The Walt Disney Company has unveiled details about the organizational structure for its media networks businesses following the acquisition of 21st Century Fox, with Peter Rice tapped to co-chair Disney Media Networks and Dana Walden set to run Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment.
“The strength of 21st Century Fox’s first-class management talent has always been a compelling part of this opportunity for us,” said Robert A. Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. “Upon completion of the acquisition, this new structure positions these proven leaders to help drive maximum value from a greatly enhanced portfolio of incredible brands and businesses.”
Rice, currently president of 21st Century Fox and chairman and CEO of Fox Networks Group, is being named chairman of Walt Disney Television and co-chair of Disney Media Networks, reporting directly to Iger. His remit includes ABC Television Network, ABC Studios, the ABC Owned Television Stations Group, Disney Channels, Freeform, Twentieth Century Fox Television, FX Networks and FX Productions, Fox 21 Television Studios, and the National Geographic channels.
“I love making television and have been fortunate to work with incredibly talented executives and storytellers,” said Rice. “Disney is the world’s preeminent creative company, and I look forward to working for Bob, and with his exceptional leadership team, to build on that amazing legacy. I also want to thank Rupert, Lachlan and James Murdoch for the privilege of working on such a wide array of movies and television, both entertainment and sports. It has been a wonderful 30 years.”
Reporting to Rice will be Walden, chairman of Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment; John Landgraf, chairman of FX Networks and FX Productions; Gary E. Knell, chairman of National Geographic Partners; Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer of Disney Channels Worldwide; and James Goldston, president of ABC News.
As chairman of Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment, Walden’s portfolio will include Twentieth Century Fox Television and Fox 21 Television Studios, as well as ABC Entertainment, ABC Studios, Freeform and the ABC Owned Television Stations Group. She is currently chairman and CEO of Fox Television Group.
Reporting to Walden will be Channing Dungey, president of ABC Entertainment; Patrick Moran, president of ABC Studios; Jonathan Davis and Howard Kurtzman, presidents of Twentieth Century Fox Television; Bert Salke, president of Fox 21 Television Studios; Tom Ascheim, president of Free form; and Wendy McMahon, president of the ABC Owned Television Stations Group.
Ben Sherwood, co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney|ABC Television Group, will remain in his current role during the transition period until the acquisition closes.