Walt Disney TV, EMEA and Asia Pacific are reorganising in an expansion drive, both into new technology and into new business areas, which take effect on Jan. 1, 2006. Leading off the new structure is Robert Gilby who joins Disney Channel UK and Disney Channel Scandinavia and the Middle East as vp/md.
Gilby most recently was vp, network development and strategic marketing for Turner Ent. Networks Asia in Hong Kong.
Geoff Ellis, vp/md of Disney Channel, Scandinavia and the Middle East, moves up to svp, business development and distribution. In this newly created role, he oversees major Disney Channel distribution deals and looks for fresh business opportunities in new technology, as well as spearhead expansion into other countries.
Melissa Dixon, vp, finance, EMEA, becomes vp, business operations and finance, in Hong Kong. Simon Bailey, formerly vp/deputy md, Disney Channel UK, becomes vp of business operations and finance, Walt Disney TV, EMEA.
Casper Bjorner, marketing director, Disney Channel, Scandinavia, becomes exec director, marketing for the U.K., Scandinavia and the Middle East, reporting to Gilby, and Nick Fuggle becomes finance director, also reporting to Gilby.
John Hardie, md/evp of Walt Disney TV, EMEA said, We want more people to get to see Disney Channels and this new structure will allow our talented team to concentrate even more on harnessing new technology and expanding into other countries in the region.
Since 1995 Disney Channel, Playhouse Disney and Toon Disney have been successfully launched throughout Europe, Middle East and Africa and can be seen throughout 38 countries in the region. With local operations based in London, Paris, Madrid, Milan, Munich, Lisbon and Stockholm, each channel remains individual with a mix of local programming and the core Disney hit programming. There are also 40 Disney branded blocks, which can be seen in more than 30 countries, airing some 100 hours of Disney programming per week on free TV.
abc1 launched on Freeview in September 2004 and on ntl digital and Telewest Broadband in December 2004. In August of this year, the channel went 24 hours on Sky Digital. abc1s schedule focuses on high quality U.S acquisitions including drama, comedy and serials, many of which have never been seen in the UK before.
Walt Disney Television International (Asia Pacific) (WDTVI AP) is responsible for all of The Walt Disney Co.s free and pay television activities across the Asia Pacific region (excluding Japan). These activities include branded and non-branded program distribution through Buena Vista International Television (Asia Pacific), as well as production, broadcasting, development and management of Disney Channels and other media investments. Disney Branded Television oversees WDTVI (AP)s pay TV channels such as Disney Channel, Playhouse Disney Channel and Toon Disney, now seen in 15 territories region-wide, as well as Disney Clubs and Disney branded programming blocks on free-to-air networks, reaching more than 380 million households in the region.