Peter Rice, Dana Walden to Lead Disney-ABC’s TV Networks and Studio After Fox Deal Closes

Peter Rice and Dana Walden will lead Disney-ABC’s TV networks and studio after the Fox acquisition closes, the Walt Disney Company said on Monday. Under them, John Landgraf and Gary E. Knell will serve as chairmen of FX and Nat Geo Partners.

Ben Sherwood, the co-chair of Disney Media Networks and the president of the Disney-ABC Television Group, will remain in his role until the Fox deal is finished. We learned last month that he would be leaving.

The 21st Century Fox executives selected to move over to the high-level Disney roles are not unexpected — but they are very noteworthy and important promotions.

Also Read: Nick Cannon Is Developing a Weekly Late-Night Show at Fox

Rice is currently president of 21st Century Fox and chairman and CEO of Fox Networks Group. Walden currently oversees Fox’s broadcast network and its studio with partner Gary Newman, who is expected to stay put. Knell is currently president and CEO of the National Geographic Society; Landgraf is CEO for the FX networks and its studio.

Soon, Walden, Landgraf and Knell will report to Rice — as will Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer of Disney Channels Worldwide. James Goldston, the president of ABC News, will also report in to Rice, who himself reports directly to Bob Iger.

Here is the list of Walden’s direct reports:
– Channing Dungey, president, ABC Entertainment
– Patrick Moran, president, ABC Studios
– Jonathan Davis and Howard Kurtzman, presidents of Twentieth Century Fox Television
– Bert Salke, president, Fox 21 Television Studios
– Tom Ascheim, president, Freeform
– Wendy McMahon, president, ABC Owned Television Stations Group

Also Read: Hope Hicks Hired as New Fox’s Chief Communications Officer

“The strength of 21st Century Fox’s first-class management talent has always been a compelling part of this opportunity for us,” said Iger, the chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. “Upon completion of the acquisition, this new structure positions these proven leaders to help drive maximum value from a greatly enhanced portfolio of incredible brands and businesses.”

“I want to personally thank Ben Sherwood for his years of service at ABC and Disney,” he added. “Ben has been a valued colleague, and I deeply appreciate his many contributions and insights, as well as his professionalism and cooperation in this transition.”

“I love making television and have been fortunate to work with incredibly talented executives and storytellers,” Rice said. “Disney is the world’s preeminent creative company, and I look forward to working for Bob, and with his exceptional leadership team, to build on that amazing legacy. I also want to thank Rupert, Lachlan and James Murdoch for the privilege of working on such a wide array of movies and television, both entertainment and sports. It has been a wonderful thirty years.”

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Peter Rice and Dana Walden will lead Disney-ABC’s TV networks and studio after the Fox acquisition closes, the Walt Disney Company said on Monday. Under them, John Landgraf and Gary E. Knell will serve as chairmen of FX and Nat Geo Partners.

Ben Sherwood, the co-chair of Disney Media Networks and the president of the Disney-ABC Television Group, will remain in his role until the Fox deal is finished. We learned last month that he would be leaving.

The 21st Century Fox executives selected to move over to the high-level Disney roles are not unexpected — but they are very noteworthy and important promotions.

Rice is currently president of 21st Century Fox and chairman and CEO of Fox Networks Group. Walden currently oversees Fox’s broadcast network and its studio with partner Gary Newman, who is expected to stay put. Knell is currently president and CEO of the National Geographic Society; Landgraf is CEO for the FX networks and its studio.

Soon, Walden, Landgraf and Knell will report to Rice — as will Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer of Disney Channels Worldwide. James Goldston, the president of ABC News, will also report in to Rice, who himself reports directly to Bob Iger.

Here is the list of Walden’s direct reports:
– Channing Dungey, president, ABC Entertainment
- Patrick Moran, president, ABC Studios
- Jonathan Davis and Howard Kurtzman, presidents of Twentieth Century Fox Television
- Bert Salke, president, Fox 21 Television Studios
– Tom Ascheim, president, Freeform
- Wendy McMahon, president, ABC Owned Television Stations Group

“The strength of 21st Century Fox’s first-class management talent has always been a compelling part of this opportunity for us,” said Iger, the chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. “Upon completion of the acquisition, this new structure positions these proven leaders to help drive maximum value from a greatly enhanced portfolio of incredible brands and businesses.”

“I want to personally thank Ben Sherwood for his years of service at ABC and Disney,” he added. “Ben has been a valued colleague, and I deeply appreciate his many contributions and insights, as well as his professionalism and cooperation in this transition.”

“I love making television and have been fortunate to work with incredibly talented executives and storytellers,” Rice said. “Disney is the world’s preeminent creative company, and I look forward to working for Bob, and with his exceptional leadership team, to build on that amazing legacy. I also want to thank Rupert, Lachlan and James Murdoch for the privilege of working on such a wide array of movies and television, both entertainment and sports. It has been a wonderful thirty years.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Janelle Monáe Joins Voice Cast of Disney's 'Lady and the Tramp' Reboot

'Star Wars': Jon Favreau Releases First Details About TV Show for Disney Streaming Service

'Aladdin' Producers Set 'Lilo & Stitch' Live-Action Remake at Disney

Rupert Murdoch and Sons Pay Soars as Fox-Disney Deal Awaits Completion

Ben Sherwood To Exit Disney-ABC Following Fox Acquisition

We are about a week or so away from Disney unveiling the names of top 21st Century Fox executives who would be joining the company following the acquisition of key Fox assets; we hear an announcement of the company’s post-acquisition structure ex…

We are about a week or so away from Disney unveiling the names of top 21st Century Fox executives who would be joining the company following the acquisition of key Fox assets; we hear an announcement of the company’s post-acquisition structure expected may be coming on Oct.1. With 21st Century Fox president Peter Rice’s deal said to be all but done and Fox TV Group chairman Dana Walden negotiating hers, the first major Disney-ABC departure, which had been in the works for…

Ben Sherwood Expected to Exit Disney After Merger With 21st Century Fox

Ben Sherwood is expected to leave Disney after the company’s merger with 21st Century Fox is complete, TheWrap has learned.

The president of Disney/ABC Television Group and co-chair of the Media Networks division has been considering a different role within the company over the past few months, as 21st Century Fox president Peter Rice is expected to take on his responsibilities when the deal is closed, an individual with knowledge of Sherwood’s decision tells TheWrap.

Sherwood is said to have been interested in a role at Sky — should Fox have beaten out Comcast to acquire the British pay-TV giant — and Saturday’s news that Comcast had won the auction with a $39 billion bid sealed his departure.

Also Read: Disney/Fox Begins to Take Shape: Peter Rice, Dana Walden Expected to Lead Newly Merged TV Group

Sherwood has been helming DATG since early 2015, taking over for longtime Disney exec Anne Sweeney. Among other milestones, Sherwood’s tenure is marked by the network’s successful revival of “American Idol” last year and the name change/transition of Disney’s ABC Family into Freeform.

As TheWrap reported in July — following Fox’s acceptance of Disney’s $71.3 billion bid against Comcast for a large portion of 21CF assets — Rice and Fox Television Group chairman Dana Walden are expected to move to leadership roles at Disney/ABC Television Group when the merger is finalized. While Rice is an almost certain get at this point, Walden is still a maybe.

At that time, Sherwood was still expected to transition to a different, very senior position at the company under Disney CEO Bob Iger.

Also Read: Disney-ABC Chief Ben Sherwood ‘So Sorry’ for ‘Roseanne’ Staff After Abrupt Cancellation

The deal between Fox and Disney was officially approved by shareholders at both companies later that month and is expected to close in the first half of 2019.

Disney and Sherwood declined TheWrap’s request for comment for this story.

