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57 December 2nd, 2011 BREAKING NEWS: Brian Frons Steps Down from ABC Daytime!

Courtesy/ABC

You have got to be kidding us? After totally decimating the ABC Daytime line-up and the soap genre itself, ABC Daytime President, Brian Frons announced today that he is stepping down from his post at ABC! His division will now be merged with ABC’s new syndication umbrella called Times Square Studios, which will be led by Viki Dummer currently the  senior vice president, Current Series & Specials, ABC Entertainment Group.  She will be promoted to executive vice president, Times Square Studios, Current Series & Specials, adding oversight of this new programming and development area to her existing programming responsibilities.

An official press release went out this afternoon from ABC on the restructuring and what Frons is saying about his decision to leave to go on to new adventures in his career! And, he adds he is most proud of is getting The Chew and the-soon-to-be Revolution off the ground! Brian Frons will depart ABC at the end of his contract in January 2012.  Through that date Mr. Frons will assist in transitioning to the new structure and will be available to provide counsel to the management team.

Here is what Frons had to say about his decision to step down from his position at ABC! “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.”

You can view the entire press release after the jump! And make sure to let us know how you feel about Frons’s news!

Official Release: “The Disney/ABC Television Group today announced the formation of Times Square Studios, an integrated current entertainment programming and development division, following the announcement that Brian Frons, president, Daytime, Disney/ABC Television Group, will depart the Company at the end of his contract in January 2012. Through that date Mr. Frons will assist in transitioning to the new structure and will be available to provide counsel to the management team.

The new integrated Times Square Studios division will have oversight of current entertainment programming and the development of new programming focused primarily in the areas of non-scripted lifestyle and health for Daytime and Syndication. The current programming that will be part of this structure going forward includes “The View,” “General Hospital,” “The Chew,” “The Revolution,” “Katie” and “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.” “LIVE! with Kelly” remains part of the ABC Owned Television Stations Group division.

Vicki Dummer, senior vice president, Current Series & Specials, ABC Entertainment Group, will be promoted to executive vice president, Times Square Studios, Current Series & Specials, adding oversight of this new programming and development area to her existing programming responsibilities. She will continue to report to Paul Lee, president, ABC Entertainment Group, who, with this announcement, adds Times Square Studios to his portfolio.

Abra Potkin, respected former CBS News and entertainment development executive, has been hired as senior vice president, East Coast Programming & Development, Times Square Studios; and ABC Daytime veteran Ann Lewis Roberts has been named senior vice president, West Coast Current Programming & Development, Times Square Studios. Both will report to Ms. Dummer.

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.” She 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.”

Mr. 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.”

“I am honored, humbled and thrilled to have been entrusted with this new opportunity,” Ms. 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.”

Brian Scott Frons was named president, Daytime, Disney/ABC Television Group in May 2006, where he oversaw the creation, production and delivery of all programming on ABC Daytime, SOAPnet and ABC Media Productions. He joined the Company in 2002 as president, ABC Daytime. Prior to that, he worked for the London-based SBS Broadcasting, S.A., where he most recently served as senior vice president of Programming, overseeing all programming, promotion and research operations for 12 SBS-owned and operated channels reaching about 125 million European viewers. Earlier in his career he was president, Creative Affairs, for New World Entertainment in Hollywood, where he directed program development and production for network, first-run syndication and international co-production. Mr. Frons has also been vice president, Creative Affairs, for NBC Productions.

In the Daytime Programming field, Mr. Frons has held various executive positions, including vice president, Daytime Programming, for NBC Entertainment, and director, Daytime Programming, for CBS Entertainment. In addition to developing, promoting or overseeing numerous series, Mr. Frons was also instrumental to the launch of The Soap Opera Digest Awards.

Mr. Frons began his television career in 1978 as one of three program management trainees chosen during a national search by CBS Entertainment. He holds a Master of Science degree in communications from Syracuse University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the State University of New York at Fredonia.

Vicki Dummer was named senior vice president, Current Series & Specials, ABC Entertainment, in June 2011. In this role Ms. Dummer oversees all current series and special programming for ABC’s primetime block. She reports to Paul Lee, president, ABC Entertainment Group.

Previously Ms. Dummer was senior vice president, Alternative Series, Specials & Late-Night, ABC Entertainment, since June 2009. In that position she was responsible for the development and oversight of numerous programs, including “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” “Supernanny”,” “Secret Millionaire” and “Wipeout.” Prior to joining the Alternative Series & Specials department, she honed her skills in the arts and entertainment industry.

