Disney Sets Major Reorganization Around Disney+

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Disney Sets Major Reorganization Around Disney+

Kareem Daniel to lead merged distribution and ad sales group

Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced a major restructuring on Monday, which will put its streaming service Disney+ in the middle of the company’s operations.

The new structure will be geared towards a “focus on developing and producing original content for the Company’s streaming services,” Disney said in announcing its reorganization on Monday.

Content development is split into three groups — studios, general entertainment and sports. That means that content creation for Disney+ and Hulu will be side by side with ABC and Freeform.

The three groups will be headed by their current leaders Alan Horn and Alan Bergman, Peter Rice, and James Pitaro.

Additionally, Disney is combining its ad sales and distribution teams into one division, the Media and Entertainment Distribution group, which will be headed by Kareem Daniel, formerly President, Consumer Products, Games and Publishing. All five leaders will report directly to Chapek. Disney Parks, Experiences and Products will continue to operate under its existing structure, led by Josh D’Amaro. Rebecca Campbell will serve as Chairman, International Operations and Direct-to-Consumer.

The new structure is effective immediately, and Disney expects to transition to financial reporting under this structure in the first quarter of fiscal 2021.

Here is the new structure from Disney:

  • STUDIOS: Messrs. Horn and Bergman will serve as Chairmen, Studios Content, which will focus on creating branded theatrical and episodic content based on the Company’s powerhouse franchises for theatrical exhibition, Disney+ and the Company’s other streaming services. The group will include the content engines of The Walt Disney Studios, including Disney live action and Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Studios and Searchlight Pictures.
  • GENERAL ENTERTAINMENT: Mr. Rice will serve as Chairman, General Entertainment Content, which will focus on creating general entertainment episodic and original long-form content for the Company’s streaming platforms and its cable and broadcast networks. The group will include the content engines of 20th Television, ABC Signature and Touchstone Television; ABC News; Disney Channels; Freeform; FX; and National Geographic.
  • SPORTS: Mr. Pitaro will serve as Chairman, ESPN and Sports Content, which will focus on ESPN’s live sports programming, as well as sports news and original and non-scripted sports-related content, for the cable channels, ESPN+, and ABC.

“Given the incredible success of Disney+ and our plans to accelerate our direct-to-consumer business, we are strategically positioning our Company to more effectively support our growth strategy and increase shareholder value,” Mr. Chapek said. “Managing content creation distinct from distribution will allow us to be more effective and nimble in making the content consumers want most, delivered in the way they prefer to consume it. Our creative teams will concentrate on what they do best–making world-class, franchise-based content–while our newly centralized global distribution team will focus on delivering and monetizing that content in the most optimal way across all platforms, including Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+ and the coming Star international streaming service.”

Disney will hold a virtual investor day on Dec. 10.

More to come…

Tim Baysinger