As this year’s kids upfront market approaches, the advertising community will be getting to know a newcomer at ABC quickly, with Gary Montanus recently appointed as senior VP of New York-based Disney Kids Network. Montanus becomes the group’s new head after most recently serving as executive VP of content acquisition and advertising sales for Internet video-streaming service Microcast.
Formed last March, Disney Kids Network brings together advertising sales for Disney’s One Saturday Morning on ABC; Disney’s One Too syndicated block on UPN; and Toon Disney, which began airing ads last September. The unit also works closely with Disney Channel (which is not ad-supported), as well as the ad sales departments of Disney Adventures, Radio Disney and Disney.com.
‘What we’re trying to do with Disney Kids Network is set this up as the first port of call for people in the advertising/marketing community. We’ll help facilitate whatever they’re trying to accomplish with the Disney company’ in the kids area, says Montanus.
As well, ‘the idea behind this unit is to help coordinate cross-promotional sales opportunities between all of those different components,’ says Montanus. The move may also help to drive more business to other Disney kids units by tying them in with new efforts. ‘The biggest challenge,’ he says, is ‘getting all the groups to work in unison for a common goal,’ typical growing pains for an organization undertaking such a move. Disney Kids Network has 17 staff.
Montanus replaces Disney Kids Network’s former head Dan Barnathan, who will continue consulting for the unit. Prior to working at Microcast, Montanus did a stint at World Vision selling the Hanna Barbera syndicated library.