Washington -- Preston Padden, after a stint running ABC
Inc.'s television network from New York, is returning to Washington as the Walt
Disney Co.'s chief federal lobbyist.
Disney chairman and CEO Michael Eisner announced last
Friday that Padden had been named the company's new executive vice president for
"Many of the issues we confront today concern our
highly-regulated broadcasting businesses and there are few people with as much in-depth
knowledge and experience in dealing with these issues on a federal level as Preston,"
Eisner said in a statement.
While Padden will report to Eisner, he will coordinate his
duties with Disney executive vice president for corporate affairs John F. Cooke, and with
ABC Inc. senior vice president and general counsel Alan Braverman.
Padden left American Sky Broadcasting Inc., a
direct-broadcast satellite company last May to become president of ABC Television Network,
taking a lead role in developing the company's migration to digital television.
He caused a brief sensation in Washington last year by
suggesting that ABC was considering utilizing free digital TV spectrum for purposes other
than high-definition TV. But Padden subsequently modified his comments and the flap blew
over with lawmakers.