Michael Riley

President, ABC Family

Looping a set of reins on a shooting star would be no easy feat.
But that’s essentially what Disney/
ABC TV Group honcho Anne
Sweeney tasked former Radio Disney chief Michael Riley
with doing when she
named him president
of ABC Family last

Riley comes to
ABC Family at a
time when the slate
of originals aimed
at the “millennial”
audience launched by
his predecessor Paul
Lee is clicking like never
before. The net had its best
primetime ever in 2010 across all
of its target demos.

Part of Riley’s plan to continue directing the trajectory upward
is to have at least nine original series on the schedule this
year, a record. In addition to five returning shows, Riley plans
to launch at least three newcomers that he sees as companions
to hits Secret Life of the American Teenager, Pretty Little Liars and
Melissa & Joey. The newbies are designed to sync up with the
net’s brand, which Riley describes as “authentic,” “optimistic”
storytelling about families and relationships, with “heart and

Expect Riley to also ramp up social media and interactive activity. It's his forte, having synced up his interactive strategies for Radio Disney with those throughout the wider Disney Channels group while head of Radio Disney.