Variety first reported the news of Sherwood’s expected exit.

Jon Levine contributed to this story.

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Disney Promotes Ryan Stankevich and Martha Morrison to SVP Global Marketing Posts

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Fox and Disney Shareholders Vote to Approve $71.3 Billion Merger

Ben Sherwood is expected to leave Disney after the company’s merger with 21st Century Fox is complete, TheWrap has learned.

The president of Disney/ABC Television Group and co-chair of the Media Networks division has been considering a different role within the company over the past few months, as 21st Century Fox president Peter Rice is expected to take on his responsibilities when the deal is closed, an individual with knowledge of Sherwood’s decision tells TheWrap.

Sherwood is said to have been interested in a role at Sky — should Fox have beaten out Comcast to acquire the British pay-TV giant — and Saturday’s news that Comcast had won the auction with a $39 billion bid sealed his departure.

Sherwood has been helming DATG since early 2015, taking over for longtime Disney exec Anne Sweeney. Among other milestones, Sherwood’s tenure is marked by the network’s successful revival of “American Idol” last year and the name change/transition of Disney’s ABC Family into Freeform.

As TheWrap reported in July — following Fox’s acceptance of Disney’s $71.3 billion bid against Comcast for a large portion of 21CF assets — Rice and Fox Television Group chairman Dana Walden are expected to move to leadership roles at Disney/ABC Television Group when the merger is finalized. While Rice is an almost certain get at this point, Walden is still a maybe.

At that time, Sherwood was still expected to transition to a different, very senior position at the company under Disney CEO Bob Iger.

The deal between Fox and Disney was officially approved by shareholders at both companies later that month and is expected to close in the first half of 2019.

Disney and Sherwood declined TheWrap’s request for comment for this story.

Variety first reported the news of Sherwood’s expected exit.

Jon Levine contributed to this story.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Loki, Scarlet Witch, More Marvel Characters to Get Standalone Shows on Disney Streaming Service

Disney Promotes Ryan Stankevich and Martha Morrison to SVP Global Marketing Posts

Disney Appoints Former US Trade Rep Michael Froman to Board of Directors

Fox and Disney Shareholders Vote to Approve $71.3 Billion Merger

Ben Sherwood to Leave Disney After 21st Century Fox Deal is Complete (EXCLUSIVE)

Ben Sherwood is preparing to leave the Walt Disney Co. after Disney completes its acquisition of 21st Century Fox. Sherwood, who has served as Disney’s top TV executive as president of Disney/ABC Television Group and co-chair of the Media Network…

Ben Sherwood is preparing to leave the Walt Disney Co. after Disney completes its acquisition of 21st Century Fox. Sherwood, who has served as Disney’s top TV executive as president of Disney/ABC Television Group and co-chair of the Media Networks division, had been considering options for a new role during the past two months after […]

Disney/Fox Begins to Take Shape: Peter Rice, Dana Walden Expected to Lead Newly Merged TV Group

The look of a Disney-fied Fox is beginning to come into focus.

21st Century Fox president Peter Rice and Fox Television Group chairman Dana Walden are expected to move to senior posts overseeing TV operations at Disney/ABC Television Group, amid Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox assets, an individual with knowledge of internal talks tells TheWrap.

Meanwhile current DATG boss Ben Sherwood is expected to transition to a different very senior position at the company under Disney CEO Bob Iger, although the specifics of that role are still unclear.

Also Read: Disney Chief Bob Iger’s Response to Comcast Bowing Out of Fox Sweepstakes: ‘Holy Crap’

However, TheWrap has learned news of the leadership shakeup is largely speculative and based on rumors at this point.

On Thursday, rival bidder Comcast bowed out of the 21st Century Fox sweepstakes, choosing instead to focus on acquiring British pay-TV giant Sky Plc. Disney and Fox had initially agreed to a $54.2 billion deal in December before Comcast came in with an “unsolicited” offer of $65 billion in June. Disney then sweetened its prior bid to $71.3 billion, which Fox again accepted over Comcast.

Fox has set a July 27 shareholder meeting to vote on the Disney deal. If either Comcast’s or Fox’s acquisition of Sky is not completed by then, Disney would be forced to make a minimum bid of £14 a share for the 61 percent of Sky that Fox doesn’t own. That would be less than the £14.75 per share that Comcast offered last week.

Disney and Fox could not be reached for comment by TheWrap for this story.

The look of a Disney-fied Fox is beginning to come into focus.

21st Century Fox president Peter Rice and Fox Television Group chairman Dana Walden are expected to move to senior posts overseeing TV operations at Disney/ABC Television Group, amid Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox assets, an individual with knowledge of internal talks tells TheWrap.

Meanwhile current DATG boss Ben Sherwood is expected to transition to a different very senior position at the company under Disney CEO Bob Iger, although the specifics of that role are still unclear.

However, TheWrap has learned news of the leadership shakeup is largely speculative and based on rumors at this point.

On Thursday, rival bidder Comcast bowed out of the 21st Century Fox sweepstakes, choosing instead to focus on acquiring British pay-TV giant Sky Plc. Disney and Fox had initially agreed to a $54.2 billion deal in December before Comcast came in with an “unsolicited” offer of $65 billion in June. Disney then sweetened its prior bid to $71.3 billion, which Fox again accepted over Comcast.

Fox has set a July 27 shareholder meeting to vote on the Disney deal. If either Comcast’s or Fox’s acquisition of Sky is not completed by then, Disney would be forced to make a minimum bid of £14 a share for the 61 percent of Sky that Fox doesn’t own. That would be less than the £14.75 per share that Comcast offered last week.

Disney and Fox could not be reached for comment by TheWrap for this story.

Disney/ABC TV Group Shakeup: Fox’s Peter Rice and Dana Walden Poised to Lead, Ben Sherwood Eyes New Role

As it moves closer to completing its acquisition of 21st Century Fox assets, Disney is preparing to overhaul the leadership of Disney/ABC Television Group. 21st Century Fox president Peter Rice and Fox Television Group chairman Dana Walden are slated t…

As it moves closer to completing its acquisition of 21st Century Fox assets, Disney is preparing to overhaul the leadership of Disney/ABC Television Group. 21st Century Fox president Peter Rice and Fox Television Group chairman Dana Walden are slated to relocate to Disney in senior posts overseeing TV operations. Current Disney/ABC TV Group president Ben […]

‘Roseanne’ Cancellation Haunts ABC In Ill-Timed ‘Emmy’ Magazine Print Feature

Roseanne may have been canceled by ABC just over a week ago after its star let loose online with racist tweets, but this week TV Academy members are receiving magazines in the mail that are playing catch-up with the still-smoldering fiasco.

“Sho…

Roseanne may have been canceled by ABC just over a week ago after its star let loose online with racist tweets, but this week TV Academy members are receiving magazines in the mail that are playing catch-up with the still-smoldering fiasco. “Shortly before this issue was to be mailed, ABC canceled Roseanne," says a note from the TV Academy that was included with the latest copy of Emmy Magazine. "This issue includes a brief reference to the show in a profile of ABC…

Roseanne Barr’s Radio Silent Day

It’s been 24 hours since Roseanne Barr has tweeted, finally making good on Tuesday’s promise to leave Twitter after apologizing for her TV empire toppling tweet in which she described former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett as “Muslim brotherh…

It’s been 24 hours since Roseanne Barr has tweeted, finally making good on Tuesday’s promise to leave Twitter after apologizing for her TV empire toppling tweet in which she described former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett as "Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj". Since Tuesday’s tweet, Barr’s Twitter account has been an orgy of excess, including but not confined to: -Blaming Ambien for her tweet comparing Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to an ape, causing …

Roseanne Barr Says She ‘Begged’ ABC Not to Cancel ‘Roseanne’ Show

ABC acted decisively in canceling “Roseanne” earlier this week after its star and executive producer came under fire for a racist tweet, but Roseanne Barr said Thursday that she “begged” the network to go another way.

