The Walt Disney Company is reorganizing and streamlining its media and entertainment business to put its burgeoning and rapidly growing streaming arm at the center of its entertainment future.
As part of the reorganization, the company will handle distribution and marketing, including the ad sales team of Disney ad manager Rita Ferro under the Media and Entertainment sales group, which will also be responsible for Disney streaming services such as Disney +, ESPN, Hulu and a upcoming international streamer, which the company will premiere in 2021.
Kareem Daniel, a 14-year-old Disney veteran who previously served as President of Consumer Products, Games and Publishing, will now lead the Media and Entertainment division. His responsibilities include distribution, operations, sales, advertising, data and technology for all of Disney’s content engines, as well as managing the operation of Disney’s streaming services and the company’s domestic television networks.
He will report directly to Disney CEO Bob Chapek, who took office earlier this year after former CEO Bob Iger decided to step down.
“Given the incredible success of Disney + and our plans to accelerate our direct customer business, we are strategically positioning our company to more effectively support our growth strategy and increase shareholder value,” Chapek said in a statement. “By managing the creation of content differently from distribution, we can make the content consumers want most, more effectively and flexibly, and deliver it as they prefer. Our creative teams will focus on what they do best – creating world-class, franchise-based content – while our re-centered global sales team will focus on delivering and delivering that content optimally across all platforms including Disney +, Hulu monetize. ESPN + and the upcoming international star streaming service. “
As part of the new organizational structure, content creation across the company will be divided into three groups: studios, general entertainment, and sports. Alan Horn and Alan Bergman will serve as Chair and Studio Content, overseeing the theatrical and episodic content focused on Disney’s franchise portfolio, including Lucasfilm and Pixar. Peter Rice will serve as general entertainment content chairman, focusing on general entertainment programming for streaming distribution as well as Disney’s cable and broadcast networks, including ABC, Freeform, FX and National Geographic. James Pitaro will serve as Chair of ESPN and Sports Content, overseeing live sports programming and non-scripted sports-related content for ESPN + as well as ABC and Cable Properties.
They will all work with Daniel on marketing and content creation, the company said.
“As we’re now trying to grow our direct customer business quickly, a primary focus will be on delivering and monetizing our great content as optimally as possible, and I can’t think of anyone better placed to lead this effort than Kareem. Said Chapek. “His wealth of experience will enable him to effectively bring the company’s sales, advertising, marketing and sales functions together to create a distribution powerhouse that will serve all of Disney’s media and entertainment businesses.”
The reorganization, which will take effect immediately, means that Disney will stop reporting its direct-to-consumer and international (DTCI) segment as a combined entity next year. That unit had previously fallen into the purview of an executive from the start, and after Kevin Mayer, chairman of international operations and direct customer, abruptly departed earlier this year to become the short-lived CEO of streaming app TikTok, it went down on Disney- Veteran Rebecca Campbell.
In May, shortly after Mayer’s exit, Disney had returned DTCI’s advertising sales division to its Media Networks group. It was around this time that Ferro, Rice, and Pitaro, then co-chair of Disney Media Networks, began reporting. Under the new structure, she will now report to Daniel.
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