive television, pay-per-view, VOD, HDTV, video cassette, Optical disc, on-line services and location-based entertainment.[6]

In April 1996 due to ongoing post Disney-CC/ABC merger realignment and retirement of its president, WDTT group's division were reassigned to other groups with Walt Disney Television International (including Disney Channel International and Buena Vista Television domestic syndication and Pay TV division and GMTV and Super RTL holdings) were transferred to Capital Cities/ABC.[7] In May due to the merger, ABC ended its ABC Productions division operations while keeping its boutique production companies: Victor Television, DIC Entertainment and Greengrass Productions.[8] The international operations of Disney TV International and ABC Cable and International Broadcast Group were merged in June as Disney/ABC International Television.[9]

In late 1999, Walt Disney Television Studio (also called Buena Vista Television Group), including Buena Vista Television Productions, were transferred out of the Disney Studios to ABC Television Network to merge with ABC's prime-time division, ABC Entertainment, to form ABC Entertainment Television Group. Also Walt Disney Television Studio changed its name to Touchstone Television.[10][11][12]

Disney–ABC Television Group[edit]

In 2002, the name changed to Disney–ABC Television Group.[citation needed]

In Fall 2002, Disney Chairman/CEO Michael Eisner outlined a proposed realignment of the ABC broadcast network day parts with the similar unit in its cable channels: ABC Saturday mornings with Disney Channels (Toon & Playhouse), ABC daytime with Soapnet and ABC prime time with ABC Family.[13]

In October 2003, ABC Family Worldwide was changed from a Disney COO directly reporting unit to being with in the ABC Cable Networks Group.[14]

In February 2007, Touchstone Television was renamed ABC Television Studio as part of Disney push to drop secondary brands like Buena Vista for Disney, ABC and ESPN.[15]

On January 22, 2009, the Disney–ABC Television Group said it would merge ABC Entertainment and ABC Studios into a new unit called ABC Entertainment Group.[16][17] That April, ABC Enterprises took an ownership stake in Hulu in exchange for online distribution license and $25 million in ABC network ad credits.[18] Late that year, A+E Networks acquired Lifetime Entertainment Services with DATG ownership increasing to 42%.[19]

In July 2012, NBCUniversal confirmed plans to sell its 15.8% stake in A+E Networks to Disney and Hearst, who will become 50-50 partners in the joint venture.[20]

On August 21, 2013, Disney–ABC Television Group announced it will layoff 175 employees. The layoffs are expected to hit positions among technical operations as well as the unit's eight local stations.[21]

On October 28, 2013, ABC News and Univision planned to launch Fusion, a Hispanic news and satire shows cable channel.[22]


ABC, Inc. DBA Disney–ABC Television Group[23]

Walt Disney Television and Telecommunications[edit]

Unit[6][7] transferred to[7]
KCAL-TV Los Angeles sold to Young[26]
Walt Disney Television Disney Studios
Disney Television Animation
Touchstone Television
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Walt Disney Television International CC/ABC
Disney Channel International
Buena Vista Television
Super RTL
Disney Interactive
Disney TeleVentures, Inc. Disney corporate

Walt Disney Television and Telecommunications (WDTT) was a division of The Walt Disney Company. At the time Disney and Capital Cities/ABC merged, WDTT's divisions were The Disney Channel, KCAL-TV Los Angeles, Walt Disney Television, Touchstone Television and Buena Vista Home Video International, and Disney Interactive.[6]

WDTT History[edit]

On August 24, 1994 with Jeffrey Katzenberg's resignation, Richard Frank became head of Walt Disney Television and Telecommunications.[27] Walt Disney Computer Software was transferred with in WDTT on December 5, 1994 as Disney Interactive.[28] In April 1996 due to ongoing post Disney-CC/ABC merger realignment and retirement of its president, WDTT group's division were reassigned to other groups with most transferred to The Walt Disney Studios or CC/ABC.[7] KCAL was sold to Young Broadcasting in May 1996 due to CC/ABC ownership of another TV station in the market.[26]