Barr wrote on Twitter that she asked Disney-ABC Television Group president Ben Sherwood to give her a chance to apologize for the tweet and find a way to survive the scandal without losing her show.

“I begged Ben Sherwood at ABC [to] let me apologize & make amends,” Barr wrote. “I begged them not to cancel the show. I told them I was willing to do anything & asked [for] help in making things right. I’d worked doing publicity [for] them [for] free for weeks, traveling, thru bronchitis. I begged [for people’s] jobs.”

Also Read: Roseanne Confessed, Too Late, to ABC After Racist Tweet: ‘I Was Stupid’

Barr was the subject of much criticism earlier this week for a tweet comparing former Barack Obama aide Valerie Jarrett, who is black, to “Planet of the Apes” and the Muslim Brotherhood. Within hours ABC announced that it had canceled “Roseanne” in response, with network boss Channing Dungey calling the tweet “abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values.”

The decision came at high cost for the network; “Roseanne” was the most-watched show on television last season, and was set to anchor its Tuesday-night lineup in the fall. About 200 people who were employed on the second season show found themselves out of work.

Also Read: Sara Gilbert Says ‘Roseanne’ Reboot Asked One Question: ‘How Do Politics Divide a Family?’ (Video)

As TheWrap previously reported, Barr issued a mea culpa on a call with some of the top executives who would decide the fate of her show, offering to publicly apologize for the now-deleted tweet. However, as Disney CEO Bob Iger tweeted on Tuesday, the group ultimately decided “there was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing.”

I begged Ben Sherwood at ABC 2 let me apologize & make amends. I begged them not to cancel the show. I told them I was willing to do anything & asked 4 help in making things right. I’d worked doing publicity4 them 4free for weeks, traveling, thru bronchitis. I begged4 ppls jobs.

— Roseanne Barr (@therealroseanne) May 31, 2018

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ABC acted decisively in canceling “Roseanne” earlier this week after its star and executive producer came under fire for a racist tweet, but Roseanne Barr said Thursday that she “begged” the network to go another way.

Barr wrote on Twitter that she asked Disney-ABC Television Group president Ben Sherwood to give her a chance to apologize for the tweet and find a way to survive the scandal without losing her show.

“I begged Ben Sherwood at ABC [to] let me apologize & make amends,” Barr wrote. “I begged them not to cancel the show. I told them I was willing to do anything & asked [for] help in making things right. I’d worked doing publicity [for] them [for] free for weeks, traveling, thru bronchitis. I begged [for people’s] jobs.”

Barr was the subject of much criticism earlier this week for a tweet comparing former Barack Obama aide Valerie Jarrett, who is black, to “Planet of the Apes” and the Muslim Brotherhood. Within hours ABC announced that it had canceled “Roseanne” in response, with network boss Channing Dungey calling the tweet “abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values.”

The decision came at high cost for the network; “Roseanne” was the most-watched show on television last season, and was set to anchor its Tuesday-night lineup in the fall. About 200 people who were employed on the second season show found themselves out of work.

As TheWrap previously reported, Barr issued a mea culpa on a call with some of the top executives who would decide the fate of her show, offering to publicly apologize for the now-deleted tweet. However, as Disney CEO Bob Iger tweeted on Tuesday, the group ultimately decided “there was only one thing to do here, and that was the right thing.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Dear White People' Star Logan Browning on Roseanne: 'She Messed Up, Man' (Video)

Sara Gilbert Says 'Roseanne' Reboot Asked One Question: 'How Do Politics Divide a Family?' (Video)

Michael Moore Teases 'Secret Project' With Clip of Donald Trump and Roseanne Barr

Roseanne Barr: “I Begged Ben Sherwood” At ABC To Save Show And Jobs

Roseanne Barr tweeted this evening that she “begged” Disney-ABC Television Group President Ben Sherwood to let her apologize, “not to cancel the show,” and “4 help in making things right.”
‘I begged4 ppls jobs,…

Roseanne Barr tweeted this evening that she “begged” Disney-ABC Television Group President Ben Sherwood to let her apologize, “not to cancel the show,” and “4 help in making things right.” ‘I begged4 ppls jobs,” Barr said in the latest of a storm of tweets this afternoon and early evening. On the other hand, this tweet came shortly after Barr retweeted a celebration of President Donald Trump's announcement he was pardoning Dinesh D'Souza because he was "treated very…

Disney-ABC Chief Ben Sherwood ‘So Sorry’ for ‘Roseanne’ Staff After Abrupt Cancellation

Disney-ABC Television Group president Ben Sherwood apologized to the now-unemployed cast and crew of “Roseanne” following the show’s abrupt cancellation Tuesday due to a racially-charged tweet about Valerie Jarrett sent by star Roseanne Barr.

In an internal memo titled “Our Values” sent to ABC staffers Wednesday obtained by TheWrap, Sherwood wrote: “We’re so sorry they were swept up in all of this and we give thanks for their remarkable talents, wish them well, and hope to find another way to work together down the road.”

Sherwood’s message comes after one of the executive producers on the canceled ABC sitcom says he and the show’s other scribes aren’t even sure if they will receive severance pay now that the network won’t be moving forward with the revival’s previously announced Season 11.

Also Read: ‘Roseanne’ Writers Don’t Know If They’ll Get Severance Pay After ABC Cancellation

“Everybody is still in shock at how quickly this all went down,” Dave Caplan said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter Wednesday.

“It’s unfortunate because the writers did pass on other jobs to take this job and nobody really knows yet what kind of compensation they’re going to get,” Caplan continued. “Everybody is a little bit on edge about how it’s going to turn out. But we all know it’s a wasted opportunity to write more episodes.”

When reached for comment, ABC redirected TheWrap to producer Carsey-Werner, which did not immediately respond.

Also Read: Roseanne Barr Denies She’s Racist, Calls Valerie Jarrett Tweet a ‘Stupid Joke’

Late on Tuesday — after the Disney-owned broadcaster canceled “Roseanne” (the No. 1 show on television) — Barr attempted to explain that she was “Ambien tweeting” at 2 a.m. when she wrote about Jarrett. “Guys I did something unforgiveable [sic] so do not defend me. It was 2 in the morning and I was ambien tweeting-it was memorial day too-i went 2 far & do not want it defended-it was egregious Indefensible,” she wrote.

She also apologized to everyone who lost their job because of her, writing: “Don’t feel sorry for me, guys!!-I just want to apologize to the hundreds of people, and wonderful writers (all liberal) and talented actors who lost their jobs on my show due to my stupid tweet. I will be on Joe Rogan’s podcast friday.”

The comedian’s return to Twitter came after she announced earlier in the day she was “leaving” the social media platform following her remark about Jarrett. “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj,” Barr wrote in response to a Twitter thread about the former adviser to Barack Obama.

Also Read: That ‘Roseanne’-Sized Hole in the Fall Schedule: Here’s What ABC Should Do (Commentary)

The backlash to Barr’s remark was fierce, with ABC putting the kibosh on her show just hours after she tried to make amends with a subsequent apology tweet, in which she said her statement about Jarrett was a “joke” that was “in bad taste.”

“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” ABC entertainment president Channing Dungey said in a statement to TheWrap.

Barr was dropped by her talent agency, ICM Partners, Tuesday over the remarks, which they found “disgraceful and unacceptable.”

