Disney dumps Touchstone TV brand

Renames unit ABC Television Studio

Disney is shedding its Touchstone Television brand, renaming its small screen production arm ABC Television Studio.

Change, effective immediately, is part of an overall streamlining of Disney brands behind three properties: Disney, ABC and ESPN. It’s also meant to reflect “the studio’s critical role in building a brand that viewers identify with quality television on any platform,” ABC said.

Conglom didn’t announce plans to change the names of it other TV studio arms, such as syndie supplier Buena Vista Television. Insiders, however, said those units will be rebranded under the ABC banner within the next few months.

Anne Sweeney, prexy of the Disney-ABC Television Group, announced the Touchstone title change Thursday morning at the Mouse House’s 2007 investor conference in Orlando.

“Over the past few years, the studio has delivered some of the…most successful programming on television, including international franchise hits ‘Lost’ and ‘Desperate Housewives,’ as well as this year’s Golden Globe winners, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Ugly Betty,'” Sweeney said. “The new name ties this success more closely with the ABC brand that viewers have come to value and trust.”

Mark Pedowitz will continue to run the studio arm. Shift comes a little more than a month after Pedowitz stepped down from his past role as head of business affairs for ABC to focus solely on the studio.

Rebranding puts Disney in line with other congloms, all of which include the name of their flagship nets in the title of their respective TV studio arms: NBC U Television Studio, CBS Par Network TV, 20th Century Fox, etc.

Before Touchstone, Disney produced TV shows via its Walt Disney TV banner. It then decided to borrow the name of its film unit for TV.

ABC Television Studio produces 18 broadcast and cable series, including the top 3 shows among adults 18-49.

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