Capping a dispute over whom she reports to, as well as the network’s direction, ABC Family president Angela Shapiro is expected to exit the beleaguered channel, several sources familiar with the situation confirmed Monday.
Shapiro, who couldn’t be reached for comment, is reportedly working out the terms of her departure from the cable network, which The Walt Disney Co. purchased in 2001 for $5.2 billion from News Corp. and Saban Entertainment.
On Monday, ABC Family referred inquiries about Shapiro to Disney, which declined to comment.
Shapiro -- a rising star at ABC Daytime before joining ABC Family 16 months ago -- is unhappy that the cable network was recently moved under the wing of the ABC Cable Networks Group and the oversight of its president, Anne Sweeney, according to sources at Disney.
Shapiro contended that this change violated her contract, which had her reporting to officials at the corporate level at ABC. When Shapiro joined ABC Family, she was reporting to Steve Bornstein, president of ABC Inc. But when he left last April, Shapiro started reporting directly to Disney president Bob Iger.
In several published reports Monday, Iger said it no longer made sense for one individual cable-network official to report to him. When Shapiro first joined ABC Family and was reporting to ABC, the Disney game plan was for the cable network to be an outlet for repurposed ABC programming. But that strategy didn’t really work.
Shapiro has brought some original shows to ABC Family, aimed at "tweens" and women, but the network’s ratings have continued to slide. And ABC Family has yet to develop a breakout hit.
In contrast, Disney Channel, which is under Sweeney’s wing, has seen phenomenal ratings growth and developed popular shows such as Lizzie McGuire