Ms. Dummer began her career at ABC in October 1996 in the Comedy Series Programming department. She worked on several of ABC’s most popular series, including “8 Simple Rules,” “According to Jim,” “Dharma & Greg,” “The Drew Carey Show,” “Less Than Perfect,” “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.”

Prior to joining ABC, she was a senior program specialist at the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, DC. She has also held posts as executive director of a statewide service organization for dancers and performance artists, and was manager of a modern dance company.”

 

 

 

 

 

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  1. lisa says:

    I’d like to take that picture of his and put it on a dart board !!!
    UGH !!!

    Reply

  2. Webbie says:

    It’s all a bit too little, too late. The damage to ABC soaps has been done, and I think it’s safe to say that Frons did EXACTLY what ABC asked him to do. He dismantled the soaps and now his job is done.

    The ONLY silver lining, IMHO, is that this leaves FV and RC all-clear for their vision. No more Frons to squash their creativity. So really what this means, to me, is that GH will hopefully end on the high note it truly deserves.

    Reply

    Robert in Jersey City replied

    sigh, while I tend you agree with you, I hope that’s not the case…..sigh.

    Reply

    kim delmotte replied

    feel the same from canada

    Reply

    lipstickcat replied

    The lapdog came, did his job, & now he’s gone to cause misery somewhere else! This was the plan all along! 2 years ago, they announced Soapnet was going off because they had already decided to cancel the soaps back then. And Prospect Park was part of the scam. OLTL taped their last show on friday & the next wednesday they announced the show wouldn’t continue! AMC & OLTL both didn’t get proper endings because of all the lies being told!

    Reply

  3. Robert in Jersey City says:

    NO WAY DID THIS GUY STEP DOWN. NO WAY. I can feel it. Karma is a bitch.

    Reply

    Jan replied

    WOW! I HATE ABC. If I find myself on it I turn it.

    Reply

  4. Rob says:

    UNREAL.

    Too bad this doesnt do anything to reverse the decisions he has made, but karma is a bitch!!

    Reply

  5. ethel says:

    it is too late now – our soaps are gone!!!

    Reply

  6. Susan says:

    Frons did what he was hired to do. Get rid of most if not all of ABC daytime. It’s my hope tha FV and RC can turn GH around and make soaps a viable commodity again for the viewers, advertisers and future daytime programmers. I suppose we’ll see around September 2012 if ABC has enough faith in GH viewership to keep GH going longterm.

    Reply

    lipstickcat replied

    He made the rounds & kill lots of soaps! He worked at CBS & NBC daytime before this & killed soaps there too! That’s his job description: SOAP KILLER!

    Reply

  7. Bianca says:

    As happy as I am to see the Frons go, the wording of these press releases saddens me. I cannot believe how proud of their accomplishments they are. I’m 33 years old, and historically ABC was always my go-to network. I was raised on ABC daytime soaps, ABC news and TGIF, I always perceived them as doing things right. First TGIF died, then Peter Jennings, literally, died and all I had left to cling to was ABC soaps and SoapNet. AMC (as crappy as it got) is gone, OLTL (which I still watch religiously) is dead and SoapNet will follow soon. I watch what I like, so I can’t imagine doing a general network ban, but I’m thinking ABC is doing that job for me. How can they be proud of THAT?! What kind of business people have no concept of brand loyalty? Everyday there are talentless people trying to get what ABC had, and ABC has just been pissing it away…

    Reply

    gloria replied

    Amen. Agree with every word.

    Reply

  8. Susan says:

    Did I call this or what? Just a couple of days ago, I posted a comment on Cady McClain’s take on Prospect Park’s failure where I predicted Brian Frons either being promoted or booted out of his present Disney/ABC position. VOILA, presto bingo it comes true in living color. True Karma!!! No regrets here, except that he took AMC and OLTL with him, and surely GH will follow his sorry behind out the door. Good riddance to the WORST THING EVER to happen to ABC Daytime.

    Reply

  9. liz says:

    I hope you’re right, Webbie, about clearing the deck for FV & RC. I am skeptical that they haven’t already sealed GH’s fate and that RC & FV have been brought in to help usher GH off the air.

    I think that Brian Frons has done an exemplary job. He’s the fall guy and deserves the heat but I believe that the death of ABC soaps was done by corporate consensus and we’ll never know the real story about how they set out to systematically kill our stories.

    Don’t be surprised when GH is cancelled as well. I am totally heartbroken and hope that all the rats execs rot in hell.

    Reply

    Jan replied

    Exactly the fall guy.

