Brian Frons leaving Disney ABC Television Group


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Brian Frons with Susan Lucci (Erica, All My Children) in better times for soap operas on ABC DaytimeWell, fans, was it all the hate mail?  Disney ABC Television Group's (DATG) Brian Frons, the Disney executive who has become infamous in single-handedly changing the face of ABC Daytime (for the worse?) is resigning his post as president, Daytime, Disney/ABC Television Group, when his contract expires in January 2012, Soapdom is delighted to report.

Or, is he being fired due to all the backlash regarding turning ABC daytime into a cable channel, instead of inspiring the daytime serials, All My Children, One Life to Live and General Hospital to achieve great heights?  (Instead, he just cancelled AMC and OLTL, and the fate of General Hospital is still undetermined.)

Either way, neither ABC or Frons is saying where he is going upon leaving ABC in January.

Upon Frons departure, a new television division, called Times Square Studios, will cover current programming and development encompassing daytime and syndicated products.

In commenting on the announcement, Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group, said: "Brian Frons has been the driving force in our successful Daytime division since joining us in 2002, and while we understand his decision to leave at the end of his contract, we're sad to see him go."

We say, "don't let the door hit him on the way out."  

Sweeney continued, "We took this opportunity to rethink our business, and the result was the creation of Times Square Studios. Having it be part of the ABC Entertainment Group, under the supervision of proven executives Vicki Dummer and Paul Lee, provides us the opportunity to bring greater creative resources, development strength and operational flexibility to this key area of our business."

Could this new division rethink the loss of daytime drama for the network?  We can only hope.

On his departure,  Frons said: "While my decision to try something new was not arrived at easily, nine years is a long time in television terms. I'm proud of the performance of ABC Daytime over that time, and of all of the accomplishments that our team achieved along the way. I'm especially pleased by the early results for 'The Chew' and excited for the launch of 'The Revolution,' which will be one more positive step in transforming ABC Daytime for our viewers. I'll miss my colleagues and the wonderful talent that makes our shows, but know they are in very capable hands with Vicki going forward."

Really, Mr. Frons?  You're proud of ruining the daypart?  New employers, take note. Do NOT hire this guy. He will totally ruin whatever you have that is branded and succeeding, maybe needing a bit of a kick in the pants, but he won't try that. Instead, he'll replace it with some dreck and boast that it was the best decision for your company.

Replacing Frons and heading up the new Times Square Studios division is Vicki Dummer as Executive Vice President who will report to Paul Lee, President, ABC Entertainment Group.

"I am honored, humbled and thrilled to have been entrusted with this new opportunity," Dummer stated. "Brian built an amazing team, and I'm looking forward to jumping into this new role and working with Abra, Ann and everyone in the group to make Times Square Studios a vibrant addition to our division."

Mr. Lee added, "I'm really excited by the possibilities of Times Square Studios, and I think Vicki's broad experience across reality and scripted makes her the perfect person to lead the charge."

So, ABC Daytime soap fans... are you happy to learn this news?  Weigh in below.