Also Read: Ambien Manufacturer Fires Back at Roseanne: ‘Racism Is Not a Known Side Effect’

Meanwhile, Viacom pulled “Roseanne” reruns from its Paramount Network, TV Land and CMT channels. Laff digital network is also nixing repeats of the sitcom and Hulu has decided to yank episodes of the revival from the streaming platform.

Read Sherwood’s memo in full below:

Team:

Much has been said and written about yesterday’s decision to cancel the Roseanne show. In the end, it came down to doing what’s right and upholding our values of inclusion, tolerance, and civility.

Not enough, however, has been said about the many men and women who poured their hearts and lives into the show and were just getting started on next season. We’re so sorry they were swept up in all of this and we give thanks for their remarkable talents, wish them well, and hope to find another way to work together down the road.

The last 24 hours have also been a powerful reminder of the importance of words in everything we do – online and on the air. And the responsibility of using social media – and all of our programs and platforms – with careful thought, decency and consideration.

Today we move forward, together, full speed.

Ben

Related stories from TheWrap:

That ‘Roseanne’-Sized Hole in the Fall Schedule: Here’s What ABC Should Do (Commentary)

‘Roseanne’ Writers Don’t Know If They’ll Get Severance Pay After ABC Cancellation

Flashback: Bill Cosby and Roseanne Had TV’s Top-Rated Shows for 2 Straight Years in Late ’80s

Trump Scolds Disney CEO Bob Iger Over Roseanne Mess: Where’s My Apology?

Disney-ABC Television Group president Ben Sherwood apologized to the now-unemployed cast and crew of “Roseanne” following the show’s abrupt cancellation Tuesday due to a racially-charged tweet about Valerie Jarrett sent by star Roseanne Barr.

In an internal memo titled “Our Values” sent to ABC staffers Wednesday obtained by TheWrap, Sherwood wrote: “We’re so sorry they were swept up in all of this and we give thanks for their remarkable talents, wish them well, and hope to find another way to work together down the road.”

Sherwood’s message comes after one of the executive producers on the canceled ABC sitcom says he and the show’s other scribes aren’t even sure if they will receive severance pay now that the network won’t be moving forward with the revival’s previously announced Season 11.

“Everybody is still in shock at how quickly this all went down,” Dave Caplan said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter Wednesday.

“It’s unfortunate because the writers did pass on other jobs to take this job and nobody really knows yet what kind of compensation they’re going to get,” Caplan continued. “Everybody is a little bit on edge about how it’s going to turn out. But we all know it’s a wasted opportunity to write more episodes.”

When reached for comment, ABC redirected TheWrap to producer Carsey-Werner, which did not immediately respond.

Late on Tuesday — after the Disney-owned broadcaster canceled “Roseanne” (the No. 1 show on television) — Barr attempted to explain that she was “Ambien tweeting” at 2 a.m. when she wrote about Jarrett. “Guys I did something unforgiveable [sic] so do not defend me. It was 2 in the morning and I was ambien tweeting-it was memorial day too-i went 2 far & do not want it defended-it was egregious Indefensible,” she wrote.

She also apologized to everyone who lost their job because of her, writing: “Don’t feel sorry for me, guys!!-I just want to apologize to the hundreds of people, and wonderful writers (all liberal) and talented actors who lost their jobs on my show due to my stupid tweet. I will be on Joe Rogan’s podcast friday.”

The comedian’s return to Twitter came after she announced earlier in the day she was “leaving” the social media platform following her remark about Jarrett. “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj,” Barr wrote in response to a Twitter thread about the former adviser to Barack Obama.

The backlash to Barr’s remark was fierce, with ABC putting the kibosh on her show just hours after she tried to make amends with a subsequent apology tweet, in which she said her statement about Jarrett was a “joke” that was “in bad taste.”

“Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show,” ABC entertainment president Channing Dungey said in a statement to TheWrap.

Barr was dropped by her talent agency, ICM Partners, Tuesday over the remarks, which they found “disgraceful and unacceptable.”

Meanwhile, Viacom pulled “Roseanne” reruns from its Paramount Network, TV Land and CMT channels. Laff digital network is also nixing repeats of the sitcom and Hulu has decided to yank episodes of the revival from the streaming platform.

Read Sherwood’s memo in full below:

Team:

Much has been said and written about yesterday’s decision to cancel the Roseanne show. In the end, it came down to doing what’s right and upholding our values of inclusion, tolerance, and civility.

Not enough, however, has been said about the many men and women who poured their hearts and lives into the show and were just getting started on next season. We’re so sorry they were swept up in all of this and we give thanks for their remarkable talents, wish them well, and hope to find another way to work together down the road.

The last 24 hours have also been a powerful reminder of the importance of words in everything we do – online and on the air. And the responsibility of using social media – and all of our programs and platforms – with careful thought, decency and consideration.

Today we move forward, together, full speed.

Ben

Related stories from TheWrap:

That 'Roseanne'-Sized Hole in the Fall Schedule: Here's What ABC Should Do (Commentary)

'Roseanne' Writers Don't Know If They'll Get Severance Pay After ABC Cancellation

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Trump Scolds Disney CEO Bob Iger Over Roseanne Mess: Where's My Apology?

Disney/ABC’s Ben Sherwood On ‘Roseanne’ Cancellation: “It Came Down To Doing What’s Right”

Disney/ABC Television Group President Ben Sherwood says the cancellation of the Roseanne revival “came down to doing what’s right”. In an internal memo to staff titled “Our Values”, Sherwood also apologized to “the m…

Disney/ABC Television Group President Ben Sherwood says the cancellation of the Roseanne revival “came down to doing what’s right”. In an internal memo to staff titled “Our Values”, Sherwood also apologized to “the many men and women who poured their hearts and lives into the show and were just getting started on next season.” You can read Sherwood’s memo in full below. Team: Much has been said and written about yesterday's decision to cancel the Roseanne show. In the…

Disney/ABC’s Ben Sherwood on ‘Roseanne’ Demise: ‘It Came Down to Doing What’s Right’

As the dust settles on the “Roseanne” imbroglio, Disney/ABC Television Group president Ben Sherwood reinforced the network’s view that cancellation was the only option in the face of a blatantly racist tweet sent by star Roseanne Barr…

As the dust settles on the “Roseanne” imbroglio, Disney/ABC Television Group president Ben Sherwood reinforced the network’s view that cancellation was the only option in the face of a blatantly racist tweet sent by star Roseanne Barr. In a memo to ABC staffers titled “Our Values,” Sherwood expressed regret for the “Roseanne” cast and crew […]

Roseanne Confessed, Too Late, to ABC After Racist Tweet: ‘I Was Stupid’

After having tweeted a racist remark and then apologizing for it on Tuesday morning, actress Roseanne Barr got on the phone with a group of executives who would decide her fate.

The group included her longtime agent John Burnham, her manager James Moore, Disney-ABC Group President Ben Sherwood and “Roseanne” executive producer Tom Werner.

They wanted to know something simple: what was she thinking in comparing former Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett to the Muslim Brotherhood and “Planet of the Apes” on her Twitter account?

Barr admitted that she was wrong. “I was stupid. Ignorant. It was a mistake. I feel terrible,” she told them, according to an individual with knowledge of the call.

Also Read: Tom Arnold Has a ‘Ton of Respect for Bob Iger’ After ‘Roseanne’ Cancellation

But Barr did not seem to understand that her fate — or that of her show — hung in the balance. “She did not appreciate the gravity of the situation, for sure,” said the individual, noting that Barr dismissed her own remark as “comedian s—.”

Indeed, she seemed to think she could apologize and move on.

The ABC executives were hoping that Barr might have some better explanation for what they considered a wholly unacceptable remark — intoxication, a medical problem or maybe even that Russian hackers had taken over her account. Barr has since said that she was “Ambien tweeting” at the time.

