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WABC chief lifted to ABC O&O’s president

Campbell replaces Disney/ABC veteran Walter Liss

Rebecca Campbell, prexy and g.m. of WABC-TV New York, has been promoted to prexy of the ABC Owned Television Stations Group.

She succeeds Walter Liss, a Disney/ABC veteran who has headed the Mouse’s O&O group since 1999. Bob Iger, Disney president and CEO, hailed Liss as “a great executive who knows his business well and has always had a passion for it.”

Liss has spent more than 30 years with Disney and its predecessor companies, starting with Capital Cities Communications in 1971. During his time at ABC and Disney, Liss served a stint as chairman of the Buena Vista Television unit, and he was instrumental in supervising the launch of Disney’s hugely successful syndie strip “Live With Regis and Kathie Lee” (now “Live With Regis and Kelly”) in 1988.

Campbell will oversee the 10 ABC O&Os and its national sales firm, reporting to Disney/ABC Television Group prexy Anne Sweeney. Campbell has been the boss of WABC-TV since 2007. Before that, she headed the ABC station in Philadelphia, WPVI-TV. She’s been with the ABC O&Os since 1997.

Sweeney said Campbell had the “vision and expertise in every facet of local television make her the right choice to lead our Owned Stations Group into the future and define their expanded role in the digital age.”

Campbell was in the spotlight earlier this year when Disney went toe-to-toe with Cablevision in the retransmission consent drama that led to WABC-TV being yanked from Cablevision’s cable systems for nearly 24 hours.

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