ABC's Bruce Rosenblum to Exit Disney Amid Restructuring

Joe Flint, The Wall Street Journal, 23.05.2018

The executive had lost key areas of responsibility in recent reorganization

Bruce Rosenblum is exiting as president of business operations for the Disney/ABC Television Group after less than two years in the position.

The departure comes two months after parent company Walt Disney Co. DIS -1.03% reorganized its operations, a move that resulted in Mr. Rosenblum losing key areas of responsibility including oversight of advertising sales, distribution and digital-media strategy for the unit.

In a memo to staff Wednesday, Mr. Rosenblum's boss, Disney/ABC TV Group President Ben Sherwood, said the two had discussions about other roles with Disney, but that Mr. Rosenblum has opted to depart at the end of the month.

Besides the ABC broadcast unit, the Disney/ABC Television Group comprises several cable networks, including Disney Channel and Freeform. ESPN isn't part of the unit.

The areas that had reported to Mr. Rosenblum are now overseen by Kevin Mayer, Disney's longtime strategist who is chairman of a new direct-to-consumer and international segment. Disney recently launched an ESPN direct-to-consumer platform and has similar streaming services in the works on the entertainment side.

A well-regarded television industry veteran who held senior posts at Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment, Mr. Rosenblum joined Disney in 2016 after being wooed by Chief Executive Robert Iger and Mr. Sherwood. His hiring was aimed in part to free Mr. Sherwood up to focus more on the creative side of the business.

Mr. Rosenblum said he "loved being part of the Disney family." He declined to comment on future plans.

The redesign of Disney's hierarchy was done in anticipation of its acquisition of the majority of 21st Century Fox "s entertainment assets. Disney struck a deal valued at $52.4 billion with Fox for its television and movie studio, international assets and most of its cable networks.

That deal is now likely to be challenged by media giant Comcast Corp., which said Wednesday it is preparing a higher all-cash bid for Fox's assets.

21st Century Fox and Wall Street Journal parent News Corp share common ownership.

Write to Joe Flint at

24 мая 2018