Radio Disney General Manager Michael Riley has
been named President of ABC Family, succeeding Paul Lee, who was named ABC
Entertainment Group President July 30.
In this role, Riley will report directly to Anne
Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks & president, Disney/ABC Television
Group, who made the announcement. Sweeney told B&C Aug. 1 that she would
move swiftly to replace Lee.
While Sweeney was considering both internal and
external candidates for the job, according to multiple sources, Sweeney has
been known to fill top jobs from within her network of exec talent among the
Disney/ABC ranks. And as B&C reported earlier this month, Riley has had
some internal buzz of late.
He joined the company in 2008 and has been a key player in the Disney Channel
group's interactive and new platform plays. He has a background in TV, having
worked for Turner internationally before coming to Disney. An announcement
regarding a new general manager for Radio Disney will be made in the near
future, according to the company's announcement.
In his new job, Riley will have oversight of ABC
Family's original programming and acquisitions, franchise management,
marketing, sales and operations and be responsible for the overall strategic
and creative direction for the channel, according to the announcement.
In a statement, Sweeney said: "Michael's talent
and drive are eclipsed only by the enthusiasm and passion he brings to every
opportunity. I'm confident his unique set of skills and experience will help us
further ABC Family's amazing momentum."
Riley added in a statement: "I am extremely
proud to have been part of a great team at Radio Disney and very much look
forward to joining the incredibly passionate and inventive team at ABC Family.
Their success over the past few years has been exceptional, driven by
innovative storytelling, unique characters and iconic branding, and I'm honored
to be given the opportunity to help build this amazing Millennial brand."
Coming off its most-watched year
ever in 2009 and pacing at record levels in 2010, over the past seven years ABC
Family has grown its prime audience by considerable margins, increasing by 76%
in total viewers (1.4 million vs. 797,000), by 70% in A18-49 (627,000 vs.
368,000) and by 78% in W18-49 (409,000 vs. 230,000), according to the company.
Among the net's core younger demo sets, the net's prime delivery has more than
doubled over the past seven years.
Prior to the announcement, Riley served as
senior vice president and general manager, Radio Disney, where he oversaw the
strategic management of the Radio Disney network and its portfolio of 36 owned
radio stations, leading them to record ratings through original multi-platform
Previously Riley was senior vice
president and general manager, Turner Broadcasting System, Europe, Middle East