The high-level streaming shuffles continue, as a former Netflix director departs the service to join Disney+ platform. Tehmina Jaffer joins Disney as its new SVP of business affairs for its soon-to-launch streaming service, after spending four years at Netflix as its director of original series.
In her new role, Jaffer will lead all areas of the Disney+’s business affairs strategy, policy and procedure, working with the platform’s content and marketing team. She will head up the coordination and negotiation of development, production and talent deals, as well as contracts, rights, acquisitions, clearances and content agreements. She’ll report to Ricky Strauss, Disney+ president of content and marketing.
Additionally, she will closely partner with Disney’s content groups that are developing and producing originals exclusively for the streamer, including Walt Disney Studios, Disney-ABC Television, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Marvel Entertainment, and Lucasfilm, as well as external third-party production entities.
During her time at Netflix, Jaffer oversaw deals for licensed and owned original series and managed one of the SVOD’s drama series business teams. She also helped develop overall business strategies for series, including the popular Thirteen Reasons Why, Narcos, and Maniac. Prior to Netflix, she was VP of business affairs at NBC Universal.
Her appointment follows yesterday’s news that Disney’s VPs of original production Emily Hart and Alyssa Sapire, as well as the company’s new VP of creative and artistic development Shane Prigmore, will add development of animated programming for Disney+ to their remits.
The Disney+ senior executive ranks also recently welcomed former Jackal Group president and Fox Television Group COO Joe Earley as its new EVP of marketing and operations. He will work closely with the customer acquisition marketing group, and also oversee programming-related operations for Disney-owned groups, as well as third-party entities.
Expected to launch in the US later this year, Disney+ will feature a slate of exclusive content that already includes live-action Star Wars series The Mandalorian, from showrunner Jon Favreau (The Lion King); Disney Channel’s new High School Musical: The Musical series; a TV adaptation of Pixar’s popular movie Monsters Inc.; and 12 episodes of returning animated hit Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
While pricing information is yet-to-be released, Disney included a line item about its direct-to-consumer business, for the first time, in its Q1 earnings report. (The segment’s revenue decreased 1% to US$918 million and operating loss increased to US$136 million, from US$42 million.) More detailed information about the service is expected to be revealed after Disney Investor Day on April 11.
As Disney+ ramps up its launch plans, other Disney media divisions are seeing changes, too. Today, Disney hired Craig Hunegs as its new president of Disney Television Studios. Hunegs formerly served as Warner Bros. Television Group’s president of business and strategy, as well as president of Warner Bros. Digital Networks.
In his new role, Hunegs will oversee operations for Disney Television Studios, which includes ABC Studios, ABC Signature, Twentieth Century Fox Television and Fox 21 Television Studios. He will report to Dana Walden, who assumes the chairman’s role for Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment following the close of Disney’s 21st Century Fox acquisition, which is expected early this year upon the completion of a number of non-US merger and regulatory reviews.