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ABC veteran Debra O’Connell has been tapped to lead the network’s flagship WABC-TV New York as president and general manager.

O’Connell has been with ABC for more than 20 years, starting out as a marketing executive in radio. She spent the past 14 months as exec VP of Disney/ABC’s consolidated advertising sales group. Before that she served as president of sales for the ABC Owned Stations Group, and she was a VP of marketing for WABC.

O’Connell succeeds Dave Davis, who retired in February after 15 years as WABC-TV g.m. ABC Owned Television Stations president Wendy McMahon called O’Connell “a well-respected, highly strategic and driven leader that brings an impressive range of experience to this position.”

O’Connell will oversee all operations of the stations as well as “Live With Kelly and Ryan,” the syndicated morning show that is produced out of the station.

“I have a true passion for local television, its connection to the community and the people we serve,” O’Connnell said.” Year after year, our viewers have made Channel 7 the most-watched station in New York and the nation, and we will continue to earn their trust by always delivering the best local news coverage in the market.”