ABC may be the No.1 network right now, but the last thing newly named ABC Broadcast Group President Robert Callahan intends to let happen is for the network to rest on its laurels. One of his top priorities, he says, is to develop "really creative and quality programming" to bolster the shows that catapulted the network to the No. 1 berth this season.
Callahan's new job, announced last week, gives him responsibility for all of ABC's radio and TV station properties, as well as the radio networks and the ABC Television Network. Pat Fili-Krushel, who held the title of president of ABC Television, had overseen the latter up until last month. She resigned to join Healtheon/WebMD.
In the near term, Callahan says, he won't replace her. (He also won't be replacing himself in his previous role as president, broadcasting.)
Instead, he'll assume day-to-day operating responsibility of the network, with key division heads reporting to him. "That will give me a chance to jump in and really get to know the teams," he notes.
Callahan will continue to report to Disney President Robert Iger, as will several other ABC Inc. executives, including Anne Sweeney, president, ABC/Disney Cable Networks; George Bodenheimer, president, ESPN; Janice Marinelli, president, Buena Vista Television; and Robert Miller, senior vice president, publishing house Hyperion.
In the past, Callahan had also been head of the network's radio group.