Because in the absence of that, Disney and ABC executives knew quickly that they were not going to be able to move on from this exchange.

The top executives in charge — Sherwood, Disney CEO Bob Iger and ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey — awoke Tuesday to learn that in the middle of the night the star of their number one-rated show had gone off on a rant against Chelsea Clinton, journalist Chris Cillizza and — bizarrely — Valerie Jarrett.

All agreed that the “Planet of the Apes” tweet was abhorrent, unacceptable. And after the group call with Barr, they circled up and discussed whether there was a punishment that would measure up to the offense, if there were steps Barr or the network could take to move forward.

There wasn’t.

“It was quite clear, calm, and … not nearly as dramatic as you’d expect,” said an executive with knowledge of the internal decision. “We canceled the number one show on television, but there was no wringing of hands, it was very clear and calm.”

To Iger, the principle was important. If any Disney employee had tweeted something similar, they’d have been fired, he told his staff. Sherwood saw it as a important teachable moment for his own children — what would be unacceptable at their school should be unacceptable at the network.

And to Dungey, the first African-American woman to run ABC Entertainment, inclusivity and diversity were values on which she staked her leadership. She wanted ABC to be a place where a show about the working class could have a home, as well as a place for female lead characters and boisterous African-American families.

Also Read: ‘Roseanne’ Canceled by ABC After Roseanne Barr’s ‘Repugnant’ Comments, Network President Says

There were no major meetings, no calls with advertisers and no second guesses. Dungey put out a statement that the show was canceled.

“At a certain point it’s antithetical to the network. There’s no explaining that,” said the network insider. “It was an insult to everyone who believes in tolerance, decency, not to mention everybody who believes in Islam.”

ICM also dropped Barr as a client soon after the phone call.

The media world exploded with the story all day, as the swift decision by ABC rung loudly across the cultural landscape. By the end of the day, 200 people who worked on the show were out of work, and ABC had lost a hit and a moneymaker.

With no apparent regrets.

“As of 10:00 this morning I don’t know if anyone was looking back and saying this was a mistake,” said the executive. “Everyone was very clear and centered. It’s painful for all involved, it’s tough for the fall schedule, it’s tough for ABC which has not had a number one show in 24 years.” As for the cast, “They’re gutted, they’re devastated by this. But there’s also relief that this doesn’t reflect who they are.”

A spokesman for ABC declined to comment for this story.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Roseanne Barr Says She Was ‘Ambien Tweeting’ About Valerie Jarrett

21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch Says ‘Roseanne’ Cancellation Was ‘the Right Thing’

Here’s Everyone Who Dumped Roseanne Barr Today

After having tweeted a racist remark and then apologizing for it on Tuesday morning, actress Roseanne Barr got on the phone with a group of executives who would decide her fate.

The group included her longtime agent John Burnham, her manager James Moore, Disney-ABC Group President Ben Sherwood and “Roseanne” executive producer Tom Werner.

They wanted to know something simple: what was she thinking in comparing former Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett to the Muslim Brotherhood and “Planet of the Apes” on her Twitter account?

Barr admitted that she was wrong. “I was stupid. Ignorant. It was a mistake. I feel terrible,” she told them, according to an individual with knowledge of the call.

But Barr did not seem to understand that her fate — or that of her show — hung in the balance. “She did not appreciate the gravity of the situation, for sure,” said the individual, noting that Barr dismissed her own remark as “comedian s—.”

Indeed, she seemed to think she could apologize and move on.

The ABC executives were hoping that Barr might have some better explanation for what they considered a wholly unacceptable remark — intoxication, a medical problem or maybe even that Russian hackers had taken over her account. Barr has since said that she was “Ambien tweeting” at the time.

Because in the absence of that, Disney and ABC executives knew quickly that they were not going to be able to move on from this exchange.

The top executives in charge — Sherwood, Disney CEO Bob Iger and ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey — awoke Tuesday to learn that in the middle of the night the star of their number one-rated show had gone off on a rant against Chelsea Clinton, journalist Chris Cillizza and — bizarrely — Valerie Jarrett.

All agreed that the “Planet of the Apes” tweet was abhorrent, unacceptable. And after the group call with Barr, they circled up and discussed whether there was a punishment that would measure up to the offense, if there were steps Barr or the network could take to move forward.

There wasn’t.

“It was quite clear, calm, and … not nearly as dramatic as you’d expect,” said an executive with knowledge of the internal decision. “We canceled the number one show on television, but there was no wringing of hands, it was very clear and calm.”

To Iger, the principle was important. If any Disney employee had tweeted something similar, they’d have been fired, he told his staff. Sherwood saw it as a important teachable moment for his own children — what would be unacceptable at their school should be unacceptable at the network.

And to Dungey, the first African-American woman to run ABC Entertainment, inclusivity and diversity were values on which she staked her leadership. She wanted ABC to be a place where a show about the working class could have a home, as well as a place for female lead characters and boisterous African-American families.

There were no major meetings, no calls with advertisers and no second guesses. Dungey put out a statement that the show was canceled.

“At a certain point it’s antithetical to the network. There’s no explaining that,” said the network insider. “It was an insult to everyone who believes in tolerance, decency, not to mention everybody who believes in Islam.”

ICM also dropped Barr as a client soon after the phone call.

The media world exploded with the story all day, as the swift decision by ABC rung loudly across the cultural landscape. By the end of the day, 200 people who worked on the show were out of work, and ABC had lost a hit and a moneymaker.

With no apparent regrets.

“As of 10:00 this morning I don’t know if anyone was looking back and saying this was a mistake,” said the executive. “Everyone was very clear and centered. It’s painful for all involved, it’s tough for the fall schedule, it’s tough for ABC which has not had a number one show in 24 years.” As for the cast, “They’re gutted, they’re devastated by this. But there’s also relief that this doesn’t reflect who they are.”

A spokesman for ABC declined to comment for this story.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Roseanne Barr Says She Was 'Ambien Tweeting' About Valerie Jarrett

21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch Says 'Roseanne' Cancellation Was 'the Right Thing'

Here's Everyone Who Dumped Roseanne Barr Today

ABC Faces Tricky Quest for Ad Dollars After ‘Roseanne’ Cancellation

ABC’s reboot of “Roseanne” was one of the most expensive programs for advertisers last season. Had the show continued into the next cycle, it might have grown more costly –  for the network airing it. ABC’s decision to can…

ABC’s reboot of “Roseanne” was one of the most expensive programs for advertisers last season. Had the show continued into the next cycle, it might have grown more costly –  for the network airing it. ABC’s decision to cancel the program in the wake of an offensive tweet from its star comes as the network is, […]

Can ABC’s ‘American Idol’ Reboot Ratings Match Fox’s ‘Farewell’ Season?

Here’s a free marketing tip: If you want to boost a long-running TV show’s ratings, declare in advance that it’s the final season. “American Idol” did that for early 2016, though to be far, Fox actually meant it at the time (at least, they intended for a longer hiatus).

The stunt programming worked, and the “farewell season” of “Idol” rose in Nielsen numbers as fans tuned in to see the end of a true TV phenomenon. The ratings were nowhere near the singing competition’s heyday — when “Idol” averaged north of 30 million total viewers — but the last gasp put up a solid B or B+, relative to its competition.

The “farewell” season premiere, for example, drew 11 million live viewers. And the finale scored 13.3 million.

Also Read: E!’s Oscars Red Carpet With Ryan Seacrest Craters in Ratings

Add a week’s worth of delayed viewing, which is standard fare these days, and “American Idol” final performance episode ended up being the 12th highest-rated TV show of the 2015-16 season in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic. The final results show ranked No. 15.

