×

Disney/ABC TV Group Digital Chief Albert Cheng to Exit

Albert Cheng is stepping down from his post as Disney/ABC Television Group’s top digital exec.

Cheng, exec VP and chief product officer of digital media for Disney/ABC TV Group, has been the architect of Disney/ABC’s digital initiatives for more than a decade. In a note to staffers, Cheng said he felt it was time to move on after achieving the goals of making Disney/ABC programming available on an array of digital platforms.

Noting ABC’s path-breaking decision to offer Web streaming of series back in 2006, Cheng observed: “We were streaming video before streaming became cool.” He also cited ABC’s partnership with Apple to include a video-streaming app in tandem with the launch of the iPad in 2010.

Cheng was tapped for the role of Disney/ABC TV’s digital media czar 10 years ago by then-Disney/ABC Group chief Anne Sweeney as it became clear that digital distribution would change the face of the television biz.

“The roadmap we outlined 10 years ago is complete,” Cheng wrote in his memo. “We have a solid foundation and have scaled our operations. I’ve met all the personal goals I set out for myself. As a company, we’ve achieved far more than I would have ever imagined.”

Cheng said he would remain in his post through next month to help Ben Sherwood, who succeeded Sweeney in February, through a transition period. Sherwood praised Cheng’s contributions to the company as “significant and far-reaching” in a statement, suggesting that the decision was Cheng’s and not a result of the regime change from Sweeney to Sherwood.

“Through the strategic and diligent work done by (Cheng) and the talented digital media team, Disney/ABC has evolved itself from a traditional television business into a vibrant, fully integrated, future-focused company with a digital-first mindset and a reputation for smart and bold risk-taking,” Sherwood said. “Albert’s drive to innovate, his boundless energy and thoughtful intelligence have made Disney/ABC a better place, and we wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Cheng joined Disney’s cable division in 2000 as VP of national accounts and distribution strategy.

More Digital

  • BBC ITV BritBox Streaming

    BritBox to Roll Out in the U.K. in Fourth Quarter

    British broadcasters the BBC and ITV have formally agreed to launch their joint streaming service, BritBox, in the U.K. in the fourth quarter of 2019. It will be priced at £5.99 per month, making it the same price as the cheapest Netflix subscription in the U.K. ITV will control BritBox, holding a 90% stake. The [...]

  • Vobile - ZEFR acquisition - Yangbin

    Zefr Sells Its Copyright-Flagging and YouTube Channel-Management Businesses to Vobile for $90 Million

    Vobile Group, a video protection and measurement company, announced a deal to acquire Zefr’s RightsID copyright-management and ChannelID YouTube channel-management businesses for about $90 million. According to the companies, Zefr’s RightsID and ChannelID together generated over $40 million in revenue in 2018 and were profitable. The deal stands to more than triple the revenue for [...]

  • Justin Connolly

    Disney Merges All Media Sales and TV Channel Distribution Under Justin Connolly

    Disney promoted longtime ESPN exec Justin Connolly to the new role of president, media distribution, overseeing a single organization that combines all of the company’s media sales and TV channel distribution operations. Connolly previously served as EVP, affiliate sales and marketing, Disney and ESPN Media Networks. Based in New York, he will report to Kevin [...]

  • NASA - International Space Station

    Hulu Is Getting NASA TV in Time for the Moon Landing Anniversary

    Hulu’s live TV service is getting NASA TV just in time for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. In addition to a live feed, which is available only to subscribers of Hulu’s live TV tier, Hulu is also gaining access to select NASA TV series on demand. The live TV deal was announced [...]

  • iheartmedia logo

    iHeartMedia Stock Drops in NASDAQ Debut

    Shares of iHeartMedia, the U.S.’s biggest radio network, fell as much as 7% after they commenced trading Thursday on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, and ended the day down around 3%. Last month, after exiting a year-long bankruptcy reorg, iHeartMedia announced it was approved for listing on NASDAQ, instead of pursuing an IPO. The company’s [...]

  • iHeartMedia-Pride-Media-TheOutcast-Logo

    iHeartMedia, Pride Media to Co-Produce Slate of LGBTQ+ Podcasts

    iHeartMedia is teaming with Pride Media, the media company whose brands include Out, The Advocate and Pride, to co-produce a slate of LGBTQ+ podcasts in 2019-20. The partnership will kick off with “The Outcast,” an iHeartRadio original podcast co-produced with Out Magazine. Hosted by Out Magazine deputy editor Fran Tirado, the weekly podcast will explore [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content