People/Biz

Peter Rice out at Disney; Dana Walden to take top TV content role

Peter Rice is exiting his position as chairman, Disney General Entertainment Content (DGE), with Dana Walden, most recently chairman of entertainment for Walt Disney Television, taking the post. The move appears ...
June 9, 2022

Peter Rice is exiting his position as chairman, Disney General Entertainment Content (DGE), with Dana Walden, most recently chairman of entertainment for Walt Disney Television, taking the post.

The move appears to have taken much of the entertainment landscape by surprise, as Rice had signed a new contract last summer and was recently seen during Disney’s upfronts, touting the company’s efforts in TV and streaming.

Rice, like longtime colleague Walden, joined the Walt Disney Company in 2019 during its acquisition of the assets of 21st Century Fox. He had oversight of original entertainment and news offerings of the DGE roster, which covers streaming platforms Disney+, Hulu and Star, and its cable and broadcast networks. The portfolio includes 20th Television, ABC Entertainment, ABC News, ABC Signature, Disney Branded Television, Freeform, FX, Hulu Originals, National Geographic and Onyx Collective.

Prior to arriving at Disney, he’d previously served as president of 21st Century Fox, and chairman and CEO of Fox Networks Group.

Trade reports have not isolated a reason for Rice’s departure and the company has not provided comment.

Walden’s appointment begins immediately, and she reports directly to Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek.

In her previous post, Walden oversaw Disney Television Studios (20th Television, ABC Signature, 20th Television Animation and Walt Disney Television Alternative), as well as 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,” Chapek said in a statement.

“Her well-earned reputation for championing creative talent and developing programming that truly captures the cultural zeitgeist has resulted in hit after hit, from ABC’s Abbott Elementary and Onyx Collective’s Academy Award-winning Summer of Soul, to Hulu Originals like Only Murders in the Building, Dopesick, The Dropout and The Kardashians. She and Peter have worked closely together for years to create the best programming in the industry, and I can think of no one better than Dana to lead Disney General Entertainment to even greater heights.”

Walden added: “Disney General Entertainment’s culture of creative excellence and originality has made us home to many of the most talented creators in the business. I am humbled to lead this team, and I am confident that together, we will continue to build on the foundation of culture-defining entertainment we have achieved so far.”

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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