Foster playing traffic cop for ABC

Network taps multiplatform programming planner

As network programming continues to pop up on a variety of platforms — from the Internet to cell phones — ABC has tapped Wendell Foster to serve as a sort of traffic cop.

It’s a job that couldn’t have existed even five years ago: Foster will serve in the newly created role of VP of multiplatform program planning and scheduling.

He’ll be the primary liaison between ABC’s scheduling and other departments, such as digital media, current programming, affiliate relations, sales, news, ESPN and research for the multiplatform and non-primetime scheduling of all ABC primetime skeins.

Foster will also work with all those departments to help create future programming and windowing strategies.

“Wendell’s new position will allow us to address the unique challenges of the multiplatform world and to seek out new opportunities for growth and development in this rapidly evolving area,” said ABC Entertainment prexy Steve McPherson, who announced the new position Monday.

Foster most recently worked as VP for research at ABC Inc., overseeing ratings research for “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and analyzing numbers for ABC’s West Coast execs. Before that, he was VP for scheduling and program operations at Fox Sports Net.

Foster will report to ABC Entertainment exec VP Jeff Bader.

“With Wendell’s background in both network and cable research and scheduling, he’s the perfect candidate to help navigate and formulate new strategies to improve the reach of our programming using multiple platforms,” Bader said.

Foster’s resume also includes serving as VP of program planning and scheduling at the Disney Channel, and executive director of program planning and scheduling at ABC. He began his career at Disney in 1987 as manager of research at Buena Vista TV.

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