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ABC's Digital Chief Albert Cheng to Depart

ABC achieved a number of digital milestones over a decade-long tenure.

ABC digital chief Albert Cheng will leave the network where he served for the past decade as an advocate for distributing TV programs online and on demand.

Cheng notified the staff of his plans to depart late Friday, via an email under the subject heading “Mahalo,” the Hawaiian word for “thank you.” After 18 months of consideration, he wrote that it is time to move on. He said he will remain at the network through May to assist Disney-ABC Television Group President Ben Sherwood through the transition.

“I’ve met all the personal goals I set out for myself,” Cheng wrote in an email obtained by Re/code. “As a company, we’ve achieved far more than I would have ever imagined.”


Under Cheng’s tenure, ABC achieved a number of digital milestones — including becoming the first broadcast network to stream its programs live on the Internet (with certain caveats). When Apple introduced its iPad tablet in 2010, ABC was in the lead in offering an app that allowed viewers to watch many of the network’s most popular shows on the new device.

“Since the very beginning, we envisioned a world where television programs were delivered over the Internet on any device we could connect to,” Cheng wrote.

Cheng’s departure follows that of former ABC head Anne Sweeney, who left the company in January after 18 years of overseeing the television group. Cheng declined, by email, to offer additional comment — though he did say he is not planning to join longtime friend Jason Kilar in the former Hulu chief executive’s latest online video venture, Vessel.

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