[08/10/06 - 12:00 AM]
ABC News Merges Long-Form Documentary Unit and ABC News Productions to Form ABC News All Media

[via press release from ABC]


ABC News is merging its long-form documentary unit with its production unit to form ABC News All Media, a team that will produce content for various platforms both inside and out of the network, ABC News President David Westin announced today. Rudy Bednar will serve as Executive Producer and Director of ABC News All Media. He will report to Phyllis McGrady, Senior Vice President of ABC News Morning, Primetime and Development.

�This new unit combines the award-winning work of very talented producers,� said Mr. Westin. �Together they will continue to deliver the complex and creative works that have long distinguished ABC News and extend their reach to additional digital platforms.�

He continued: �Rudy Bednar has proven his talents for visual story-telling and now we will be able to share those talents with a larger audience. �

ABC News All Media will continue to develop and produce programs for the network and for cable clients; it will also work closely with ABC News Digital to produce innovative programming for all of ABC News� digital platforms.

The long form documentary unit at ABC News has developed and produced such innovative series and award-winning programs as Hopkins 24/7, NYPD 24/7, Jesus, Mary and Da Vinci and Vanished. The unit has led the way in producing hours on HD such as Resurrection and the soon to air Last Days on Earth. Mr. Bednar and his team have also produced this summer�s Primetime: Medical Mysteries series.

Lisa Zeff will continue as Executive Producer of ABC News Productions and report to Mr. Bednar. ABC News Productions is an award-winning leader in non-fiction programming for cable channels, international broadcasters and home video. For twelve years, ABCNP has been producing entertaining, investigative and high-profile documentaries, series, strip shows and specials for cable networks such as A&E, Discovery, Court TV, Lifetime, National Geographic, and many more. ABCNP has produced more than one hundred award-winning programs over the years, including the recent Emmy award-winning Declassified: Nixon in China for Discovery Times.

Rudy Bednar began his career at ABC in the early 1980s first as a producer for the Series unit, then 20/20 and Primetime Live. His stories have taken him from Africa toTibet to the North Pole. During the early 1990s, Bednar and three senior ABC producers launched the weekly-hour documentary series Turning Point, producing over fifty primetime hours.

In 2000, Bednar became Executive Producer of the long-form documentary unit, which provided primetime audiences with hours on global warming, the war in Iraq, and the empowerment of urban city children. The unit began a run of single-subject series, starting with Vanished. Next, there was Hopkins 24/7, which would become the verit� brand for similar observational series. Bednar has also worked with ABC Entertainment, producing specials in collaboration with Paul McCartney, Britney Spears, Christopher Reeve, and the Beatles, which he also directed in 2001. Most recently, a co-production with the Academy-Award winning Maha Productions delivered a dramatic two-hour verit� documentary, The Staircase. He has been recognized with numerous awards, including ten Emmys and four duPonts.

  [august 2006]  

· 20/20 (ABC)
· HOPKINS 24/7 (ABC)
· NYPD 24/7 (ABC)

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