Those numbers were a pleasant surprise for Fox, and executives there actually wanted to bring the show back for 2020 — but producers Fremantle North America and 19 Entertainment saw no reason to wait. Enter: ABC, which swooped in last fall to claim rights to the competition series and relaunch it this season.

Also Read: Ryan Seacrest’s ‘American Idol’ Gig Still On, ABC Satisfied With E! Sexual Misconduct Investigation

And while ratings did see a bump during the much advertised final season, Fox had other reasons to let the franchise go.

In fact, Fox lost bundles of money on “Idol” during its final years on air. Salaries for host Ryan Seacrest and final-season judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr., reportedly tallied as much as $45 million — and there simply wasn’t enough ad time to cover contracts as well as production costs. And since Fox didn’t produce the show itself through its own studio, the network simply didn’t see revenue streams.

Ready for relaunch, ABC’s rebooted version of “Idol” is armed with the steadfast Seacrest and new judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan, but that new line-up doesn’t come cheap.

Also Read: ‘American Idol’ Stage Manager Defends Ryan Seacrest, Calls ‘BS’ on Accusations

Fremantle entered prolonged negotiations with Seacrest, the face of the franchise and its only constant across more than a decade, ultimately forking over $12 million and agreeing to work around the host’s busy schedule. And Perry alone, one of the biggest pop stars in the world, is pulling down $25 million to appear on the show, a deal that was reportedly signed off on by ABC boss Ben Sherwood personally.

Sherwood will soon find out if his expensive acquisition was worth it, and we’ll all get our first indication of that together on Monday morning, when we see Sunday’s primetime Nielsen returns.

ABC’s “American Idol” bows Sunday at 8/7c.

Related stories from TheWrap:

11 Best ‘American Idol’ Performances of All Time (Videos)

‘American Idol’ Alum Haley Reinhart Found Guilty in Battery Case

Why Kelly Clarkson Chose ‘The Voice’ Over ‘American Idol’

Here’s a free marketing tip: If you want to boost a long-running TV show’s ratings, declare in advance that it’s the final season. “American Idol” did that for early 2016, though to be far, Fox actually meant it at the time (at least, they intended for a longer hiatus).

The stunt programming worked, and the “farewell season” of “Idol” rose in Nielsen numbers as fans tuned in to see the end of a true TV phenomenon. The ratings were nowhere near the singing competition’s heyday — when “Idol” averaged north of 30 million total viewers — but the last gasp put up a solid B or B+, relative to its competition.

The “farewell” season premiere, for example, drew 11 million live viewers. And the finale scored 13.3 million.

Add a week’s worth of delayed viewing, which is standard fare these days, and “American Idol” final performance episode ended up being the 12th highest-rated TV show of the 2015-16 season in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic. The final results show ranked No. 15.

Those numbers were a pleasant surprise for Fox, and executives there actually wanted to bring the show back for 2020 — but producers Fremantle North America and 19 Entertainment saw no reason to wait. Enter: ABC, which swooped in last fall to claim rights to the competition series and relaunch it this season.

And while ratings did see a bump during the much advertised final season, Fox had other reasons to let the franchise go.

In fact, Fox lost bundles of money on “Idol” during its final years on air. Salaries for host Ryan Seacrest and final-season judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr., reportedly tallied as much as $45 million — and there simply wasn’t enough ad time to cover contracts as well as production costs. And since Fox didn’t produce the show itself through its own studio, the network simply didn’t see revenue streams.

Ready for relaunch, ABC’s rebooted version of “Idol” is armed with the steadfast Seacrest and new judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan, but that new line-up doesn’t come cheap.

Fremantle entered prolonged negotiations with Seacrest, the face of the franchise and its only constant across more than a decade, ultimately forking over $12 million and agreeing to work around the host’s busy schedule. And Perry alone, one of the biggest pop stars in the world, is pulling down $25 million to appear on the show, a deal that was reportedly signed off on by ABC boss Ben Sherwood personally.

Sherwood will soon find out if his expensive acquisition was worth it, and we’ll all get our first indication of that together on Monday morning, when we see Sunday’s primetime Nielsen returns.

ABC’s “American Idol” bows Sunday at 8/7c.

Related stories from TheWrap:

11 Best 'American Idol' Performances of All Time (Videos)

'American Idol' Alum Haley Reinhart Found Guilty in Battery Case

Why Kelly Clarkson Chose 'The Voice' Over 'American Idol'

Cindy Davis, Research and Marketing Executive, Set to Leave Disney-ABC

Cindy Davis, who joined Disney-ABC Television Group from Walmart in 2015 to oversee research and consumer experience, will leave the media company later this month, according to a spokeswoman for the unit. Davis joined the TV company in September of 2015, and was charged with improving research, audience measurement and consumer experience across Walt Disney-owned […]

Cindy Davis, who joined Disney-ABC Television Group from Walmart in 2015 to oversee research and consumer experience, will leave the media company later this month, according to a spokeswoman for the unit. Davis joined the TV company in September of 2015, and was charged with improving research, audience measurement and consumer experience across Walt Disney-owned […]

Disney-ABC TV Chief Ben Sherwood Touts Iger’s Streaming Strategy at CES

Ben Sherwood, president of Disney-ABC Television Group, said that his division will be the largest contributor to Disney’s planned 2019 internet-video subscription service — and that the media conglomerate overall is well poised to manage the transition to next-generation TV. “We’re going through this unbelievable moment of transformation in how we take television and distribute […]

Ben Sherwood, president of Disney-ABC Television Group, said that his division will be the largest contributor to Disney’s planned 2019 internet-video subscription service — and that the media conglomerate overall is well poised to manage the transition to next-generation TV. “We’re going through this unbelievable moment of transformation in how we take television and distribute […]

Disney’s Ben Sherwood, AMC’s Charlie Collier to Headline Variety’s Entertainment Summit at CES

Variety has announced that it has extended its Entertainment Summit at CES on Jan. 10 at the Aria in Las Vegas to a full day. Among those slated to present are Disney Media Networks co-chair/ABC-Disney president Ben Sherwood, AMC president Charlie Collier, Awesomeness worldwide head of distribution Rebecca Glashow and Oath CEO Tim Armstrong. Executives from companies […]

Variety has announced that it has extended its Entertainment Summit at CES on Jan. 10 at the Aria in Las Vegas to a full day. Among those slated to present are Disney Media Networks co-chair/ABC-Disney president Ben Sherwood, AMC president Charlie Collier, Awesomeness worldwide head of distribution Rebecca Glashow and Oath CEO Tim Armstrong. Executives from companies […]

Can Fox Broadcast Network Survive If Disney Buys TV Studio?

If Disney’s billions have their way, most of 21st Century Fox will soon move into Cinderella’s Castle. But that could spell trouble for some of the TV properties that remain with the Murdoch-run company, particularly the 31-year-old Fox broadcasting network.

The first problem is that broadcast networks have seen a steady shrinkage in ad revenues in recent years thanks to declining viewership, delayed viewing and fast-forwarding. That’s been particularly true at Fox — except in years when the network has hosted the bottom-line-saving Super Bowl. And, yes, “Empire” had a really nice run there for a bit.

“Advertisers are running in droves to social media, where consumers have a harder time avoiding ads,” Tom Nunan, a veteran TV executive who once oversaw Fox’s primetime lineup, told TheWrap. “On linear TV, the audience routinely skips over the commercials, making the future of linear doubtful at best.”

Also Read: Why Fox Buyout Could Make Disney the ‘Most Powerful Company’ in Hollywood

Lighter advertising revenues mean retransmission fees have to rise in an offsetting fashion, which in turn leads to disputes with cable and satellite TV providers (like the recent showdown between CBS and Dish that led to a three-day blackout).

