Frons In High Places

ABC Daytime President Brian Frons will add first-run programming unit Buena Vista Productions (BVP) and SOAPnet to his domain in the newly created role of daytime president for the entire Disney-ABC Television Group.

The promotion represents the latest step by Anne Sweeney, co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of the TV group, to simplify the reporting structure and integrate similar functions.

By putting Frons over all of daytime, SOAPnet could expand its original program offerings with BVP, which has been limited to producing solely for syndication (Live with Regis & Kelly,Who Wants to Be a Millionaire), becoming a primary supplier.

SOAPnet now offers same-day episodes of serials and original series talk, biography, reality, and behind-the-scenes shows.

BVP, which previously reported to Laurie Younger, president of Buena Vista Television Worldwide, could also now technically produce for ABC’s daytime schedule, though there are currently no time slots open there.

Under the realignment, Gwynne Thomas, executive VP of programming and development for BVP, will report to Frons, as will Deborah Blackwell, executive VP of SOAPnet.

The new structure gives “us one strategic vision for all our daytime-oriented programming regardless of where it airs,” says Sweeney, who says that Frons has “an eye toward what’s next, not what’s worked in the past.”

Frons was named president, ABC Daytime, in August 2002, responsible for all programming, development, marketing, production, and promotion for The View, All My Children, One Life to Live and General Hospital.

An industry veteran, Frons joined ABC Daytime from London-based SBS Broadcasting, where he served as senior vice president of programming. Earlier, he was president, creative affairs, for New World Entertainment, and VP of creative affairs for NBC Prods. His daytime credentials include VP at NBC Entertainment and director at CBS Entertainment.