×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Granath makes way for De Villiers at ABC

Herbert Granath, the highly regarded international veteran of ABC, will formally turn over the reins of the combined Disney/ABC Intl. Television operation to his designated successor, Etienne De Villiers, in January, according to an internal memo circulated to staff Monday.

The move was foreshadowed 18 months ago when the two international operations of ABC and Disney were consolidated into one organization. At that time, Granath was named chairman of Disney/ABC Intl. Television and De Villiers received the prexy title.

It was understood then that De Villiers, a South African based in London, would succeed Granath at an unspecified time in the future.

Granath, who is based at ABC in New York, will retain his corporate title of senior VP at the parent company through 1999 and will also continue as chairman of ESPN and of A&E, the two cable channels in which ABC is a major shareholder. Granath will also remain actively involved in ABC’s dealings with the Academy Awards, an event the broadcaster airs and sells around the world.

Granath told Daily Variety that much of the transition to De Villiers has already been accomplished and that the biggest change come January would be a letup for him on all the travel required for the job.

Since the merger with Disney, Granath has traveled on behalf of the company to nurture top-level relationships in various parts of the world, including China, and to set the groundwork for the launch of localized Disney Channels around the globe. He also accompanied Michael Ovitz on several forays that the former Disney president made abroad on behalf of the company.

De Villiers, who could not be reached for comment, will now report to Robert Iger, president of CapCities/ABC Inc. rather than to Granath. A 10-year veteran of Disney, De Villiers will also retain his title of managing director of the Walt Disney Co. Ltd. in the U.K.

The reporting change suggests that Iger will soon take a much more active role in overseeing the global expansion of Disney/ABC.

Up until now Granath — who has enjoyed a 40-year career at the Alphabet web — had always been the point person at the network for international operations. He spearheaded the company’s foray into the fledgling cable programming arena in the late 1970s and later led the company into international investing at a time when global expansion was considered by most American media players as, at best, an afterthought.

More TV

  • Visitors arrive at the Hudson Yards

    AT&T Sells WarnerMedia Hudson Yards Space to Pay Down Debt

    AT&T has cut a deal to sell and lease back its WarnerMedia office space in New York’s glitzy Hudson Yards development for $2.2 billion to help pare down its enormous debt load. AT&T said Tuesday it has set a deal to sell its office space at 30 Hudson Yards to an affiliate of Related Companies, [...]

  • Japanese actor Ken Watanabe poses on

    Ken Watanabe to Star in Japan Edition of 'The Fugitive'

    Warner Bros. International Television Production and Japan’s TV Asahi network are teaming to remake “The Fugitive” as a special program that celebrates TV Asahi’s 60th anniversary. Ken Watanabe (“The Last Samurai,” “Godzilla,” “Inception”) will star in the title role made famous by David Janssen in the 1963-1967 U.S. TV series and then by Harrison Ford [...]

  • black lgbtq actors hollywood representation

    TV Roundup: 'Pose' Season 2 Premiere Date Pushed Back on FX

    In today’s roundup, “Pose” gets a new Season 2 premiere date and Sara Gilbert is set to play a recurring role on Season 3 of Netflix’s “Atypical.” FIRST LOOK The TV Academy has unveiled the key art for the 71st Emmy Awards. The new design, which will be used across platforms including the Emmy’s website, [...]

  • James Holzhauer Jeopardy

    Why James Holzhauer Is Bad for 'Jeopardy!' (Column)

    James Holzhauer, who is closing in on a million dollars of game-show winnings, is on track to become the most successful “Jeopardy!” contestant of all time. And he’s become such a dominant force that a historic run has come to seem, as television, boring. Over the course of thirteen episodes and counting, Holzhauer’s methods and [...]

  • Joe Ianniello

    CBS Suspends CEO Search, Extends Ianniello in Role Through 2019

    CBS Corp. said it would suspend the months-long search it has conducted for a new leader for the company since the departure of Leslie Moonves and would instead extend the tenure of its acting chief, Joseph Ianniello, through the end of 2019. “Joe has demonstrated exceptional leadership during this time of unprecedented transition at CBS. [...]

  • Wanda Sykes Silicon Valleywood

    Wanda Sykes on Doing Business With Netflix: 'They Moved That Comma'

    MENLO PARK, Calif. — Wanda Sykes wears a lot of hats as a comedian, writer, producer and entrepreneur, and that gives her a keen sense of the ever-growing content marketplace. She also has a very clear understanding of what she’s worth in dollars and cents, as she shared Tuesday in her Q&A at Variety’s Silicon [...]

  • Jenna Hager Hoda Kotb

    NBC News Sets Joanne LaMarca as EP, 'Today' Fourth Hour

    Just after NBC News recalibrated the fourth our of its daytime “Today” program, it has named a new executive producer to oversee the show. Joanne LaMarca, a longtime “Today” staffer who left NBC News in 2017 after a long run, will return as the new head of the 10 a.m. hour that is now led by [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content