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  • ABC considering merger plans?

    ABC said to be considering merger plans

    Stephen McPherson rumored to head combined unit

    By Nellie Andreeva
    The Hollywood Reporter
    Dec 9, 2008, 09:37 PM ET
    Updated: Dec 9, 2008, 10:33 PM ET

    Merger mania might be hitting ABC's TV operations.

    With NBC announcing Monday that it will combine operations with sister studio Universal Media Studios, industry sources have been buzzing about similar plans under consideration at ABC.

    ABC entertainment president Stephen McPherson, who inked a new contract in May, is rumored to head the newly merged unit.

    Ever since he took over as entertainment chief in 2004, McPherson has been looking to also oversee the studio he once ran.

    Barry Jossen -- ABC Studios' recently appointed No. 2 executive, who is said to have a great rapport with McPherson -- is being bandied about for a key position at the combined company.

    Meanwhile, ABC Studios president Mark Pedowitz, whose contract is up in February, is in the process of negotiating a new deal. The veteran ABC business exec, who is well liked by Disney brass, is expected to stay, possibly in another job within the Disney-ABC TV Group.

    A merger between ABC and ABC Studios could be one of the potential cost-cutting measures hinted at Tuesday by Disney CFO Tom Staggs, who said the ABC network is "one of the more challenged businesses we have," adding that management is looking at potential changes.
    ABC said to be considering merger plans
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

  • #2
    Re: ABC considering merger plans?

    Didn't they merger operations when Disney bought ABC??????? Sounds like an internal operating change, not a merger. What am I not understanding about this?
    Critter Country's a mess ev'r since the Country Bears were kicked out. Ya can't cover pooh with honey and 'spect people ta like it.
    An Adventurers It's Time to Put the Spotlight Back on Bring Back the REAL Disney Gallery
    Life for Me! ~ ~ ~ Melvin, Buff, and Max!!! ~~~~ Dump the Dream Suite!
    Meese-ka Moose-ka Mice-Chatter!

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    • #3
      Re: ABC considering merger plans?

      Originally posted by Aladdin View Post
      Didn't they merger operations when Disney bought ABC??????? Sounds like an internal operating change, not a merger. What am I not understanding about this?
      Merging two subsidiaries is still a merger. The Walt Disney Company is not one large company but rather many smaller companies owned and controlled by a parent company, just like within NBC Universal and GE. This is like if they merged Miramax and ESPN together, figuratively speaking. A good hypothetical would be if Walt Disney Animation Studies were to do horribly bad, Disney could merge that subsidiary with their Pixar Animation Studios subsidiary, again figuratively speaking.

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      • #4
        Re: ABC considering merger plans?

        Originally posted by Aladdin View Post
        Didn't they merger operations when Disney bought ABC??????? Sounds like an internal operating change, not a merger. What am I not understanding about this?
        I think the confusion here lies with exactly who is merging. It's not Disney and ABC. It will be ABC and ABC Studios, whose similar names can make it confusing. A very basic breakdown would be: ABC is the network, the division that decides what shows to air and is responsible for broadcasting that material. ABC Studios is the studio (formerly Touchstone Television) which actually makes TV shows. Sometimes those shows are based on pitches brought to them by a network (usually, but not always, ABC) and other times they pick up scripts on their own to try to sell to networks (usually starting with ABC, but then moving to others if they get turned down).

        While this would save money, it could also limit the sale of shows from other studios to the network, or from the studio to other networks, since the production and distribution arms would now be directly linked they wouldn't want to be cometing with each other. Though, this does happen to an extent even now - for example if ABC has two shows with low ratings, one made by ABC Studios and one by WB, it's more likely to renew the show made by ABC Studios. A merger would only increase this type of occurance.

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        • #5
          Re: ABC considering merger plans?

          Yeah, the confusion is that they both are using the ABC name. I would have thought that they would have merged some of the facilities. Of course depending upon how busy both facilities were, that might not have been possible.

          I did attend a taping of a tv show at the Disney Studios a few years ago so I know those stages are part of Disney Studios and this summer I saw the ABC signage at Disney Studios, but where does ABC have the facilities located?
          Critter Country's a mess ev'r since the Country Bears were kicked out. Ya can't cover pooh with honey and 'spect people ta like it.
          An Adventurers It's Time to Put the Spotlight Back on Bring Back the REAL Disney Gallery
          Life for Me! ~ ~ ~ Melvin, Buff, and Max!!! ~~~~ Dump the Dream Suite!
          Meese-ka Moose-ka Mice-Chatter!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: ABC considering merger plans?

            Glendale. Plus they rent production space, as most studios do, at a few lots in town.
            "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

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