Doerfler’s number up at ABC

NEW YORK — ABC Inc. chief financial officer Ronald Doerfler is stepping down Oct. 31 after an 11-year run as the company’s numbers man.

Doerfler, 56, has seen his job function erode since Walt Disney Co. acquired the company in 1995 and took over many of the financial oversight functions he once handled solo. But it was unclear whether the senior veepee, who started at former ABC owner Capital Cities in 1969, chose to resign or was forced out.

In a statement, ABC prexy Robert Iger credited Doerfler with smoothing the merger first of CapCities and ABC in 1986 and, nine years later, of ABC and Disney. He said Doerfler “would like to take advantage of his many years of experience as chief financial officer of a major public company and seek out new, challenging opportunities to create shareholder value as he did so well at Capital Cities/ABC.”

But Doerfler’s exit comes as ratings-challenged ABC is facing one of its worst financial years in recent history, and amid staff cutbacks begun last week that will eliminate at least 150 network jobs through layoffs and attrition, although the CFO’s corporate post is not directly affected by those moves. Disney also has sold off ABC’s publishing assets, leaving the division a smaller piece of a much larger company.

An ABC spokeswoman said Iger plans to announce a replacement for Doerfler in the next several weeks.

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