ABC is doing an extreme makeover of its daytime programming division as longtime daytime prexy Brian Frons prepares to exit the network in January.
ABC is creating a new wing, Times Square Studios, to develop entertainment and unscripted fare for daytime and syndication. It will be headed by Vicki Dummer, ABC’s senior veep of current series and specials, who has been upped to exec veep of Times Square Studios, current series and specials.
Dummer will remain based in L.A. ABC has tapped CBS News alum Abra Potkin to to serve as senior veep of east coast programming and development for Times Square Studios. ABC Daytime veteran Ann Lewis Roberts has been upped to senior veep of West Coast programming for the wing.
Dummer will continue to report to ABC Entertainment prexy Paul Lee.
Frons has headed ABC’s daytime programming operation since 2002. The exec has endured a drubbing during the past year from soap opera fans after ABC made the decision to ax the vintage serials “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” in favor of lower-budget talkers “The Chew” and “The Revolution” (which bows in January).
ABC brass stressed that it was Frons’ decision to step down at the end of his current contract, which expires next month.
“Brian Frons has been the driving force in our successful daytime division since joining us in 2002, and while we understand his decision to leave at the end of his contract, we’re sad to see him go,” said Disney-ABC TV Group topper Anne Sweeney. She called the decision to shift the daytime programming operation to a development-focused production wing
an “opportunity to bring greater creative resources, development strength and operational flexibility to this key area of our business.”
The restructuring marks a big vote of confidence from Lee and Sweeney in Dummer, an Alphabet vet who has held a range of programming posts at the net since 1996.
“Vicki’s broad experience across reality and scripted makes her the perfect person to lead the charge,” said Lee.