In a surprise move, Brillstein-Grey Entertainment President Lloyd J. Braun is expected to be named chairman of Walt Disney TV as early as today, sources said on Sunday.
David Neuman, president of Walt Disney Network TV and Touchstone TV, now will report to Braun, who also will oversee some of the other TV divisions at the studio.
Neuman was upped to his current post last fall after Dean Valentine, Walt Disney TV and Walt Disney TV Animation president, left to be CEO of UPN.
Sources say Disney had approached a couple of TV executives about the job since Valentine left. The studio will be looking to Braun to create hits, especially for ABC, which largely have been absent since the debut of “Home Improvement.”
Disney could not be reached for comment about the Braun appointment and details remained sketchy on Sunday.
Braun first joined Brillstein-Grey in 1994 from the law firm Silverberg, Katz, Thompson & Braun, and he was named president in 1996.
During his tenure, the company has created such TV series at NBC’s “Just Shoot Me” and “Newsradio,” and ABC’s latenight talk show “Politically Incorrect.”
Disney actually funds a large portion of those shows because of ABC’s joint venture with Brillstein-Grey, which preceded Disney’s purchase of the network. In recent months Disney and Brillstein-Grey have been in talks to dissolve that partnership.