Fox Broadcasting actually makes the majority of its money from retransmission fees, another high-ranking broadcast TV insider told TheWrap.

The over-the-air piece of 21st Century Fox is further hurt by its own programming woes: Season-to-date, the network has seen its already-modest ratings slip 17 percent year over year in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic, a steeper drop than all of its broadcast competitors.

That said, the Murdochs are expected to retain the Fox Sports and Fox News channels — the latter a giant cash cow at the moment — as well as the company’s 28 owned and operated stations in 18 markets throughout the country.

But that may not be enough to make up the difference, the insider said: “For sure they are in a loss.”

Reps for Fox Broadcasting, its studio 20th Century Fox, and parent company 21st Century Fox did not respond to TheWrap’s requests for participation in this story.

Also Read: Fox Chairman James Murdoch Tight-Lipped About Disney and Comcast Merger Talks

The biggest downside of the deal for the Murdochs may be the loss of the TV production studio run successfully by Dana Walden and Gary Newman for the last 18 years that has generated hits like “24,” “Family Guy,” “Empire” and “American Horror Story.”

“What value is Fox Broadcasting without the studio?” noted Nunan, who now lectures at UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television. “It’s just a platform.”

And that platform is losing a main revenue stream that earns money not only from ads sold when a show is first broadcast — but also in syndication, streaming, DVDs, etc.

Also Read: Disney, Fox Close to $60 Billion Merger Deal (Report)

“The whole purpose of [a broadcast network], in my view, is to throw some sunlight on what the parent company owns,” Nunan explained. “If you want to boost the value of the library for ‘The X-Files,’ and you own ‘The X-Files,’ what better thing to do than to refresh that title every two or three years? You can control that if you have a distribution arm.”

And if you’re the lone distributor without a content-generating mechanism, it may mean trouble.

While a slimmer post-deal Fox could theoretically launch a new TV production studio, it would take time to match the size and power of Twentieth Century Fox Television as it now exists.

From the outset at least, a merger with Disney (or with another potential Fox suitor, Comcast) would force Fox Broadcast to purchase shows from outside studios — including the one that used to be considered in-house. And forget about those hometown discounts from picking up projects owned by the same corporate parent.

Also Read: Disney Resumes Talks to Buy Bulk of Fox Film and Television Divisions

In addition to potentially rising costs for content acquisition, a solo broadcast channel may struggle to get the best new shows, which could lead to lower TV ratings.

Even now, with its existing advantageous tie to the production house, Fox Broadcast missed out on Fox studio’s “This Is Us” (which airs on rival NBC) — one of the biggest hits of Walden and Newman’s years atop both entities.

The other open question is whether Walden and Newman would stay to lead the broadcast network rather than to go over to Disney with the studio. Even though they’ve got two decades leading the studio and just four years at the network, they risk being demoted by reporting to Disney-ABC Television Group President Ben Sherwood.

Similarly, it seems unlikely that they’d break up their longstanding business partnership, with one going to Disney and the other staying to run Fox.

Also Read: Rupert Murdoch’s Bel-Air Vineyard Ablaze as Wildfires Tear Through Southern California

Even in the worse case scenario, though, Nunan doesn’t think the Fox network will disappear. “In theory, Fox Broadcasting — like any of its other linear competitors — is in a much more vulnerable position without the muscle and incentive of a vertically integrated studio supporting it,” he said.

“Let’s hope 21st Century Fox can make it hum without a sister studio feeding it premium content,” he concluded.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Uday Shankar Named President of 21st Century Fox, Asia

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If Disney’s billions have their way, most of 21st Century Fox will soon move into Cinderella’s Castle. But that could spell trouble for some of the TV properties that remain with the Murdoch-run company, particularly the 31-year-old Fox broadcasting network.

The first problem is that broadcast networks have seen a steady shrinkage in ad revenues in recent years thanks to declining viewership, delayed viewing and fast-forwarding. That’s been particularly true at Fox — except in years when the network has hosted the bottom-line-saving Super Bowl. And, yes, “Empire” had a really nice run there for a bit.

“Advertisers are running in droves to social media, where consumers have a harder time avoiding ads,” Tom Nunan, a veteran TV executive who once oversaw Fox’s primetime lineup, told TheWrap. “On linear TV, the audience routinely skips over the commercials, making the future of linear doubtful at best.”

Lighter advertising revenues mean retransmission fees have to rise in an offsetting fashion, which in turn leads to disputes with cable and satellite TV providers (like the recent showdown between CBS and Dish that led to a three-day blackout).

Fox Broadcasting actually makes the majority of its money from retransmission fees, another high-ranking broadcast TV insider told TheWrap.

The over-the-air piece of 21st Century Fox is further hurt by its own programming woes: Season-to-date, the network has seen its already-modest ratings slip 17 percent year over year in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic, a steeper drop than all of its broadcast competitors.

That said, the Murdochs are expected to retain the Fox Sports and Fox News channels — the latter a giant cash cow at the moment — as well as the company’s 28 owned and operated stations in 18 markets throughout the country.

But that may not be enough to make up the difference, the insider said: “For sure they are in a loss.”

Reps for Fox Broadcasting, its studio 20th Century Fox, and parent company 21st Century Fox did not respond to TheWrap’s requests for participation in this story.

The biggest downside of the deal for the Murdochs may be the loss of the TV production studio run successfully by Dana Walden and Gary Newman for the last 18 years that has generated hits like “24,” “Family Guy,” “Empire” and “American Horror Story.”

“What value is Fox Broadcasting without the studio?” noted Nunan, who now lectures at UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television. “It’s just a platform.”

And that platform is losing a main revenue stream that earns money not only from ads sold when a show is first broadcast — but also in syndication, streaming, DVDs, etc.

“The whole purpose of [a broadcast network], in my view, is to throw some sunlight on what the parent company owns,” Nunan explained. “If you want to boost the value of the library for ‘The X-Files,’ and you own ‘The X-Files,’ what better thing to do than to refresh that title every two or three years? You can control that if you have a distribution arm.”

And if you’re the lone distributor without a content-generating mechanism, it may mean trouble.

While a slimmer post-deal Fox could theoretically launch a new TV production studio, it would take time to match the size and power of Twentieth Century Fox Television as it now exists.

From the outset at least, a merger with Disney (or with another potential Fox suitor, Comcast) would force Fox Broadcast to purchase shows from outside studios — including the one that used to be considered in-house. And forget about those hometown discounts from picking up projects owned by the same corporate parent.

In addition to potentially rising costs for content acquisition, a solo broadcast channel may struggle to get the best new shows, which could lead to lower TV ratings.

Even now, with its existing advantageous tie to the production house, Fox Broadcast missed out on Fox studio’s “This Is Us” (which airs on rival NBC) — one of the biggest hits of Walden and Newman’s years atop both entities.

The other open question is whether Walden and Newman would stay to lead the broadcast network rather than to go over to Disney with the studio. Even though they’ve got two decades leading the studio and just four years at the network, they risk being demoted by reporting to Disney-ABC Television Group President Ben Sherwood.

Similarly, it seems unlikely that they’d break up their longstanding business partnership, with one going to Disney and the other staying to run Fox.

Even in the worse case scenario, though, Nunan doesn’t think the Fox network will disappear. “In theory, Fox Broadcasting — like any of its other linear competitors — is in a much more vulnerable position without the muscle and incentive of a vertically integrated studio supporting it,” he said.

“Let’s hope 21st Century Fox can make it hum without a sister studio feeding it premium content,” he concluded.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Uday Shankar Named President of 21st Century Fox, Asia

'Bohemian Rhapsody' Director Bryan Singer: Fox Fired Me Over Sick Parent

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Netflix Ratings Leak: 200,000 Start ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ From Episode One Each Month, Says ABC Chief

While verifiable Netflix viewer data persists as the mythical holy grail of entertainment industry metrics, Disney’s top TV executive Ben Sherwood says, “Every month 200,000 people watch Episode 1 of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ on Netflix.”

