NEW YORK — Soaps marketing vet Angela Shapiro has been tapped to take over as president of ABC’s daytime division, the web announced Thursday.
Shapiro, who had been senior VP of marketing and promotion for ABC Daytime since joining the network in 1995, had been a leading candidate for the position (Daily Variety, 7/31). She replaces — and will report to — Pat Fili-Krushel, who last week was upped to president of the ABC Television Network.
With daytime viewership suffering ratings erosion similar to primetime network programming, Shapiro’s biggest challenge will be to make sure audiences continue to tune in. “The network business is in a precarious position, and daytime is no different,” Shapiro admitted.
Shapiro — who co-founded two leading soap industry mags, Soap Opera Digest and Soap Opera Update — says she’ll try to forge a closer relationship between ABC’s daytime marketing department and the producers of the web’s sudsers. “Marketing should make promises programming is able to deliver,” she said.
Shapiro will also play a key role in the continuing development of ABC’s fledgling all-suds cabler, which is undergoing dry runs in three markets in advance of a possible national rollout. While some affiliates have expressed concerns about losing exclusivity for ABC daytime programming, Shapiro says the cable channel is not meant to cannibalize current daytime audiences.
“The goal is to allow people who are not available in the afternoon to watch these shows at night,” she said.
Shapiro also helped launch the annual Soap Opera Awards as a primetime kudocast, and was a co-owner of Brookville Marketing/Greybark Advertising, which developed album compilations.