Bruce Rosenblum Joins Disney/ABC TV as President of Business Operations

Bruce Rosenblum, the former head of Warner Bros. TV Group and chairman of the Television Academy, has joined Disney/ABC Television Group as president of business operations.

The newly created post gives Rosenblum broad oversight of business and administrative aspects of the Disney/ABC TV Group. He will report to Disney/ABC TV Group president Ben Sherwood.

Sherwood told Variety he had been looking for a seasoned executive to help him manage the increasingly complicated business dealings that the group faces, from carriage negotiations with MVPDs to content licensing deals around the globe. He’d met with numerous candidates, but when Rosenblum’s name surfaced through a recruiter in June, the two struck a chord after a long lunch at a burger joint not far from the Disney lot.

“As we build on creative momentum across our portfolio, it has become more important than ever to establish a more efficient and effective operating structure,” Sherwood said. “With his formidable record as a skilled manager and innovative dealmaker, Bruce is a stellar addition to our team. I’m confident he will make a powerful difference as we navigate — and win — the future.”

With Rosenblum’s appointment, Sherwood’s number of direct reports will drop from 17 to “far fewer,” he told Variety.

Rosenblum’s charter at Disney/ABC will include running global distribution, affiliate sales and marketing, digital media, strategy and business development, as well as engineering, IT, and research. He will jointly run advertising sales for ABC and Disney networks (other than ESPN), working alongside execs at each business unit, Disney/ABC said.

ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey, ABC Studios president Patrick Moran, Disney Channels Worldwide chief Gary Marsh, and Freeform president Tom Ascheim will continue to report to Sherwood. ABC News president James Goldston and ABC O&O group president Rebecca Campbell will also continue to report to Sherwood. ABC’s Geri Wong and other ad sales chiefs will report to Rosenblum, along with their respective network chiefs.

“I have long admired the Walt Disney Company, and became impressed with Ben’s leadership of and vision for Disney/ABC over the past few years,” Rosenblum said. “While at Warner Bros., I had many successful dealings with the group, and have witnessed first-hand the intelligence and creativity in their business operations.”

The job brings Rosenblum back to a studio perch, three years after he ended a 26-year run at Warner Bros. Rosenblum rose to become the head of the studio’s prosperous television division, but was passed over for promotion to the chairman-CEO post. He quickly relocated to Legendary, where he served as president of digital and television. During his tenure Rosenblum brought Legendary into the TV production arena with such series as USA Network’s “Colony,” Netflix’s “Love,” and the upcoming ABC sitcom “Downward Dog.”

Rosenblum has served as chairman of the Television Academy since 2011. His term will end in December. With the Primetime Emmy Awards season wrapping Sunday with the live ABC telecast, the timing was right for Rosenblum to start his new Disney/ABC gig on Monday.

Rosenblum emphasized that he has long admired Disney and its growth trajectory during the past decade that has turned it into the world’s largest entertainment company. After announcing the appointment on Friday morning, Rosenblum said he was happy to be heading back to work in Burbank, albeit on a different studio lot.

“I used to drive past this lot and looking longingly at it,” Rosenblum said.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • THE BACHELORETTE - "The Bachelorette: Season

    'The Bachelor': ABC Announces Leading Man For Season 24

    ABC has cast its next leading man for Season 24 of “The Bachelor.” Peter Weber has officially been named the upcoming “Bachelor.” The announcement was made Tuesday night on ABC’s “Bachelor In Paradise” reunion special. Weber appeared on Season 15 of “The Bachelorette” with Hannah Brown, ultimately becoming the second runner-up. He was a fan-favorite [...]

  • SEAL TEAM stars David Boreanaz (left),

    Showrunner John Glenn Exits 'SEAL Team' at CBS

    CBS is cutting ties with “SEAL Team” showrunner John Glenn, Variety has confirmed. Glenn joined the show for its second season, which premiered in October of last year. Christopher Chulack, Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly also executive produced. “Regarding ‘SEAL Team,’ I am proud of the work we did – and greatly enjoyed having the chance to [...]

  • NBC Campaign Aims to Reclaim Brand

    NBC Launches Campaign to Reclaim Brand Ownership of Hit Comedies (EXCLUSIVE)

    NBC is preparing a new salvo in the streaming-era TV branding wars. As audiences increasingly watch shows like “The Good Place” and “Superstore” on other platforms, the Peacock network has launched a new campaign to remind them that these are, first and foremost, NBC shows. And they’re even enlisting a real-life peacock to convey the [...]

  • Shane Gillis

    'SNL' Sought Conservative Appeal With Shane Gillis Hire

    “Saturday Night Live” was looking to shake things up with the casting of Shane Gillis — and it did, albeit unintentionally. According to sources, the long-running NBC comedy show and series mastermind Lorne Michaels were actively looking to cast a comedian for its new season who would appeal to more conservative viewers. This was meant [...]

  • TV News Roundup: Netflix Announces Arsenio

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Announces Arsenio Hall's Comedy Special Premiere Date

    In today’s TV news roundup, Netflix announced the premiere date for Arsenio Hall’s comedy special and a “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” duo (among others) will guest star on “Elena of Avalor.” CASTING “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” stars Rachel Brosnahan and Tony Shalhoub, as well as Auli’i Cravalho (“Moana”), John Leguizamo (“When They See Us”), Taye Diggs (“All American”), Eugenio Derbez [...]

  • How 'Save Our Show' Campaigns Affect

    From 'The OA' to 'One Day at a Time': How 'Save Our Show' Campaigns Affect Network Interest

    Organized flash mobs and mounting billboards still may not save your favorite shows, as some fan campaigns are finding out. Following Netflix’s most recent decision to stand firm on its cancellation of “The OA,” the question remains, “what will save these shows?” When networks and streamers find that smaller favorites aren’t big cash cows, fans [...]

  • Afton WilliamsonABC All-Star Happy Hour, TCA

    Afton Williamson 'Rookie' Investigation: Studio Finds No 'Inappropriate' Workplace Behavior

    Updated: Former “The Rookie” star Afton Williamson has responded to Entertainment One’s (eOne) findings into her claims of racial discrimination and sexual harassment and assault on the ABC series. In an Instagram post Tuesday night, Williamson lamented “the lengths that were taken to Deceive, Lie, and Cover Up the Truth” following eOne’s statement. “It’s Heartbreaking [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content