Disney Streamlines Television Animation Division
In an effort to strategically streamline and organize its children's television animation programming, production and distribution under one business unit, Disney has moved Television Animation into the Disney Channel Worldwide division with former Television Animation executive vice president Barry Blumberg replacing David Stainton as president, Walt Disney Television Animation. Blumberg will be responsible for producing television animation that will appear on Disney's global kids' television platforms, including the "ABC Kids" programming block on ABC. He will report to Anne Sweeney, president, ABC Cable Networks Group and Disney Channel Worldwide. "By moving television animation to our cable group, we are combining production and development with programming and distribution: a model that has worked extremely well for our motion picture studio, and for Touchstone Television and the ABC Television network. This structure is optimal for creating successful television animation product for global distribution and for maximizing growth potential," said Robert A. Iger, president and COO, The Walt Disney Company. Blumberg joined Walt Disney Television Animation in 1994 as director of development and has held a series of positions of increasing responsibility, most recently as executive vice president, Television Animation. During his tenure, he has helped launch such notable endeavors as "Disney's One Saturday Morning" television programming block on ABC, which at its inception in September 1997 featured the popular RECESS and PEPPER ANN animated series. He was also instrumental in bringing the KIM POSSIBLE series to the Disney Channel in June 2002 and Disney's THE LEGEND OF TARZAN to the UPN and international television in September 2002. Blumberg's new appointment is part of Disney's reorganization of its theatrical and animation units to improve overall use of resources and to continue the focus on the creation of new characters and franchise properties. As part of this change, Disney also announced that Tom Schumacher has been named president, Buena Vista Theatrical, the business unit that oversees live stage productions around the world, and David Stainton has been named president, Walt Disney Feature Animation.