Respected television and radio executive Michael Riley has been named president, ABC Family, it was announced today by Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks & president, Disney/ABC Television Group, to whom he will report.
In this new position, Riley will have oversight of ABC Family’s original programming and acquisitions, franchise management, marketing, sales and operations, and be responsible for the overall strategic and creative direction for the channel.
In making the announcement, Sweeney stated, “Michael’s talent and drive are eclipsed only by the enthusiasm and passion he brings to every opportunity. I’m confident his unique set of skills and experience will help us further ABC Family’s amazing momentum.”
Riley added, “I am extremely proud to have been part of a great team at Radio Disney and very much look forward to joining the incredibly passionate and inventive team at ABC Family. Their success over the past few years has been exceptional, driven by innovative storytelling, unique characters and iconic branding, and I’m honored to be given the opportunity to help build this amazing Millennial brand.”
Prior to this announcement, Riley served as senior vice president and general manager, Radio Disney, where he oversaw the strategic management of the Radio Disney network and its portfolio of 36 owned radio stations, leading them to record ratings through original multi-platform content achievements. He joined The Walt Disney Company in April 2008. An announcement regarding a new general manager for Radio Disney will be made in the near future.
Previously Riley was senior vice president and general manager, Turner Broadcasting System, Europe, Middle East and Africa. In this post he was responsible for developing the CNN commercial strategy and the overall brand strategy for the entertainment channels Cartoon Network, Boomerang, TCM, TNT and Adult Swim in Germany, Northern Europe, Middle East and Africa. Other key responsibilities included the management of advertising sales, marketing and interactive commerce functions, as well as supporting the company’s programming development and acquisition strategy.
From 2004-06 he was vice president and general manager, Turner Broadcasting System France, with responsibility for all Turner channels in that market. From 2000-03, he was vice president, Turner Classic Movies, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and from 1997-2000 he was vice president, Business Development, Television and Interactive Media, Cartoon Network and Turner Classic Movies.
From 1996-97, Riley was a strategy consultant with the global advertising and media conglomerate WPP Group in London and New York, where he conducted strategic reviews of the group’s specialist communication companies, including Ogilvy and Mather, J Walter Thompson. He was a business consultant for the Canadian Pacific conglomerate in Toronto from 1992-95, working across its Strategy and Information division on a range of interests including hotels, real estate, oil production, resorts and railroads.
Riley, who is fluent in French, was born in Vancouver, British Columbia and raised in Montreal, Quebec and Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is a 1997 graduate of London Business School with a Masters in Business Administration, and completed an international program at Columbia Business School in 1996. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Administration and Commercial Studies from University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada in 1992.