Consisting of 8 television stations that air ABC programming along with local news, sports, and entertainment. They also run the interactive websites of all the owned stations and run the Live Well Network.
They own and operate, WABC-TV in New York; KABC-TV in Los Angeles; WLS-TV in Chicago; WPVI-TV in Philadelphia; KGO-TV in San Francisco; KTRK-TV in Houston; WTVD-TV in Raleigh-Durham, NC; and KFSN-TV in Fresno, CA.
ABC Owned Television Station Group has two female top executives. Anne Sweeney is the President of Disney/ABC Television Group. She is being featured as the keynote speaker for MASSIVE: The Advertising Summit on June 7th in Los Angeles. Rebecca Campbell is the President of the ABC Owned Television Station Group.
In early April, Campbell spoke in “The Power of Broadcasting” panel at the Women, Technically Speaking event (found here). During her time in the panel Campbell discusses how local news is still very important to the public. As a good President Ms. Campbell is harping on the importance of local news because that is one of the most important aspects of the ABC Owned Television Station Group. The exposure that Ms. Sweeney and Ms. Campbell have provided or will provide is a good way for the station group to be noticed in the industry. The parent company, Disney, of this station group is very large. With that size, ABC Owned Television Station Group is able to do a lot of hiring from inside the “Disney Family.” For example, in March, Tracey Watkowski moved from ABC owned KFSN in Fresno as news director to KGO in San Francisco as the vice president of news. Later that month, Live Well Network, hired Herb Ford as national account executive, bringing him over from the television group’s SOAPnet where he held the same position.
Filling the Gap
One of the main stays for all ABC Owned and Operated stations was the Oprah Winfrey Show. However, the show ended in 2011 and all stations were left with a an hour gap in their programming schedule. Some stations have filled the gap with a 4pm Local News show, but recently the station group has developed OTRC (On The Red Carpet). OTRC is an entertainment news program that the station has tried to make as interactive as possible. In January, the station group released the OTRC app for iPhone that provides customers with a more interactive experience with the show and can give them constant updates on entertainment news. TVNewsCheck‘s April rankings of the top TV station puts ABC at number four, behind Fox, CBS, and NBC. This is not a good sign for ABC because it puts them last in the major network’s race. This could’ve been due to the loss of Oprah and the innability to fill the time slot with a show that is as popular, but it hasn’t been long enough to tell completely whether the Local News or OTRC is the better option for the gap left by Oprah in order to close the gap between ABC and its’ competitors.
ABC is one of the major television station groups and recent rulings have effected them, CBS, Fox, and NBC. With the 2012 presidential campaign coming up a lot of attention for the ad sales of TV networks has turned to getting a piece of the $3 billion dollar political advertising pie. The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) is in charge of regulating the broadcast networks, which ABC is. From the Telecommunications Act of 1996, it is said that all broadcast stations are to give each candidates in a political race an equal share of coverage. This has made the public want the price of political advertisements to become public knowledge and easy to obtain.
However, it is very difficult to obtain these records because it requires going down to the TV station. The FCC has now fixed the problem. On April 28th they made it so all ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC stations in the top 50 markets had to upload information on political ads to the FCC website. Before the ruling came down, ABC along with the other station groups approved of this method. ABC doesn’t want to be seen as biased or get in trouble with the FCC by going against this ruling. More on the April 28th ruling can be seen here.
Live Well Network
As mentioned before ABC Owned Television Station Group is responsible for Live Well Network. Launched in 2009, focuses on home, health and lifestyle with its programming. The programming is done by the station group and a lot of it is done in the studios of the eight major stations ABC owns and operates. Live Well Network is one of the fastest growing digital networks, covering about 55% of the United States. In the last month the Live Well Network has made quite an impression in the Sarasota, Florida market. The network has offered a lot of shows that appeal to the audience and the distributor is planning on making some of the programming more local as well. This shows the possibilities that the ABC Station Group has created by starting the Live Well Network. There is also buzz about the programming that Live Well Network is offering. Recently a crew from the network’s show ‘Motion’ came to South Dakota to film the Badlands National Park. Even though the network is not available in that part of the state yet there was interest in a network crew coming to a small town to film the natural beauty. Coming to places where the network is not broadcast is good way for them to create a demand for their network and hopefully grow in the future.