Disney has tapped former GM of the recently shuttered DisneyToon Studios, Meredith Roberts, for the newly created position of SVP of animation strategy for Disney Channels.
In her new role, Roberts will steer the creative strategy for all animated content produced by Disney Television Animation and other studios for Disney Junior, Disney Channel, Disney XD and related platforms. As a member of the Women in Animation advisory board, she will also be working to create an inclusive and supportive culture in the office.
Roberts will report to Nancy Kanter, EVP of content and creative strategy for Disney Channels Worldwide and GM of Disney Junior Worldwide.
Eric Coleman‘s role as SVP of original programming and GM of Disney Television Animation, and Lisa Salamone’s position as SVP of production, are not affected by the creation of this new position. Coleman will continue to lead day-to-day creative development and current series at Disney TV Animation, while Salamone will remain responsible for all animation production across Disney Channels. Coleman will report to Roberts, as will Disney Channels’ VPs of original programming Emily Hart and Alyssa Sapire. Salamone, meanwhile, now has a dual report to Roberts and Susette Hsiung, Disney Channels’ EVP of network production management and operations.
Prior to the newly created role, Roberts most recently served for 11 years as GM of DisneyToon Studios, which Disney announced it was closing in June. The operation created a number of direct-to-video releases including the popular Fairies franchise, and the Planes theatrical movies. The end of DisneyToon comes as the company looks to shift its attention to the direct-to-consumer streaming business when it launches its own SVOD service next year under the leadership of Disney’s direct-to-consumer and international chairman, Kevin Mayer, and the SVOD’s newly appointed president of content and marketing, Ricky Strauss.
Prior to DisneyToon, Roberts worked for three years as SVP of creative affairs for Disney Television Animation where she was instrumental in the success of shows including Phineas and Ferb, Kim Possible, The Emperor’s New School and Lilo & Stitch.
Her return to Disney Television Animation follows the departure of the division’s director of development, Kimberly Dennison, who recently became the VP of creative development for the US office of French prodco Gaumont.