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ABC speeds up effort to boost affil relations

Prexy makes successful debut, 'grand plan' moving along

FROM NATPE
NEW ORLEANS — With both sides acknowledging the need for major changes, ABC and its affil board have agreed to step up efforts to come up with “a grand plan” to redefine the web-stations relationship.

No firm timetable has been set and no concrete proposals have been put on the table, but affil board chairman Dave Barrett said Monday Alphabet web execs and board members have recognized the need to expedite the process.

“We’re committed to very active and immediate discussions to see if we can move this thing along,” Barrett said following the conclusion of Monday’s sesh with affils.

Overall mood of affils was upbeat, with the one potentially rancorous issue — the problem-prone “Good Morning America” — deflated by last week’s successful debut of Diane Sawyer and Charles Gibson as temp co-anchors.

New ABC Television Network topper Pat Fili-Krushel, in her first appearance before affils as web prexy, made a smooth debut, with many affils impressed by her conciliatory style, which they frequently contrasted with the more confrontational manner of predecessor Preston Padden.

In other matters, ABC confirmed it has finally decided to kill the low-rated Sunday edition of “Good Morning America.” The hourlong ayemcast will sign off for the last time Feb. 28.

ABC Entertainment topper Stu Bloomberg also again refused to say whether “Home Improvement” would be back for another season.

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