Walt Disney Co. unveiled plans for a new organizational structure for its Media Networks segment, conditional upon closing of the company's transaction to acquire 21st Century Fox Inc. assets.
Under the new structure, several Fox executives would assume leadership roles at the Disney business segment once the acquisition closes, as Fox's businesses are incorporated into Disney, the company said Oct. 8.
Peter Rice will become chairman of Walt Disney Television and co-chair of Disney Media Networks. The new organization under Rice will include ABC (US), ABC Studios, the ABC Owned Television Stations Group, Disney Channels, Freeform (US), Twentieth Century Fox Television, FX Networks LLC and FX Productions, Fox 21 Television Studios, and the National Geographic channels.
Rice's appointment will become effective upon completion of the acquisition. Rice is currently the president of 21st Century Fox and chairman and CEO of Fox Networks Group. People who will report to Rice include Dana Walden, chairman, Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment; John Landgraf, chairman of FX Networks and FX Productions; and ABC News President James Goldston.
Ben Sherwood, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney|ABC Television Group, will retain his current role during the transition period until the acquisition closes.
Disney's acquisition of 21st Century Fox has received formal approval from shareholders of both companies, and Disney and 21st Century Fox have 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.
Lachlan Murdoch, the future chairman and CEO of FOX, the company to be spun off in connection with 21st Century Fox's merger with Disney, recently unveiled new leadership across the company's sports, distribution, ad sales operations and corporate functions.