Disney shake-up as Peter Rice ousted, Dana Walden upped to DGE chairman

Dana Walden

Disney has named entertainment chairman Dana Walden as chairman of Disney General Entertainment Content with immediate effect, following the exit of incumbent Peter Rice.

Rice was reportedly ousted from the role earlier this week in a sudden and unexpected shake-up by CEO Bob Chapek, who took over from long-serving Disney head Bob Iger last year.

Walden acquires Rice’s substantial remit, overseeing general entertainment and news programming for the Mouse House’s streaming platforms Disney+, Hulu and Star, as well as cable and broadcast networks. These include ABC Entertainment, ABC News, Disney Branded Television, Disney Television Studios, Freeform, FX, Hulu Originals, National Geographic Content and Onyx Collective.

Peter Rice

Both Walden and Rice joined Disney in 2019 upon the company’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox. Walden had served as chairman and CEO of Fox Television Group, while Rice was then president of 21st Century Fox and chairman and CEO of Fox Networks Group.

The two execs worked closely together for many years and in a press release Walden said it was a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” to take over Rice’s “amazingly talented team.”

As chairman of entertainment for Walt Disney Television, Walden oversaw Disney Television Studios (20th Television, ABC Signature, 20th Television Animation and Walt Disney Television Alternative), the original entertainment slates and content marketing for ABC, Freeform, Hulu Originals and Onyx Collective.

“Dana is a dynamic, collaborative leader and cultural force who in just three years has transformed our television business into a content powerhouse that consistently delivers the entertainment audiences crave,” said Chapek.

“Her well-earned reputation for championing creative talent and developing programming that truly captures the cultural zeitgeist has resulted in hit after hit,” added the Disney boss, further praising Walden for her work on shows including ABC’s Abbott Elementary, Onyx Collective’s Academy Award-winning Summer Of Soul, and Hulu Originals like Only Murders In The Building and The Kardashians.

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