Burbank, Calif. -- In a major promotion last week that
surprised many in the cable industry, former ESPN chairman and ABC Sports president Steven
Bornstein was appointed president of ABC Inc., where he will oversee its vast broadcast
and cable properties.
Bornstein, 46, replaces Robert Iger, who was also promoted
last week by The Walt Disney Co. Iger was named to the newly created posts of chairman of
the ABC Group and president of Disney International. Bornstein will continue to report to
Bornstein's responsibilities will include the
day-to-day operations of the ABC broadcast network, ABC's cable assets, its radio
network and its TV and radio stations, Disney spokesman John Dreyer said. In addition to
ESPN, Disney owns Disney Channel, Toon Disney and stakes in Lifetime Television and
A&E Network. A replacement will be named for Bornstein as president of ABC Sports,
At ESPN, George Bodenheimer was promoted to the post of
ESPN president last year, where he is seen as Bornstein's successor. Bornstein's ESPN
chairman spot will not be filled.
At ABC, his major task will be to improve the network's
flagging primetime ratings.
Bornstein started at ESPN in 1980 in programming, rising up
the ranks until he was named president. He was then named a corporate vice president at
Capital Cities/ABC Inc. and in 1996 was also given the title of president of ABC Sports.
Iger, in addition to his overall duties at ABC, will now
assume responsibility for managing all of Disney's activities outside the United