Disney Media Distribution chief exiting

Ben Pyne is leaving The Walt Disney Company after a quarter of a century.

Ben PyneFor the past decade, Pyne has been president of Disney Media Distribution, the sales arm of the Mouse House.

A successor is expected to be in place by the time Pyne leaves the Burbank-based studio in the late summer.

“Ben’s reputation in our industry is second-to-none,” said Bruce Rosenblum, president, business operations, at Disney-ABC Television Group. “What he’s built here at Disney, and what he’s been able to accomplish over the past 25 years, is truly remarkable. While we’ll be sad to see him leave, we’re excited to see what his next chapter holds.”

Pyne has been reporting into former Warner Bros. Television chief Rosenblum since September last year.

Rosenblum’s role, which focuses on bolstering revenues, handed him overall control of global distribution.

“I am honoured to have had such an amazing career at The Walt Disney Company, which has been rich with unique experiences and incredible accomplishments, and prepared me well for my next opportunity,” said Pyne. “It has been a special privilege to help build and grow brands, networks and programming that touch and enrich the lives of viewers all around the world.”

During Pyne’s time at the Hollywood studio, Disney Channel has gone from a US cable channel with 6.5 million subscribers to a service with 100 milion US subs and more than 500 million international customers in 107 territories.

He has also overseen the roll-out of the Disney Channel On Demand and ABC’s fast-forward-disabling on-demand offer, a first for the industry back in 2007, the year he was named president of global distribution at Disney Media Networks, which merged with Walt Disney International to form Disney’s sales arm in its current form, DMD.