Anne Sweeney - Soap Opera Network
Friday, November 28, 2014 | 10:46 AM

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Anne Sweeney

Hot on the heels of co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group Anne Sweeney announced her decision to leave the network to pursue a career in directing comes news that Ben Sherwood, ABC News President, will be her successor.

In a shocking move many didn’t see coming, one of Hollywood’s most powerful women — Anne Sweeney, co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group — has decided to hand over her reins in order to pursue her real passion: Directing!

Queen of Soaps Susan Lucci (Genevieve Delatour, “Devious Maids;” Erica Kane “All My Children”) is adding one more accomplishment to her long list of admirable achievements: She’ll be returning as host for the 13th Annual UCP of NYC Women Who Care luncheon!

From re-runs of soap classics "Dallas," "Dynasty," "Another World," "Port Charles," and "Falcon Crest," to the launches of original series "SoapCenter," "Soap Talk" and "General Hospital: Night Shift," SOAPnet was defined as the "new way to watch soaps" for much of its near 14-year run. With just 2 days left before SOAPnet is no more, we thought it would be a great opportunity to look back at the inaugural year of a network that gave diehard soap fans their own platform to shout with glee through the death of a network that outlived its purpose.

Just days before its upfront presentation to Madison Avenue on Tuesday, May 14, the Disney/ABC Television Group has announced that viewers of ABC programming in New York City and Philadelphia (via their WABC and WPVI affiliates) will be able to watch ABC's Live 24/7 linear broadcast network programming online for the first time ever through the new WATCH ABC application. Viewers can access WATCH ABC online at ABC.com or by downloading the WATCH ABC app on their iOS or Kindle Fire devices. The WATCH ABC app will be available on Samsung Galaxy devices this summer.

Capitalizing on ratings momentum, advertising demand and increased revenue potential for entertainment programming in the 11:35 p.m. time slot, ABC today announced a strategic shift in its late-night strategy to better position the network for increased ratings and financial performance over the long term. On Tuesday, January 8, “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” the only late-night broadcast talk show to increase in Total Viewers this past season, will move to 11:35 p.m., putting the show in head-to-head competition with “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “Late Show with David Letterman.” Proven late-night performer “Nightline” will shift to 12:35 a.m., allowing viewers to begin and end their broadcast day with news. The moves are timed to take advantage of the built-in promotional platforms provided by ABC’s “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” and ESPN’s Bowl Championship Series, which culminates with the National Championship Game on Monday, January 7. In addition, “Nightline” will expand its programming commitments with a move into primetime, Friday nights at 9:00 p.m. beginning March 1. Given its success and growth, the ABC News series “What Would You Do?” will also find a new home on the schedule.

Could the incompetence of a network executive get any uglier? Why yes, it can! The latest in a series of blunders by Brian Frons, President, Daytime, Disney/ABC Television Group, since the announcement that he has decided to "evolve" ABC Daytime by canceling "All My Children and "One Life to Live" by replacing them with "The Chew" and "The Revolution," while sticking his foot in his mouth in interview (Deadline.com), after interview (Entertainment Weekly), after interview (The Wrap), comes a scathing report by another Disney Insider that paints Frons as an executive without much imagineers (Disney speak for imagination).