    Reply

  10. Brian says:

    Please ABC … RENEW “ONE LIFE TO LIVE” and just watch the rating soar….

    Reply

    leah replied

    i agree-tell prospect park to give it back

    Reply

  11. mary amos says:

    Another reality and lifestyle person.ABC has yet to realize people are sick of this crap.Not gonna change and now what is General Hospital fate?

    Reply

  12. Alley says:

    The final nail in GH’s coffin.

    Reply

  13. Jules says:

    It’ll only be downhill from here anyway. Glad Frons is out of a job, but the writing is already paved into the concrete.

    Reply

  14. Torrey says:

    This is great news….but it is a little too late to celebrate. I agree with Webbie….ABC got him to do their dirty work, and now they have no use for him…..it’s not like we didn’t all know this day was coming. Too bad ABC won’t reconsider their decision and bring back the greatest soap in Daytime….OLTL.

    Reply

  15. Heather says:

    The only reason why he’s leaving is because he doesn’t have the guts to cancel General Hospital. General Hospital has always been the jewel of Frons but this soap is expected to get cancelled in 2012. Frons just don’t want to be around when that happens. His departure from ABC Daytime will result in either his successor or Anne Sweeney herself to annouce the cancellation of GH.

    Reply

    Jan replied

    Why cause SONNY’S gonna beat him up.
    They need to cancel ALL soaps now. Fair is fair.

    Reply

  16. Elhu says:

    Mr. Frons, don’t let the door hit you where the sun don’t shine on your way out – good riddance!!!! Clearly, you were “asked” to leave, because who would willingly go when you are in the middle of introducing what you claim to be the work you are most proud of – no one! This change was the biggest mistake you, Disney Daytime made, and while that will never be admitted, and two wonderful, long running shows with terrific stars both in front of and behind the scenes have to pay the price, I am glad to see you pay the price as well. What goes around comes around!!!!! I agree with what Webbie said above, that it is too little too late, but it is better than nothing. Now I understand why the super talented Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati have been hired by TPTB at GH, that is something that Frons would never have approved of. I see only good things coming from this move, but again, too bad OLTL and AMC had to pay the price. We shall see what the future holds.

    Reply

  17. My2Cents says:

    I do NOT believe for one second that Brian Frons ‘stepped down’.. Saving face here, He was demoted or fired!!!!! Is it too late though?? Isn’t GH done with??

    Reply

  18. heidi says:

    happy trails to you…

    Reply

  19. aria says:

    I have no idea what to make about any of this to be honest. At the end of the day, who really knows whose to blame for the fall of ABC daytime soaps, theres simply to many people and positions,and the sad news is we really don’t know who was at the top of killin off our soaps. while Brian Frons cleary was the name we all know we could go and blame, i’m positive, he didn’t have that kind of power to kill off amc, and oltl,all by himself. i’m sure theres many nameless names who are probably still in their position and therefore the future of GH , is still unknown. So, I guess we will all see where this all goes.

    Reply

  20. Linda Dowell says:

    I’m happy to not have to shudder in dismay at his face and his announcements anymore……..and I’ve been in the corporate world long enough to know that he was canned……..and so was Jill……interesting – do you suppose Disney/ABC is upset – and maybe seeing a light – on how there are masses that loathe them now? Frons “Netflixed” ABC – we all know that – maybe they’re getting it.

    Could we be that lucky? Could it maybe mean a save for GH?

    LD

    Reply

  21. Tom says:

    Isn’t this the same thing that happened with CBS/Barbara Bloom? These programming executives help themselves out of a job and are rewarded with nice severance packages…

    Reply

  22. Lew says:

    Whatever the outcome, goodbye and good riddance!!!! Was it really his decision, or the execs of ABC/Disney? Who cares!!!!!!!

    Reply

  23. Jared says:

    Another corporate executive getting away with destruction, wiping his hands clean, and moving on. His mortgage is probably paid for, and he probably doesn’t have to worry about all the financial matters that the people whose lives he destroyed do. The man’s not fit to run a dollar store. Good riddance, you you-know-what.

    Reply

  24. boes says:

    I hope that his firing came as a complete surprise. I hope that he felt secure in his job because he’d done their bidding. I hope they dismissed him with condescension. I hope he has recently invested his money because he felt his job was secure. I hope they told him they were bringing in someone new because business had changed, and he was just too old and out of touch to appeal to the desired demographic.

    Most of all, I hope that when he protested that he’d done everything they’d asked of him, that they curtly told him, “It’s only business”.

    I hope he’s feeling betrayed.

    Most of all, I hope he’s hobbled by crippling gas pains.

