Today, The Walt Disney Company announced a broad structural reorganization of its media and entertainment businesses. Under this new structure, the company will be focusing on developing and producing original content for their streaming services, which include Disney Plus, Hulu and ESPN Plus.
Three groups will be responsible for producing content for film, linear TV and streaming services: studios, general entertainment and sports, under the purview of Alan F. Horn and Alan Bergman, Peter Rice, and James Pitaro.
- 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,” said CEO Bob Chapek in a statement. “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.”
Also during this reorganization, distribution and commercialization activities will be centralized into a single, global Media and Entertainment Distribution organization overseen by Kareem Daniel, formerly President, Consumer Products, Games and Publishing.
“I’m honored to be able to lead this new organization during such a pivotal and exciting time for our Company, and I’m grateful to Bob for giving me the opportunity,” said Daniel. “It’s a tremendous privilege to work with the talented and dedicated teams that will comprise this group, and I look forward to a close collaboration with the outstanding and incredibly successful team of creative content leaders at the Company, as together we build on the success we’ve already achieved in our DTC and legacy distribution business.”
The reorganization is effective immediately, and Disney’s financial reporting will switch to the new structure in Q1 of fiscal 2021.
The Company also announced it will hold a virtual Investor Day on December 10, where it will present further details of its direct-to-consumer strategies.