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As the upfronts approach, ABC gets a new sales chief

Geriwang With the network upfront sales season just three months away, ABC has tapped Geri Wang as the net’s new president of sales and marketing.

Wang was the front-runner to replace Mike Shaw, who announced in November that he was stepping down after 10 years as ABC’s top salesman.

Wang’s appointment was announced Wednesday by Anne Sweeney, Disney/ABC Television Group prexy and Disney Media Networks co-chair.

“Since joining the company in 1990, Geri has proven herself to be a fierce advocate for ABC, someone who understands the value of our network and who has developed the skills and relationships necessary to ensure that value is fully recognized by the marketplace,” Sweeney said.

Wang oversees sales and integrated marketing efforts for all ABC dayparts — including primetime, daytime, news, late night, interactive and sales development. She also oversees Disney/ABC Unlimited (the Walt Disney Co.’s cross-platform sales unit) and sales for SoapNet.

“To be trusted with this stewardship is an incredible honor,” Wang said.

Wang was most recently senior VP of primetime sales for ABC, a position she has held since 2000.

Exec takes over the top sales gig during a particularly rough time for the ad market — although indications are growing that the climate has already turned around. 

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