GARY MARSH (PRESIDENT AND CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER, DISNEY CHANNELS WORLDWIDE)
People Moves

Gary Marsh takes on new role in Disney’s restructure

As the company flips its attention to streaming, the former president of Disney Channels takes the helm as president and CCO of the newly formed Disney Branded Television unit.
November 11, 2020

Following last month’s announcement that Disney was reorganizing to focus on streaming, chairman of general entertainment and content Peter Rice has unveiled the new operating structure.

Moving forward, Disney will separate content creation from distribution and commercialization. Rice’s team has been rebranded as Disney General Entertainment Content (DGE), and is charged with developing, producing and marketing content for both streaming and linear platforms.

Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution will handle the distribution and monetization of content, and is tasked with the logistics of running the networks and SVOD platforms. This shift means that, for the first time, Disney’s TV department will no longer be structured around linear networks, according to Rice in a memo.

He clarified that greenlight power lies with the DGE team rather than the distribution unit, but both will work together on content planning and to determine platform needs. As a result of these changes, all original Disney content will eventually make its way onto one of the media conglom’s streamers, even if it airs on a linear channel first.

To accommodate the changes, several people have shuffled jobs. Gary Marsh (pictured), previously president of Disney Channels, has moved into a president and chief creative officer position for Disney Branded Television. He will lead  all Disney-branded TV content made by DGE for kids, tweens, teens and families, spanning live-action and animated movies and series, as well as unscripted series and specials. His role also includes oversight of all shows the TV production team makes for Disney+.

Moving forward, the Disney+ unscripted content and production teams will roll into the DGE group, and report to Marsh.

But the features, Pixar, Lucasfilm and Marvel teams will all handle their own content and any spinoffs that fall under their brands for Disney+.

Ravi Ahuja has shifted into a new role as president of business operations for DGE, John Landgraf is now at the helm of FX as chairman, and James Goldston has been promoted to president of ABC News. Gary Knell is now the chairman of National Geographic Partners, working with Courtney Monroe as president of National Geographic content.

Finally, Dana Walden will serve as chairman of entertainment for Walt Disney Television, which oversees development and production operations for the older-skewing Disney Television Studios, Hulu Originals, ABC Entertainment and Freeform banners.

As part of the reorg, marketing, publicity and media planning activities will be consolidated and function as agencies. Jayanta Jenkins will join DGE as head of content marketing for Disney+ and general entertainment, which includes Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD and Nat Geo.

About The Author
Alexandra Whyte is Kidscreen's News & Social Media Editor. Contact her at awhyte@brunico.com

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