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The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) is an American commercial broadcast television network that is a flagship property of Disney–ABC Television Group, a subsidiary of the Disney Media Networks division of The Walt Disney Company. The network is headquartered on Columbus Avenue and West 66th Street in Manhattan, New York City. There are additional major offices and production facilities elsewhere in New York City, as well as in Los Angeles and Burbank, California.
Since 2007, when ABC Radio (also known as Cumulus Media Networks) was sold to Citadel Broadcasting, ABC has reduced its broadcasting operations almost exclusively to television. The fifth-oldest major broadcasting network in the world and the youngest of the Big Three television networks, ABC is often nicknamed as "The Alphabet Network", as its initialism also represents the first three letters of the English alphabet, in order.
ABC launched as a radio network on October 12, 1943, serving as the successor to the NBC Blue Network, which had been purchased by Edward J. Noble. It extended its operations to television in 1948, following in the footsteps of established broadcast networks CBS and NBC. In the mid-1950s, ABC merged with United Paramount Theatres, a chain of movie theaters that formerly operated as a subsidiary of Paramount Pictures. Leonard Goldenson, who had been the head of UPT, made the new television network profitable by helping develop and greenlight many successful series. In the 1980s, after purchasing an 80% interest in cable sports channel ESPN, the network's corporate parent, American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., merged with Capital Cities Communications, owner of several print publications, and television and radio stations. In 1996, most of Capital Cities/ABC's assets were purchased by The Walt Disney Company.