Cap Cities Picks Chief for ABC Broadcasting
Capital Cities Communications, which dipped into its own ranks in naming John B. Sias as the successor to ABC board chairman Frederick S. Pierce, has appointed a senior ABC executive as president of the ABC Broadcasting division, a newly created post.
The new division’s president is Michael P. Millardi, who will continue serving as executive vice-president of ABC Inc., said a spokesman for Capital Cities/ABC Inc., the new company created when Cap Cities’ takeover of ABC became official on Jan. 3.
As head of the ABC Broadcasting division, Millardi, 51, will be in charge of all the new company’s eight television stations, including KABC-TV in Los Angeles, and the company’s radio operations, broadcast operations and engineering, and ABC Video Enterprises.
Sias, 58, was named ABC’s board chairman last week when Pierce resigned that post after nearly 30 years with ABC. Sias, a director and executive vice president of Capital Cities/ABC Inc., will be responsible for the ABC Television network and ABC’s news, entertainment and sports divisions.
Sias, who has a broadcasting background, previously headed Cap Cities’ publishing division. He joined the company in 1971 after working in various executive capacities at Westinghouse Broadcasting and at Metromedia. Millardi’s appointment comes as ABC’s new owners move quickly to line up its own senior management team at ABC and attempt to pull the network out of third in prime-time ratings.
Daniel B. Burke, president of Capital Cities/ABC Inc., said in a statement last week that there will continue to be a “natural evolution and growth of new internal alignments and reporting responsibilities” at the merged companies.
Other ABC appointments are expected this week. But no wholescale house-cleaning of ABC management will be made, according to Thomas S. Murphy, board chairman of the merged companies.
Those considered secure in their jobs are Brandon Stoddard, who became head of ABC Entertainment in mid-November, and Roone Arledge, president of ABC News and ABC Sports.
Pierce, 52, said last week that a settlement had been worked out on his current ABC contract, which ran though August, 1989. Under the contract, he was paid $500,000 annually. He also owns ABC stock worth $4 million, acording to recent ABC proxy statements.