Just a few months ago, Disney ABC Television named ad-sales veteran Debbie Richman to a new senior role. But in recent days, ABC decided to part ways with her, according to two people familiar with the situation.
A spokeswoman for the Disney-owned unit declined to comment. Disney said in late August that it intended to restructure its Disney ABC TV operations in an effort to trim costs at the unit.
Richman has been a force on Madison Avenue for years. She had been the primary executive responsible for lining up advertiser support for ABC’s best known primetime offerings, including its annual broadcast of the Oscars, and top network programs like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Modern Family.” She joined ABC in 2010 after a stint running ad sales for Lifetime and a notable tenure at Omnicom Group’s OMD, where she worked for clients including Hershey, Universal Pictures, Mobil, Clorox, McDonald’s, State Farm and JC Penney.
In February, Richman was given new duties as Disney placed all of its ad sales related to ABC, Freeform and its Disney cable networks under the aegis of a single executive, Rita Ferro. Richman, who had been senior vice president of ABC’s ad sales, was named executive vice president of revenue and yield management, and was given responsibility for managing business opportunities across the unit’s broader media portfolio.
Richman had long worked with Geri Wang, who had served as head of ABC’s ad sales since 2010.