Anticipating the finalization of its acquisition of 21st Century Fox, Disney Monday outlined its initial post-merger executives lineup, including the appointment of a pair of Fox execs to high-ranking positions in the merged company.
Peter Rice, president of 21st Century Fox, will take on the role of chairman of Walt Disney Television and co-chair of Disney Media Networks. Dana Walden, chair of the Fox Television Group, will become chair of Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment.
FX CEO John Landgraf will remain chairman of FX Networks and FX Productions, while Gary Knell, chairman of national Geographic Partners, will maintain his post.
“The strength of 21st Century Fox’s first-class management talent has always been a compelling part of this opportunity for us,” said Robert A. Iger, chairman/CEO of The Walt Disney Co. “Upon completion of the acquisition, this new structure positions these proven leaders to help drive maximum value from a greatly enhanced portfolio of incredible brands and businesses.”
According to Disney, Walden, Landgraf and Knell will report directly to Rice, as will Gary Marsh, president an chief creative officer of Disney Channels Worldwide, and James Goldston, president of ABC News.
Ben Sherwood, co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group, will leave the company once the $71.3 billion acquisition is finalized, but he will retain his position until then.
“I want to personally thank Ben Sherwood for his years of service at ABC and Disney,” Iger said. “Ben has been a valued colleague, and I deeply appreciate his many contributions and insights, as well as his professionalism and cooperation in this transition.”
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