As part of the integration planning for its pending acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox, The Walt Disney Co. will restructure its Media Networks segment, conditional upon closing of the 21st Century Fox transaction. Under the new structure, several 21st Century Fox executives would assume leadership roles at Disney.
These executives will include Peter Rice as chairman of Walt Disney Television and co-chair of Disney Media Networks; Dana Walden as chairman of Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment; John Landgraf as chairman of FX Networks and FX Productions; and Gary Knell as chairman of National Geographic Partners.
Rice, currently president of 21st Century Fox and chairman and CEO of Fox Networks Group, will report directly to Robert A. Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. The new organization under Rice will include ABC Television Network, ABC Studios, the ABC Owned Television Stations Group, Disney Channels, Freeform, Twentieth Century Fox Television, FX Networks and FX Productions, Fox 21 Television Studios, and the National Geographic channels.
Walden’s portfolio will include Twentieth Century Fox Television and Fox 21 Television Studios, as well as ABC Entertainment, ABC Studios, Freeform, and the ABC Owned Television Stations Group. Ms. Walden is currently Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fox Television Group.
Ben Sherwood, co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney ABC Television Group, will remain in his current role during the transition period until the acquisition closes.
Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox received formal approval from shareholders of both companies, and Disney and 21st Century Fox entered into a consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice that allows the acquisition to proceed, while requiring the sale of the Fox Sports Regional Networks. The transaction is subject to a number of non-U.S. merger and other regulatory reviews.