(Bloomberg) — Walt Disney Co. is continuing to adjust the lines of reporting at its TV unit following a big reorganization announced last month that tightened the entertainment giant’s focus on streaming.
Gary Marsh, who has run the Disney Channel and its siblings for the past nine years, will now supervise Disney-branded content that the TV unit creates for networks and streaming services, including Disney+. Courteney Monroe, who previously served as president of National Geographic’s TV networks, now heads content for that brand, reporting directly to Peter Rice, the chairman of Disney’s television division.
Other senior programming executives, including TV studios chief Dana Walden, ABC News president James Goldston and FX chairman John Landgraf, continue in their roles, although with more control over approving shows, particularly for the company’s streaming services.
“This is a big change to our legacy television structure, which was built around linear networks,” Rice said in a memo Tuesday. “This reorganization is an opportunity for us to fully focus on what we do best, making great programming for viewers wherever they choose to watch their favorite shows.”
The moves were sparked by a reorganization last month designed to put streaming at the center of Disney’s operations. Chief Executive Officer Bob Chapek announced the creation of a new entity called Media & Entertainment Distribution, which will handle the business affairs for the company’s array of TV channels, film and TV studios, and streaming services. Kareem Daniel, who previously led consumer products within the theme-park division, took over distribution for the Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu streaming services.
In the latest changes, Rice said his content-creation unit will now be called Disney General Entertainment Content.
The company’s online platforms — Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ — have been the main bright spot for Disney during the pandemic. The coronavirus shuttered its theme parks and hurt its movie business, with filmgoers steering clear of theaters. And cable networks, once Disney’s most profitable business, continue to lose subscribers.
Former Fox executives have gained control over a large part of Disney’s TV operations since the purchase of that company’s entertainment assets last year.
Disney put Rice, a longtime Fox executive, in charge of its television studios, cable networks and news division. Walden, another veteran of Fox, oversees the TV studios and ABC Entertainment.
The moves follow personnel changes at other Disney units. The company’s ESPN sports networks eliminated 500 positions last week and on Monday announced the departure of two senior executives.
The Burbank, California-based company reports its latest quarterly results on Thursday.
(Updates with additional executive in second paragraph.)
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