The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek announced that Dana Walden has been named as the chairman of Disney general entertainment content. In this role, Walden will lead the company’s general entertainment content engine that creates original entertainment and news programming for Disney’s streaming platforms and its cable and broadcast networks.
She will have oversight of ABC Entertainment, ABC News, Disney Branded Television, Disney Television Studios, Freeform, FX, Hulu Originals, National Geographic Content, and Onyx Collective. Walden previously served as Walt Disney Television entertainment chairman and succeeds Peter Rice, who got ousted by the company. Her appointment is effective immediately, and she will report directly to Chapek.
“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. 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,” said Chapek.
“It is an incredible honor to be asked to lead this amazingly talented team—they are truly the absolute best in every respect—and I am grateful to Bob for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. 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,” said Walden.
Walden joined Disney in 2019 with the company’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox, and in her role leading Entertainment for Walt Disney Television, she oversaw Disney Television Studios (20th Television, ABC Signature, 20th Television Animation, and Walt Disney Television Alternative), the original entertainment slates and content marketing for ABC, Freeform, Hulu Originals, and Onyx Collective.
Under Walden’s leadership, ABC has been the No. 1 entertainment network for three consecutive seasons—the first time that has happened in 25 years. And, since assuming leadership of the Hulu Originals slate of series in 2019, the streamer has seen record viewership for the aforementioned hits, as well as The Handmaid’s Tale, Little Fires Everywhere, and Nine Perfect Strangers.
At Disney Television Studios, Walden has overseen the production of such iconic and hit series as Grey’s Anatomy, The Simpsons, Family Guy, Bob’s Burgers, and 9-1-1. The areas under her oversight have collectively earned an impressive 270 Emmy nominations and 23 wins since she joined Disney.
Walden previously served as Fox Television Group chairman and CEO which included Fox Broadcasting Company, 20th Century Fox Television, Fox 21 Television Studios, Fox Consumer Products, and the syndication supplier, 20th Television. In the four years she oversaw Fox Broadcasting Company, she took the network from fourth place to first.