Publicity overhaul

ABC revamps praisery department

The Disney-ABC Television Group’s communications division has undergone a complete overhaul, unveiling its new departmental structure Tuesday.

Under the realignment, the department will be organized into six arms: entertainment, communications resources, kids, news, corporate communications and international.

The entire division continues to report to Kevin Brockman, senior VP of communications. Brockman’s elevation last May to the top communications post, across both broadcast and cable outlets, set into motion the reorg.

As part of the shuffle, ABC Family media relations VP Nicole Nichols has been promoted to senior VP of entertainment communications for the Disney-ABC TV Group, while Sharon Williams — most recently VP of media relations at the Alphabet web, will now serve as senior VP of communications resources.

Also shifting is Disney-ABC Cable Networks Group media relations VP Patti McTeague, who will now serve as VP of kids communications for the Disney-ABC TV Group.

Jeffrey Schneider continues as vice prexy of ABC News communications, while Julie Hoover now serves as VP of corporate communications (moving on from VP of corporate projects).

Serving as acting international communications chief will be Siobhan Kenny, who continues as VP of Branded Television Communications for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Brockman said he was looking for a “more strategic and streamlined way to tap into the expertise that exists in the group.”

“While each channel and network daypart retains a senior executive responsible for its day-to-day communications strategy, we’ll now have an executive team responsible for coordinating and enhancing those efforts as well,” Brockman said.

As entertainment communications senior VP, Nichols will handle PR efforts for ABC Entertainment, Touchstone TV, ABC Daytime, ABC Family and SOAPnet.

Nichols joined Disney when the company bought the Fox Family Channel; at Fox Family Worldwide, she was senior VP of communications. She was also corporate PR director at Fox Broadcasting and a director of publicity at Saban.

Williams, segueing to the newly created communications resources position, will now oversee departments such as photography, new communications media, broadcast and ratings publicity, editorial services, talent relations and business management.

Williams has been with ABC since 1997; before that, she helped launch UPN and also spent several years at Columbia Pictures TV and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

As kids communications leader, McTeague will handle efforts for Disney Channel Worldwide, Toon Disney, JETIX, Playhouse Disney, ABC Kids and Walt Disney TV Animation.

McTeague spent six years at UPN, serving as VP of media and talent relations before joining Disney in 2001; her resume also includes 10 years at Capital Cities/ABC.

Schneider’s oversight includes all things ABC News, while Hoover’s duties include government, labor, affiliates, sales, marketing, research and community outreach. She also works with ABC Radio and ABC-owned TV stations.

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