Disney says to combine two ABC units

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LOS ANGELES, Jan 22 (Reuters) – Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) said on Thursday it would combine two divisions, ABC Entertainment and ABC Studios.

A spokesman said no job cuts would be involved.

The newly formed unit, to be called ABC Entertainment Group, will be managed by President Stephen McPherson, who had previously served as president, ABC Entertainment.

On Wednesday, Disney sent voluntary buyout offers to 600 executives at its domestic theme parks to cut costs as the U.S. economy weakened. The recession has cut attendance, prompting the company to deeply discount Walt Disney World stays.

Disney said on Thursday that Mark Pedowitz, former president of ABC Studios, had moved into a new role as senior advisor to the Office of the co-chairman, where he will work with Anne Sweeney, co-chair of Disney-Media Networks and president of the Disney-ABC Television Group.

Disney said the new division’s primary mandate would be to develop and produce programming for broadcast on ABC.

Disney’s shares were down 1.5 percent at $20.91 in afternoon trading.

(Reporting by Gina Keating and Sue Zeidler)

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