The ABC family has lost a loved former member of their team, and a pioneering television executive. Preston Davis, who served as president of broadcast operations and engineering for ABC and worked with the company for 35 years, passed away on April 15th at the age of 63 after an illness.
Davis became the lead of broadcast operations and engineering at ABC in 1993 when he was promoted by then ABC Network Television Group president Robert Iger. Davis was the first African-American president of any Capital Cities/ABC division in the history of the media company.
Iger, now a Disney chairman and CEO, released a statement yesterday expressing his sadness over the loss of Davis. “Preston and I started at ABC around the same time,” said Iger. “He was a talented and tenacious leader who earned wide respect for his abilities and was revered for his impeccable integrity. When I had to choose someone to lead BO&E into the future, there was no question Preston was the right person, and he led that team to great achievements for the better part of two decades. Preston was a class act and a great guy who had a tremendous impact on everyone who knew him.”
Anne Sweeney, co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group echoed Iger’s sentiments, adding: “For 35 years at ABC, Preston was a mentor and an advisor to so many of us, but most importantly a dear friend. He led by example and was the true definition of integrity,”
Davis began his career at ABC in 1976 as an engineer in Washington, D.C. and remained with the company until his retirement in 2011. Davis leaves behind his wife Michelle and their two children, Ashley and Preston III. In lieu of flowers, the family I requesting that all well-wishers instead make a donation to the Centre for Building Hope in Sarasota, Florida.