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Touchstone Starts Hiring Initiative

Touchstone Television President Stephen McPherson has been tapped to head the Touchstone Television/ABC Directing Initiative, which will work to promote the hiring of women and minority directors at both the studio and the TV network.

Touchstone and ABC will work with the Directors Guild of America to place at least 10 selected directors from Touchstone/ABC’s Seasoned Directors program on an ABC comedy or drama. The chosen directors are guaranteed an initial commitment of 20 episodes-10 comedy and 10 drama-with no limit on the number of future commitments.

"By boldly doing the one thing that makes a difference–guaranteeing that women and minority directors not already at the table will be hired to direct at least 20 episodes this next season–Touchstone and ABC have turned words into action, and for that we commend them," says Directors Guild President Michael Apted.

McPherson, with the support of Alex Wallau, president of the ABC Television Network, started the Touchstone/ABC DGA Partnership for Seasoned Directors in 2002. "This latest program is designed as a monumental extension of that effort," McPherson says. "I believe it sets the standard that hopefully others will follow."