Walter Liss, president of the ABC-owned television stations, has resigned, effective May 4. No word yet on a replacement.
Internal candidates are said to include station General Managers Tom Kane (New York), Emily Barr (Chicago), Joe Ahearn (San Francisco), Arnold Kleiner (Los Angeles) and David Davis (Philadelphia).
An internal memo from ABC Broadcast Group President Robert Callahan said Liss has "decided to move in a new career direction." Sources say that's not
corporate-speak meaning that Liss was not
shown the door. Callahan, in fact, wanted Liss to stay but ultimately couldn't convince him to do so.
Liss didn't return calls, but sources speculate he became weary of the corporate life at Disney. People who know him believe he'll re-emerge at another station post after a break. Liss has been in his current post since 1999. He had been chairman of Buena Vista Television from 1996 until '99.
Before that, he ran WABC-TV New York for nine years, and prior to that he was president of Cox Broadcasting. The fifty-something Liss, his wife Lisa and their two school-age children, reside in the Los Angeles area.