    This leaves such a bitter taste in my mouth. As you’ve all said, he did his job, he destroyed a television legacy and left utter destruction in his wake. The damage has been done, and he’ll undoubtedly pop up somewhere else, with the incestuous inner circle hiring that the rodents of Hollywood seem to delight in. Maybe ABC thinks that this will somehow mollify the fans who have been betrayed by them and let down by PP. They can think again.

    Disney and ABC can go rot.

    Reply

    Lew replied

    HA!!!!!! I TOTALLY agree with everything you said! That creature from hell should experience the same disappointment, fear and pain that he has caused the cast and crew of AMC and OLTL!

    Reply

  25. Indigo Starr says:

    ABC probably thinks if Frons left the hatred for ABC and their cancelling our shows would go with him….NO ABC… sorry… you killed AMC and OLTL and we won’t forget. They even talk about “new programming focused primarily in the areas of non-scripted lifestyle and health for Daytime and Syndication”. Non scripted means NO SOAPS! ABC/Disney/Frons/Sweeney and now their Times Square Studios are all the same to me…the people who got rid of OLTL – THE BEST SHOW ON TELEVISION. Idiots. ABC Free Zone in my house – except the soaps.

    Reply

    Tali replied

    What you said Indigo Starr!

    Reply

    Robert in Jersey City replied

    totally. ABC did this, no matter who hit the switch. ABC threw us in the trash.

    Reply

    gloeevalens replied

    you said what I have been thinking all weekend, indigo starr!! abc thinks that “ALL WILL BE FORGIVEN IF WE FIRE FRONS” i don’t think soooooooo!! mine is a abc freezone except the soaps that are left…

    Reply

  26. TS1 says:

    I learned from the very beginning The Chew started that ABC would pull a fast one for ratings an run 1minute into OLTL. That’s why I tune in one minute later. I have no intention on watching any daytime except OLTL and GH. Fron was brought in to destroy Daytime an he did along with a few henchmen. I hope ABC fails in all it’s new shows replacing our soaps. My support will go for NBC and CBS.

    Reply

  27. JustSaying says:

    MAY HE GET THE WORST RECOMMENDATION EVER!

    MAY HE GET THE WORST RECOMMENDATION EVER!

    MAY HE GET THE WORST RECOMMENDATION EVER!

    I hope that’s clear enough. There’s just so much arrogance that the audience can take from this man.

    Reply

  28. Doe says:

    Why all the dicussion about Brian Frons? All we are doing is giving him a platform to redeem himself. He is a delegated hit man for ABC.Go away Brian, you left a dirty trail behind you. No redemtion for your crimes…….

    Reply

  29. Michael says:

    Sweet Jesus- what good news! Seriously, the best new I’ve heard since that jackass started canceling AMC and One LIfe. Now without a job, perhaps he’ll be able to sympathsize a bit with the hundreds of actors, writers, technitions, and countless crew members that he put out of work. Not to mention the milliion plus fans that now have no soaps to watch because of that prick. In less than six months he cancelled All My Children, One Live to Live, AND an entire network (SoapNet). All for a couple of cooking shows. Like I said- the guy is a jacksass. Any chance that One Life will get a quick re-boot now that that jackass is gone??!!

    Reply

    Brian replied

    yes, i have been hoping too, that ABC will reverse the fate of OLTL… i could forgive them then and watch more of ABC’s programming…

    see how easy it is to change your mind? please pay attention to the fans ABC.

    Reply

    Gloria replied

    OH PLEASE BRING BACK OLTL!

  30. J says:

    “While my decision to try something new was not arrived at easily, nine years is a long time in television terms…” Really? 9 years is a long time in television terms?? A long time is the 40+ years AMC and OLTL were on the air. A long time is the 41 years Susan Lucci was on AMC and the 40 years Erika Slezak was on OLTL. I understand soaps are more expensive to produce in the current economic climate, but a true visionary would’ve been able to adapt and change while still keeping the soap genre alive. If it’s true that you were brought on to dismantle daytime as we know it, you have done your job. Mr. Frons, I hope you realize the only legacy you have left behind is the carcass of a beloved culture.

    Reply

  31. david says:

    Hey, Brian, why not try for a job with Prospect Park? You losers deserve each other–big talkers going nowhere. Nice to know you “quit” so you cannot collect unemployment. So you think you are going on to new adventures in your career? You are one of the most hated people associated with television–who would want to hire a toxic ASSet like you?

