LOS ANGELES (CNNfn) - The ABC television network, owned by The Walt Disney Company, shook up its entertainment division Tuesday, announcing a series of major changes led by the departure of ABC Entertainment Television Group Chairman Lloyd Braun and ABC Entertainment Television President Susan Lyne.
While Braun's departure was expected, Lyne's was not. In a written statement, the company said Braun and Lyne "have left the company and are pursuing other interests."
The move comes at a critical point just weeks before the "upfronts," when networks unveil their new programs and schedules to advertisers. The announcement also comes against the backdrop of continued pressure against Walt Disney CEO Michael Eisner and lackluster ratings for the ABC network.
Taking over in the corporate shuffle will be ABC Cable Networks President Anne Sweeney and ESPN/ABC Sports President George Bodenheimer, who will be named co-chairs of Disney's media networks unit. Sweeney will be responsible for the struggling ABC Television Network.
Steve McPherson, who has been president of Touchstone Television, becomes president of ABC Primetime Entertainment. Rich Ross takes over as president for the Disney Channel Worldwide.
Mark Pedowitz was named president of Touchstone Television and executive vice president of ABC Entertainment Television Group. Alex Wallau, who was president of the ABC television network, will remain with the company, but as president of ABC network operations and administration. He will now report to Sweeney.