Disney Entertainment co-chairperson Dana Walden has solidified her senior leadership team, extending the purview of John Landgraf and Simran Sethi.
Under the reorganization, the FX boss will add National Geographic and Onyx Collective to his oversight. Tara Duncan, formerly president of Freeform and Onyx Collective, will focus exclusively on Onyx, which remains a “huge priority” for the company as its roster of creators and series continue to grow. Meanwhile, National Geographic president Courtney Monroe will continue to focus on Nat Geo, including its digital footprint and iconic magazine, along with its original content strategy.
As part of the changes, Sethi will now oversee Freeform programming and development, which will be combined with ABC Entertainment. Sethi will report to ABC Entertainment and Hulu originals president Craig Erwich.
Ayo Davis, who has worked with Erwich over the past six months on Disney Branded Television streaming originals, will continue to report to him for streaming. That reporting structure will expand to also include Disney Channel and Disney Junior development and programming.
Debra OConnell will continue to oversee networks and ABC Owned Television Stations, and will add research, labor relations and TV business operations to her purview. Disney Television Studios will remain under Eric Schrier, who will expand his responsibilities to include global original television strategy, working closely with the company’s regional leaders.
The changes come after returning CEO Bob Iger dismantled Disney’s Media and Entertainment Distribution unit. Alan Bergman is leading Disney Entertainment alongside Walden, while Jimmy Pitaro is helming ESPN and Josh D’Amaro is in charge of Disney Parks.
Read Walden’s full memo to staff below:
Since the announcement of Disney Entertainment, I’ve spent time thinking about how to organize my team in a way that will enable me to focus on my newly expanded role, in partnership with Alan. I will continue to rely on the same incredible leaders who have delivered hit after hit onto our platforms and into our rich library, but have made some changes to our structure, which are outlined below:
- Onyx Collective remains a huge priority, and as its impressive roster of creators and series continues to grow, Tara Duncan will now focus exclusively on Onyx.
- National Geographic Content recently earned its third Oscar nomination and has attracted some of the biggest stars to its impressive slate of series and doc films. Courteney Monroe will now oversee all aspects of the brand, including its digital footprint and iconic magazine, along with its original content strategy.
- Tara and Courteney will now report directly to John Landgraf, combining the strength of three prestigious brands.
- As Tara’s focus shifts to Onyx, Freeform programming and development will be combined with ABC Entertainment, and Simran Sethi will oversee both. This represents Simran’s return to a brand she helped launch. She will continue to report to Craig Erwich.
- Over the past six months, Ayo Davis and Craig have worked together very successfully on Disney Branded Television streaming originals. Ayo will continue to report to Craig for streaming, and now that structure will expand to also include the development and programming of Disney Channel and Disney Junior.
- Debra OConnell, who recently joined my leadership team, will continue to oversee networks and ABC Owned Television Stations, and will add research, labor relations and TV business operations to her purview.
- Disney Television Studios will remain under Eric Schrier, who will expand his responsibilities to include our global original television strategy, working closely with our talented regional leaders.
Great stories are the lifeblood of our company, and I will remain deeply connected to the creative side of our business. As we begin our new chapter together, I have the utmost confidence in this team of proven and formidable leaders. I am very grateful to Bob for reuniting and realigning our company in such a meaningful way.
I want you all to know how much I appreciate your passion and your pursuit of excellence, which will be key to our success in the months and years ahead.