WABC New York President/General Manager Rebecca
Campbell has been named president of the ABC Owned Television Stations Group,
succeeding Walter Liss, who announced his retirement after the transition.
Campbell will report directly to Disney Media Networks co-Chairman/ABC
Television Group President Anne Sweeney and will have "chief management
responsibility for the 10 ABC owned television stations and for the Group's ABC
National Television Sales rep firm," ABC said in a statement.
"Rebecca is a strong leader with a
proven track record of success, more than 25 years of experience in local
broadcasting, and the respect of station leaders, employees, and her colleagues
across the company," said Sweeney. "Her â€˜viewer first' philosophy, vision, and
expertise in every facet of local television make her the right choice to lead
our Owned Stations Group into the future and define their expanded role in the
ABC's stations include WLS Chicago and
KABC Los Angeles and are typically leaders in their markets.
"In this multi-platform era local
broadcasting has taken on a new level of importance, and our owned stations are
at the forefront," Campbell said. "It's an honor to lead such a talented team
of professionals who care passionately about our audience, our programming and
our brand. We will continue to make sure ABC viewers can get the local
content they need, wherever they go and whenever they want it."
Campbell was highly visible during the
recent retransmission consent spat between WABC and Cablevision.
Liss took over the group in 1999. He
immediately moves into a consultancy role to assist the transition, and vows
to dramatically improve his golf game once he's officially retired. "I've been
in this wonderful business for over 50 years," he said. "More than 30 of those
years have been with the best company in the world...The Walt Disney Company.
Early next year I'll go to work on my golf game. All those guys on the
Champions Tour better watch out."
Disney Company President/CEO Robert Iger called Liss a dedicated and gifted
station operator. "I've worked with Walter for almost 25 years, and I know him
to be a one of a kind person: a great executive who knows his business well and
has always had a passion for it," said Iger. "He is a no-nonsense guy, who ran
the best station group in the country, and loved every minute he spent in the
station business! We are all grateful for his leadership, his contributions and
his friendship, and we are thankful for ensuring our stations are so
well-positioned for the future. Although he has definitely earned the right to
retire, he will be sorely missed."