Robert Callahan is leaving the top slot at ABC and his predecessor, Steve
Bornstein, will replace him, officials confirm.
Bornstein has been running The Walt Disney Co.'s Internet assets since late
1999, but before that, he had the top job at ABC -- his reward for turning ESPN
into a cash cow.
Now Bornstein is set to return to ABC after many of Disney's Internet plans,
including the now-shuttered GO.com portal, have
not been realized.
But unlike in his first stint, Bornstein will not have responsibility for the
co-owned cable operations, nor for radio. Instead, he'll oversee the ABC
Television Network, the ABC-owned TV stations and Buena Vista Television, the
syndicated TV-programming arm. His title will be president, ABC Television.
Callahan, who has run the ABC Broadcast Group since last April, never fully
made the transition to the West Coast -- he was renting a house in Burbank,
Calif. -- and he ultimately decided that he couldn't do it for personal reasons,
Callahan and Disney president Robert Iger had talked about opportunities for
him on the East Coast for several months, sources say. But Callahan has decided
to move on after a transitional period.