Newly appointed president of Disney General Entertainment Content, overseeing Disney’s television and streaming platforms, Dana Walden has sent a memo to staff regarding the management reshuffle which has seen her take the job from Peter Rice.
What is happening:
- Dana Walden, the new president of Disney General Entertainment Content, which oversees all television programming and content in its various guises, issued a memo to studio staff.
- The memo is Walden’s first response that addresses the management reshuffle that saw her take the job held by her former boss, Peter Rice, before he was ousted by Disney CEO Bob Chapek.
- In the memo, Walden acknowledges his friendship with Rice that spanned many decades, as well as his time working with Rice as boss for 8 years. She also expressed her gratitude to Disney CEO Bob Chapek for promoting her to the position which she called “this opportunity of a lifetime”. Walden, like Rice, joined Disney in 2019 after acquiring 21st Century Fox.
- You can read Walden’s full memo below:
Dana Walden’s full memo:
As I enter the first week of my new job, I wanted to start by letting you know how amazed and impressed I am with all of you every day. Let me give you a few reasons:
ABC Entertainment finished the broadcast season as the No. 1 entertainment network among adults 18-49 for the third year in a row – the first time that has happened in 25 years. ABBOTT ELEMENTARY is a smash hit and is the first aired comedy in over a decade to be 100% Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes in its first season.
ABC News continues to dominate as the #1 NEWS NETWORK IN AMERICA!
Disney Television Studios had one of the most famous series of all series in the last decade with IT’S US. In addition to a ratings record for its finale, it has the distinction of being the No. 1 broadcast drama in every aired season. GRAY’S ANATOMY has surpassed 400 episodes and after 18 seasons is still one of the highest rated shows on television.
Disney Branded Television, the primary provider of original content for the Disney thumbnail on Disney+did disney channel the #1 cable network among girls ages 6-11 for 52 consecutive quarters and has led Disney Junior to the #1 preschool network rank since 2013.
free form remains the season’s leading prime-time entertainment cable network for adults 18-34 and women 18-34. CRUEL SUMMER earned record ratings, ranking as the network’s top series debut.
Effects has two of the top 5 scripted series on cable among adults 18-49 – SNOWFALL and MC MAYANS. – plus two of the top 5 scripted comedies on primetime cable among adults 18-49 – WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOW and IT IS ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA.
Hulu Originals has launched its most-watched drama series of all time, NINE PERFECT STRANGERS; the most watched comedy of all time, ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING; and the most-watched unscripted series of all time, THE KARDASHIANSwhich was also the premiere of Hulu’s most-watched series.
National Geographic Documentary Films has released an Oscar, BAFTA and seven-time Emmy Award-winning film, FREE SOLOand Oscar, Emmy and Peabody nominated film, THE CAVE. National Geographic earned two BAFTA nominations for THE RESCUE and BECOME COUSTEAU.
Onyx Collective’s first project, SUMMER OF SOUL (…OR, WHEN THE REVOLUTION CANNOT BE TELEVISED)a partnership with Searchlight Pictures, won an Academy Award, a Peabody, a GRAMMY, a BAFTA, swept the Critics Choice Awards, and also won over 60 awards from critics groups and guilds.
Last year alone, across all of our brands, our programming received over 1,000 award nominations!!!
It’s Disney General Entertainment! All of these victories, and many more, are YOURS!
And this is the basis on which we will build together. I promise you that I will do everything I can to support you and ensure that DGE is the best place in the business to work. A place that thrives on creativity and creative risk-taking; a place where people can bring their true, authentic selves to work every day; a place where inclusion is the top priority and where collaboration is celebrated; and a place where we will never stop working to be the best home for talent. Let’s not forget we’re in the business of storytelling – what’s cooler than that? Let’s celebrate each other’s wins, show up for each other, watch each other’s shows, and connect even more together as a team.
Reflecting on my own professional journey, I am very fortunate to have worked alongside Peter Rice for a long time. We’ve been friends for almost three decades and he was my boss for eight years. He’s a gifted executive, and I learned a lot from him. I know you all join me in wishing him the best in whatever he chooses to do next.
Finally, I would like to express my immense gratitude to Bob Chapek for giving me this unique opportunity. Through quarterly content presentations, where our talented leaders shared each brand’s priorities, he became well connected to the dazzling work being done by each team. Bob takes tremendous pride in what we do, and as The Walt Disney Company enters its second century, I look forward to partnering with all of you to help achieve its priorities: excellence in storytelling, innovation and a relentless focus on our audience.
I couldn’t be more excited to start this new chapter of my career with all of you.