  1. ^ "ABC, INC. Entity Information". Corporation and Business Entity Database. New York Department of State's Division of Corporations, State Records and Uniform Commercial Code. Retrieved 25 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "United States District Court - Cental District of California - West Division - Plaint". Retrieved January 5, 2014. 
  3. ^ Our Divisions - ESPN Careers
  4. ^ "Our Businesses". The Walt Disney Company. Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  5. ^ Fabrikant, Geraldine. The Media Business;Disney and ABC Shareholders Solidly Approve Merger Deal January 05, 1996. The New York Times. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  6. ^ a b c "Fact Sheet: The Walt Disney Company". Press Release. The Walt Disney Company. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Roth, Iger Assume Expanded Responsibilities at the Walt Disney Company". PRNewswire. April 16, 1996. Retrieved 11 March 2013. 
  8. ^ Littleton, Cynthia. (May 27, 1996) ABC folds in-house arm. (TV series production unit). Broadcasting & Cable. Access on November 13, 2013.
  9. ^ Johnson, Debra (July 1, 1996). "Granath takes top slot at Disney/ABC International". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved May 16, 2014. 
  10. ^ Hofmeister, Sallie (July 8, 1999). "Disney Plans to Consolidate Two of Its Television Groups". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  11. ^ Hofmeister, Sallie (July 9, 1999). "Disney Combining Network TV Operations Into One ABC Unit". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 July 2013. 
  12. ^ Schlosser, Joe (November 29, 1999). "A Mouse in-house". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  13. ^ McClellan, Steve & Dan Trigoboff. Eisner touts 'national' duops: disney chief's turnaround plan couples ABC, cable networks by daypart. October 7, 2002. Broadcasting & Cable. archived at Highbeam.com. Retrieved 8 July 2013.
  14. ^ Romano, Allison (October 20, 2003). "Sweeney is family's new parent figure". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  15. ^ Fixmer, Fixmer (April 25, 2007). "Disney to Drop Buena Vista Brand Name, People Say (Update1)". bloomberg.com. Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
  16. ^ ABC Combines TV Network, Production Units, Los Angeles Times, January 23, 2009.
  17. ^ Disney Combines ABC's Programming, Production Units, Bloomberg.com, January 23, 2009
  18. ^ Stone, Brad; Brian Stelter (April 30, 2009). "ABC to Add Its Shows to Videos on Hulu". New York Times. Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  19. ^ A&E Acquires Lifetime. Variety.com. August 27, 2009.
  20. ^ Goldsmith, Jill (July 10, 2012). "Comcast to sell A&E stake for $3 billion: A&E to redeem the 15.8% stake". Variety. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  21. ^ "Disney To Eliminate 175 Jobs At ABC Television Group". Variety. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  22. ^ James, Meg (August 1, 2013). "ABC-Univision cable network, Fusion, to launch Oct. 28". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  23. ^ Reynolds, Matt (May 11, 2012). "ABC Show Is a 'Big Brother' Ripoff, CBS Says". Courthouse News.com. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  24. ^ "ABC Owned TV Stations". Corporate & Press Information. Disney | ABC Television Group. Retrieved 25 May 2012. 
  25. ^ "Annual Report" (PDF). http://thewaltdisneycompany.com. The Walt Disney Company. September 28, 2013. p. 3. Retrieved July 7, 2014. Disney Channels Worldwide includes over 100 channels available in 34 languages and 166 countries/territories. Branded channels include Disney Channel, Disney Junior , Disney XD, Disney Cinemagic, Hungama and DLife. 
  26. ^ a b New York Firm to Buy KCAL-TV for $385 Million, Los Angeles Times, May 14, 1996. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  27. ^ Weinraub, Bernard (August 25, 1994). "Chairman of Disney Studios Resigns". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  28. ^ Polsson, Ken. "July to December 1994". Chronology of the Walt Disney Company. Ken Polsson. Retrieved 6 December 2012.  sources:
    *Fisher, Maxine (1988). Walt Disney. pp. A8. 
    *The New York Times. December 6, 1994. pp. D5.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
    *CD-ROM Today 3 (2): 26. February 1995.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
    *Windows Magazine 6 (3): 42. March 1995.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

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