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Howard Katz resigns as ABC Sports President
ABC Sports Online

Veteran television sports executive Howard Katz, most recently president of ABC Sports, has decided to resign from The Walt Disney Company to pursue other interests after a highly successful management track record at both ESPN and ABC over the past decade. The announcement of Mr. Katz's resignation, effective March 14, was made today by Robert Iger, president and chief operating officer of The Walt Disney Company, and Alex Wallau, president of the ABC Television Network.

At the same time, Messrs. Iger and Wallau announced that George Bodenheimer will become president of ABC Sports, in addition to his ongoing duties as president of ESPN, Inc. Mr. Bodenheimer's expanded responsibilities will put both television sports assets of The Walt Disney Company under his direction.

In making these announcements, Mr. Iger commented: "George's record of success and innovation at ESPN and his familiarity with ABC Sports make him uniquely suited to take on this role. This move will enhance the overall efficiency and effectiveness at both TV sports operations and, in particular, in our dealings with sports leagues and other rights sellers."

No other changes in the management of ABC Sports are contemplated at the present time, and ABC Sports and ESPN will continue to be run as separate operations within The Walt Disney Company. In his dual capacity, Mr. Bodenheimer will continue to report to Mr. Iger; however overall management of ABC Sports will continue to function as part of the ABC Television Network.

"Over the past 10 years, Howard Katz has been a tremendous force for television sports excellence at both ABC and ESPN," Mr. Iger added. "We wish Howard much continued success as he moves on to new playing fields."

Mr. Wallau commented: "Bob Iger and I both have our roots at ABC Sports and, like so many people inside and outside the Company, we've witnessed first-hand the multifaceted talents and numerous innovations Howard has brought to the business. All of us here at the ABC Television Network wish him well as he focuses his energy and expertise in new directions."

Mr. Katz said: "After the past decade at ABC and ESPN, and more than 32 nonstop years in the TV sports business overall, I feel it's now time to consider new opportunities. The outstanding quality and reputation of ABC Sports is a direct reflection of the many people I've been privileged to work with in the sports division, and I couldn't be prouder of what we've all accomplished since I returned to ABC Sports from ESPN four years ago."

Mr. Bodenheimer said: "Thanks in no small measure to Howard's leadership over the years, ABC Sports and ESPN represent two of the most powerful assets in sports television. Going forward and with the support of The Walt Disney Company, we will continue to provide our fans, advertisers, affiliates and rights sellers with programming, production and marketing efforts second to none. With new technologies like high-definition television, the years ahead will be even more dynamic."

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Howard Katz' biography

George Bodenheimer's biography