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Disney shakes up its executive wing, with streaming in mind. | Press "Enter" to skip to content

Disney shakes up its executive wing, with streaming in mind.

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Disney is the latest old-school Hollywood company to make big changes in its executive wing as the entertainment industry shifts its focus from network television and theatrical movies to streaming media.

On Tuesday, the company — home to the streaming platforms Disney+ and Hulu, as well as the ABC network and the 20th Television production studio — announced a shake-up that consolidates its TV operations.

Karey Burke, the head of ABC Entertainment, will leave the network and take over as the president of 20th Television, Disney said. Craig Erwich, the president of Hulu Originals, will keep that job and also take over as president of ABC Entertainment.

Bert Salke, the head of the company’s Touchstone Television studio, is leaving the company, having taken a producing deal. The Touchstone studio will discontinue and be folded into 20th Television.

Dana Walden, the chairman of entertainment at Walt Disney Television, said the changes would help the company deliver new programming to Disney+ and Hulu, as well as rival streaming services and networks.

“I am proud of our exceptional leadership team and all we have accomplished, but the media landscape is changing and this reorganization better positions us for the future,” Ms. Walden said in a statement.

The changes suggest the diminishing importance of what used to be one of the biggest jobs in the entertainment industry: the network head. In the streaming era, that post does not seem quite big enough for a single executive.

In a similar move in October, NBCUniversal gave Susan Rovner creative control over NBCUniversal’s television properties, including the NBC television network, the Peacock streaming service and several cable channels. (Frances Berwick is in charge of business operations at many of NBCUniversal’s television properties.)

Mr. Erwich, who has been at Hulu since 2014, has championed series like “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Pen15.” Along with continuing to find original shows for Hulu, he will oversee entertainment at ABC. Ms. Burke, who had been the head of ABC for two years, will run a major television studio as the new head of 20th Television.


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