    We should be bombarding Vicki Dummer and ABC affiliates with requests to save OLTL. Tell them you will not watch crap reality shows. Now that ABC has dumped Frons, they can conceivably reverse his decisions and blame him for poor judgment. It’s possible The Chew or The Revolution or both could still fail. Television executives have to understand it’s entertainment from soaps that people want, not reality programming.

    Reply

  32. Rodd says:

    Frankly, I hope Mr. Fronz fails in whatever he attempts to do next or anytime in the future. The man deserves to jobless and miserable for the rest of his days. May he drool like the idiot he is and regret his terrible treatment of the sopa opera genre and all the people he has helped to make unhappy. Oh, is that cruel? Guess so. Don’t care…just like he doesn’t care. Thanks for the lesson, Brian.

    Reply

    B. Reese replied

    If we’re lucky he will never have another job with television programming or production decisions, or authority.

    Anyone could have waltzed into ABC and said you can make more money by cutting out the scripted “entertainment” in daytime, and replace it with cheap, reality schlock.

    I hope all the ABC soap fans are leaving ABC along with me, so they will eventually see Frons’ real worth. I’ve taken ABC off my remote control.

    Reply

  33. Sue says:

    His contract was up in Jan, he saw the writing on the wall. I’m sure ABC wanted to get rid of the position and consolidate the functions. If Frons came up in soaps and was considered by corporate as the ‘soap’ expert and is now succeeded by someone that came up developing reality shows – god help GH!

    We should find out the fate of GH way before Sept 2012. They announcing cancellations months ahead, sometime around April. It’s going to be very difficult for GH to turn things around by then. Not to mention very popular actors leaving. What are they going to do with the popular characters Lucky and Robin now?

    I hope the new corp suites give GH a chance to restructure. With a new producer maybe they can find way to be more cost effective and run within budget. Different writers getting a chance to revive the show.

    Reply

  34. Jan says:

    TV’s JUST not going to be the same…soaps were so much apart of it.

    Reply

  35. Heather says:

    Actually, I don’t think Frons leaving is good news from General Hospital. It was Frons who stopped Anne Sweeney from cancelling GH at the same time as All My Children and One Life to Live.

    With Frons gone, ABC now has all the liberty to cancel GH as they wish. I wouldn’t be surprise that Frons departure is releated to an argument with ABC over the future of General Hospital

    Reply

    Michael replied

    Sadly, GH’s demise is just a matter of time.Whether it’s now or six months from now, ABC clearly wants out of the soap business. I really hate the Disney network. I guess I should thank them for all the free time I’ll have in the future. Once One LIfe and GH goes off the air, so will my viewership of ANYTHING on ABC- daytime or nightime. With the 3 other networks and cable TV- I really won’t miss the Loser Network. (Really, what’s on ABC anyways? Dancing with the Stars? Yuck. Once Upon A Time? A Lost ripoff.) I hope Anne Sweeney loses her job too. Do they REALLY think that the Chew and the Revolution will last for some 40 odd years? Sure their ratings may be okay now that their brand new and there’s nothing else on daytime- but let’s see what their ratings look like a year from now. ABC sucks!

    Reply

  36. leah says:

    What a hateful horrible man. He should just go and take his seat in hell next to Ted bundy Saddam and the others who like to kill things.. I wish to God ABC would of had a clue sooner. As for the parting words of Fronshole- he is the only one left to believe his lies… have at it you pig…

    Reply

  37. Ina Kozler says:

    Why did they not try OLTL as a weekly show? Daytime or nighttime!

    Dallas is returning so why not another nightime soap? OLTL already has an huge audience.

    Reply

  38. Casey says:

    I dislike Frons as much as the next person, but these decisions were not his alone. GH is truly doomed now with Ms. Dummer in place (perfect name-it’s going to be skewered!) She’s the reality, non-scripted TV goddess, and we all know Anne Sweeney played a large role in AMC/OLTL’s demise, so with these two running this Dumb & Dummer network, more mindless programming will come, maybe The Poo or The Few (as in viewers!)

    Reply

  39. Eileen_NYC says:

    Bye bye you horse’s ass and take your whole team of bright lights with you. This demise was a team effort look at his face he doesn’t look that bright just the smiking arrogant messenger who delivered the blows and rested on the outstanding cost effective ideas his team presented and managed to execute. I still have hope for these two shows…

    Reply

  40. LMS in PC says:

    If abc wants to save daytime money, put a test pattern on during the dead time slots left by All My Children and soon One Life To Live. It will be more interesting, informative, entertaining, intelligent, colorful, (fill in the adjectives), than the 2 new shows it’s touting. And cheaper!

    Reply

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