Disney Junior names head of content, sets senior leadership team

Mickey Mouse Funhouse

Disney Branded Television has promoted Alyssa Sapire to head up all content at pre-school brand Disney Junior as SVP of development, series and strategy.

Sapire has been acting in the role since March, when Joe D’Ambrosia exited to join Sony Pictures TV, with her appointment now made permanent.

Disney Junior is the global multiplatform brand behind pre-school franchises such as Mickey Mouse Funhouse, Eureka!, Doc McStuffins, Marvel’s Spidey And His Amazing Friends and Alice’s Wonderland Bakery.

Reporting to Disney Branded Television president Ayo Davis, Sapire oversees all Disney Junior content, encompassing strategic oversight of development, current and acquired programming for linear and streaming. She also works closely with Disney Media Entertainment and Distribution to identify, develop and advance Disney Junior franchise opportunities.

During her time at Disney Junior, Sapire has built a slate of series, specials and shorts for Disney Junior that includes upcoming projects such as Young Jedi Adventures, the first Star Wars series for pre-schoolers; Doc McStuffins stop-motion shorts; SuperKitties; Kindergarten: The Musical; a new Winnie The Pooh shorts series; and recently launched series Firebuds and Rise Up, Sing Out.

Alyssa Sapire

Senior team

Following her permanent appointment, Sapire has fixed her Disney Junior senior leadership team, with Kim Berglund as VP of development, overseeing all series, specials and shorts in development, including identifying new creative talent. Meanwhile, Diane Ikemiyashiro and Lori Mozilo, both VPs of current series, will now co-lead current for the brand with oversight over all series, specials and shorts in production.

Sapire first joined Disney in 2016 and previously served as SVP of original programming. Prior to the Mouse House, she was VP of development and programming for Fremantle Media Kids & Family Group, overseeing live-action and animated series, including My Babysitter’s A Vampire, Wizards vs. Aliens and the Danger Mouse reboot.

She also served 10 years at Nickelodeon, where she helped launch Noggin and TeenNick and oversaw development and production of series including A Walk In Your Shoes. She was also a producer at Scholastic, overseeing projects for the I Spy franchise, and began her career in production and research for PBS/WNET-TV science documentaries.

“Alyssa is a dedicated champion of the power of storytelling and the absolute right leader for the Disney Junior brand,” said Davis. “She has assembled a best-in-class team and developed an incredibly strong content slate with one overarching goal: to create magical, memorable stories that provide joy, stoke curiosity and live in the hearts of young audiences everywhere.”

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