Sherwood, who is the co-chairman of Disney Media Networks and President of Disney/ABC Television Group made the remarks — a rare toehold in to any numerical data from the opaque company — during a keynote interview with entertainment attorney Bruce Ramer at USC’s Institute of Entertainment Law and Business on Saturday.

“2.4 million people a year discover ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ on Netflix,” Sherwood continued. “That has propelled ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ now in its 13th season on ABC, to great success.”

Also Read: Nielsen to Measure SVOD Ratings: NBCU, A&E, Disney, Lionsgate, Warner Bros Already on Board

 

Sherwood speaking on stage with Bruce Ramer. (Mikey Glazer)

If anyone outside Netflix would have a handle on “Grey’s” metrics, it would be Sherwood. He oversees both the studio that has produced the medical drama and the network that has aired it since its debut in March 2005.

“I don’t think of Netflix as friend or foe. I think of Netflix as a valued customer,” Sherwood added. “They have licensed our content for years. We have had a very productive relationship, from which quite a few of our shows have succeeded on Netflix in all kinds of ways that have had a benefit for ABC.”

“Casting is coming from the marketing department,” Universal’s Sara Perry (left) said of the decision making behind social media stars landing roles in studio feature films. On the changing nature of “talent” for features and feature marketing, she added “We paid a dog $500.”

As the most prominent huddle of Hollywood lawyers and accountants each year, USC’s confab brings together 800 professionals (at an un-chic hour of 8:45 a.m. on a Saturday) for hours of panels on hot button topics affecting the future of revenue streams in the entertainment industry.

The downfall of Harvey Weinstein and the sexual harassment, assault and rape allegations against him barely came up. One speaker said that he had gotten a directive not to talk about it at all, but it was unclear if a piece of paper he held up purporting to be a warning letter to avoid Weinstein was legitimate or merely a prop.

Instead, it was Netflix, Amazon and Hulu that cast the biggest shadow over the proceedings.

Dr. Jeffrey Cole (right) with attendees.

Dr. Jeffrey Cole, director for USC’s Center for the Digital Future, advised that Netflix will spend 7-8 billion on original content in 2018, “more than all six studios and four broadcast networks combined.” Cole also warned that if Amazon decides to acquire major sports rights — which they could at a loss — that “after 40 years of predictions will force the networks to revise and repurpose as OTT and/or subscription services.”

Also Read: Inside Demi Lovato’s Premiere for the Tell-All Documentary ‘Simply Complicated’ (Photos)

Other highlights included a spirited music panel with WME’s Worldwide head of music, Marc Geiger, Universal Music Group’s general counsel Jeffrey Harleston and manager Ron Laffitte (One Republic, Pharrell Williams), moderated by the dean of music business money, Don Passman.

Music men: Geiger, Harleston, Passman, and Laffitte. (Mikey Glazer)

This group had good news, bad news and, like everyone else, wait-and-see anxiety about Netflix and the other tech players who are disrupting media.

First, the good news: Harleston revealed that getting “playlisted” on certain Spotify playlists can generate $100,000 in a week.

For bad news, the group pointed at YouTube as the thorn in the re-stabilized music industry.

“When we prepare for (song) launches now, Youtube is the last part of the conversation,” Laffitte said. “We know that no matter what YouTube says to us, it almost never comes true. Will they market off-platform? No. Will they market on-platform? No. It’s just an on-demand service that doesn’t pay the artist.”

Geiger raised the specter of premium streaming services being acquired by a Netflix or Facebook. He noted that if there are such mergers, the overall revenue pot would go up from a combined video and audio subscription fee, but questioned how much of that monthly fee would be allocated to the musicians.

 

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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings Joins Forbes Richest Americans for First Time, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos Top List

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings Denies Interest in Buying Weinstein Co.

Thanks, Spotify: Subscription Services Deliver Real Money to Music Industry

While verifiable Netflix viewer data persists as the mythical holy grail of entertainment industry metrics, Disney’s top TV executive Ben Sherwood says, “Every month 200,000 people watch Episode 1 of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ on Netflix.”

Sherwood, who is the co-chairman of Disney Media Networks and President of Disney/ABC Television Group made the remarks — a rare toehold in to any numerical data from the opaque company — during a keynote interview with entertainment attorney Bruce Ramer at USC’s Institute of Entertainment Law and Business on Saturday.

“2.4 million people a year discover ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ on Netflix,” Sherwood continued. “That has propelled ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ now in its 13th season on ABC, to great success.”

 

Sherwood speaking on stage with Bruce Ramer. (Mikey Glazer)

If anyone outside Netflix would have a handle on “Grey’s” metrics, it would be Sherwood. He oversees both the studio that has produced the medical drama and the network that has aired it since its debut in March 2005.

“I don’t think of Netflix as friend or foe. I think of Netflix as a valued customer,” Sherwood added. “They have licensed our content for years. We have had a very productive relationship, from which quite a few of our shows have succeeded on Netflix in all kinds of ways that have had a benefit for ABC.”

“Casting is coming from the marketing department,” Universal’s Sara Perry (left) said of the decision making behind social media stars landing roles in studio feature films. On the changing nature of “talent” for features and feature marketing, she added “We paid a dog $500.”

As the most prominent huddle of Hollywood lawyers and accountants each year, USC’s confab brings together 800 professionals (at an un-chic hour of 8:45 a.m. on a Saturday) for hours of panels on hot button topics affecting the future of revenue streams in the entertainment industry.

The downfall of Harvey Weinstein and the sexual harassment, assault and rape allegations against him barely came up. One speaker said that he had gotten a directive not to talk about it at all, but it was unclear if a piece of paper he held up purporting to be a warning letter to avoid Weinstein was legitimate or merely a prop.

Instead, it was Netflix, Amazon and Hulu that cast the biggest shadow over the proceedings.

Dr. Jeffrey Cole (right) with attendees.

Dr. Jeffrey Cole, director for USC’s Center for the Digital Future, advised that Netflix will spend 7-8 billion on original content in 2018, “more than all six studios and four broadcast networks combined.” Cole also warned that if Amazon decides to acquire major sports rights — which they could at a loss — that “after 40 years of predictions will force the networks to revise and repurpose as OTT and/or subscription services.”

Other highlights included a spirited music panel with WME’s Worldwide head of music, Marc Geiger, Universal Music Group’s general counsel Jeffrey Harleston and manager Ron Laffitte (One Republic, Pharrell Williams), moderated by the dean of music business money, Don Passman.

Music men: Geiger, Harleston, Passman, and Laffitte. (Mikey Glazer)

This group had good news, bad news and, like everyone else, wait-and-see anxiety about Netflix and the other tech players who are disrupting media.

First, the good news: Harleston revealed that getting “playlisted” on certain Spotify playlists can generate $100,000 in a week.

For bad news, the group pointed at YouTube as the thorn in the re-stabilized music industry.

“When we prepare for (song) launches now, Youtube is the last part of the conversation,” Laffitte said. “We know that no matter what YouTube says to us, it almost never comes true. Will they market off-platform? No. Will they market on-platform? No. It’s just an on-demand service that doesn’t pay the artist.”

Geiger raised the specter of premium streaming services being acquired by a Netflix or Facebook. He noted that if there are such mergers, the overall revenue pot would go up from a combined video and audio subscription fee, but questioned how much of that monthly fee would be allocated to the musicians.

 

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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings Denies Interest in Buying Weinstein Co.

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