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Disney Announces Organizational Structure For Its Media Networks Business

The Walt Disney Co. (DIS) announced the new organizational structure for its media Networks Business, Conditional Upon closing Of 21st Century Fox Acquisition.

Under the new structure, several 21st Century Fox executives would assume leadership roles at the Disney business segment once the acquisition closes, as 21st Century Fox's businesses are incorporated into Disney.

"The strength of 21st Century Fox's first-class management talent has always been a compelling part of this opportunity for us," said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company

Peter Rice will become Chairman, Walt Disney Television and Co-Chair, Disney Media Networks, reporting directly to Mr. Iger. The new organization under Mr. Rice will include ABC Television Network, ABC Studios, the ABC Owned Television Stations Group, Disney Channels, Freeform, Twentieth Century Fox Television, FX Networks and FX Productions, Fox 21 Television Studios, and the National Geographic channels. Mr. Rice is currently President of 21st Century Fox and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fox Networks Group.

Dana Walden will assume new role of Chairman, Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment.

John Landgraf will serve as Chairman of FX Networks and FX Productions. Gary Knell will serve as Chairman of National Geographic Partners.

Ms. Walden's portfolio will include Twentieth Century Fox Television and Fox 21 Television Studios, as well as ABC Entertainment, ABC Studios, Freeform and the ABC Owned Television Stations Group. Ms. Walden is currently Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fox Television Group.

Ben Sherwood, Co-Chair, Disney Media Networks and President, Disney|ABC Television Group, will remain in his current role during the transition period until the acquisition closes.

Separately,FOX, the company to be spun-off in connection with 21st Century Fox's merger with The Walt Disney Company, announced leaders for government relations and corporate communications. Danny O'Brien has been named FOX EVP and Head of Government Relations and Hope Hicks, FOX EVP and Chief Communications Officer. The appointments were made by Viet Dinh, FOX Chief Legal and Policy Officer, to whom they will report. Mr. O'Brien will be based in Washington and will head the FOX DC office, and Ms. Hicks will be based in Los Angeles.

Mr. O'Brien will join FOX from General Electric, where he serves as a senior government affairs and policy executive. He formerly served as Staff Director for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Chief of Staff to Senators Menendez, Biden and Torricelli.

Ms. Hicks most recently served as White House Communications Director and Director of Strategic Communications for U.S. President Donald Trump. In these roles, she oversaw the administration's communications strategy and led a team responsible for creating and coordinating key messages relating to economic issues, domestic policies and international affairs.

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