Disney is moving closer to how things used to be in terms of content as it creates a new Disney Entertainment unit that will include TV and film.
The new corporate division, which will be separate for ESPN and the Parks, Experience and Product units, will be led by Dana Walden and Alan Bergman.
Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger revealed the new structure on the company’s latest earnings call, as part of a “significant transformation” at the company that he said will “maximize the potential of our world-class creative teams.”
It officially broke up Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, which was built by former CEO Bob Chapek and led by Kareem Daniel, who left last year. This unit separated the way content and distribution decisions were made and removed decision-making power from the creative teams.
“Our new structure aims to give greater authority back to our creative leaders and hold them accountable for how their content performs financially. Our former structure severed that link, and must be restored,” Iger said on the earnings call.
We’re hearing that the changes, which bring direct-to-consumer streaming services like Disney+ and Hulu, though not ESPN+, under the new division, will be implemented immediately and are designed to return greater authority to its creative leaders. .
It comes, though, as the company faces thousands of layoffs and it’s unclear how many of those will be in the entertainment division, as well as a drive to cut $3B in content costs.
Walden and Bergman, who is chairman of Disney Studios Content, overseeing the film side, become vice presidents.
That cemented the rise of Walden, who was named chairman of Disney General Entertainment Content last year after Peter Rice was ousted.
Walden, who came to Disney from Fox after the $71B acquisition, has been instrumental in several big wins for Disney over the past few years, including an Oscar win. summer of the soul, and the debut of the ABC breakout comedy series Abbott Elementary And Hulu is such a hit Just murder in the building, dopsic And The Kardashians.
In September, he began assembling his first major personnel moves, promoting longtime FX exec Eric Schrier to president of Disney Television Studios and Business Operations, Disney General Entertainment, and Craig Erwich to president of ABC Entertainment, Hulu and Disney-branded television streaming. Originals and Shannon Ryan President, Marketing, Disney General Entertainment.
How these moves will change the way various television properties are managed remains to be seen with suggestions that various television studios, including 20m Century Television and ABC signings may be close.
Bergman was promoted to chairman of content at Disney Studios in December 2020, reporting to Chappe. He previously served as co-chairman with Alan Horne in 2019.
Bergman, a nearly 27-year Disney vet, presided over creative, production, marketing and ops for Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, Twentieth Century Studios, Searchlight and other Disney studio content in his previous role as co-chairman. Disney Theatrical Productions. Prior to 2019, he served as president of Walt Disney Studios for 14 years. Bergman is known for his financial savvy when it comes to creative content, and Disney’s track record especially underscores that return to theaters. Disney leads all studios at the global box office in 2022 with $4.9 billion.
Bergman was instrumental in the 2012 acquisition of Lucasfilm and the 2019 merger with 20th Century Studios, which led to Disney’s box office record of $7 billion worldwide in 2016 and 2018 and $11 billion in 2019, with a diverse slate of Lucasfilm, Marvel, Disfilmer, Disney, and more. had arrived Animated and live action movies.
Anthony D’Alessandro contributed to this story.