Two senior executives are exiting Walt Disney Co.'s television operations.
At ABC, John Saade, executive vice president of alternative and late-night programming, is leaving. No replacement was named, but Lisa Berger, a former top programming executive at the cable channel E! is the leading candidate, confirmed people close to the matter, who chose to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to comment.
Although ABC has some strong unscripted fare including “Dancing with the Stars,” “The Bachelor” and “Shark Tank,” all three are aging, and the network has not had any new breakout hits in a few years.
Also exiting is Michael Riley, president of the ABC Family cable channel. Riley, who has run the channel for three years, is to stay in the post until a successor is found. He is leaving because he wants to return to his native England.
Riley leaves ABC Family in good shape. The network is in the top five among women ages 18 to 49, and it launched two successful new series in “The Fosters” and “Twisted."
ABC Family is expected to look both inside and outside Disney for a successor to Riley.