Peter Rice Ousted as Head of TV Division, Replaced by Dana Walden

In a surprising transfer, Peter Rice has been ousted as head of Television set information for Disney and will be changed by his deputy, Chairman of Walt Disney Tv Dana Walden.

Rice and Walden originally came to the Disney by the 21st Century Fox acquisition completed in 2019. His departure is an sudden shakeup to the Disney hierarchy that will come specifically from Disney CEO Bob Chapek according to The New York Times, his exit is not because of to any behavioral problems.

In a statement that pointedly does not accept Rice’s decades of services, Disney announced that Walden will become chairman of Disney Typical Amusement Articles, efficient immediately. She now oversees the advancement and manufacturing of much more than 300 reveals per calendar year across Disney’s different little-display screen platforms, which incorporate Disney+, Hulu, Fx, ABC and Disney Channel — as nicely as ABC News.

Rice’s contract, which was renewed previous August, ran until finally the stop of 2024 and the organization is anticipated to pay back it out, according to an particular person with know-how of the situation. The payout is anticipated to be important, according to a person agent. Rice was considered by a lot of as a potential successor to Chapek if the Disney board needed to make a improve. The CEO’s deal is up in February of future calendar year and Chapek might have viewed the outgoing Rice as a threat, in accordance to an unique common with the scenario.

Rice did not quickly answer to requests for comment.

Rice, a Brit who gained a name for nurturing Hollywood expertise, commenced his job in the advertising section of Twentieth Century Fox in 1989 and speedily rose by means of the ranks. He served as president of the art-home division Fox Searchlight, the place he nurtured indie hits like “Juno,” “Napoleon Dynamite” and “Little Miss Sunshine” even though cultivating interactions with filmmakers like Baz Luhrmann, Danny Boyle, Bryan Singer and the Hughes Brothers.

He afterwards segued into Television set, getting chairman and CEO of Fox Networks Group in 2012, wherever he pushed Fox to develop into the No. 1 broadcast network for three seasons 5 a long time afterwards, he added the title of president of 21st Century Fox. Next Disney’s $71.3 billion acquisition of Fox’s film assets in three a long time back, Rice succeeded Ben Sherwood as head of Walt Disney’s television division.

Rice’s ouster is the most current executive shakeup as Chapek continues to set his stamp on the leisure big just after the exit of his longtime predecessor, Bob Iger. In April, senior communications and government relations executive Geoff Morrell was fired immediately after becoming a member of Disney just 3 months prior. Sources say Rice’s firing caught quite a few within the company off-guard.

The Walt Disney Business has viewed its share cost fall virtually 33% this year by itself even with ongoing growth from Disney+, an progressively healthful theatrical box workplace, and significant need throughout its concept parks and motels. Chapek has created turmoil from within Disney’s ranks as effectively as elicited severe reviews from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for his handling of the state’s so-termed “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

Chapek’s moves received a quick endorsement from business board chair Susan Arnold, who issued a assertion on Thursday: “The strength of The Walt Disney Company’s corporations coming out of the pandemic is a testomony to Bob’s management and eyesight for the company’s foreseeable future. In this significant time of business development and transformation, we are dedicated to holding Disney on the thriving route it is on today, and Bob and his management staff have the help and self esteem of the Board.”

Chapek credited Walden’s functionality for her advertising. “Dana is a dynamic, collaborative leader and cultural force who in just three several years has remodeled our television organization into a material powerhouse that continually delivers the leisure audiences crave,” he reported in a assertion. “Her perfectly-attained standing for championing resourceful expertise and acquiring programming that certainly captures the cultural zeitgeist has resulted in hit just after strike, from ABC’s ‘Abbott Elementary’ and Onyx Collective’s Academy Award-winning ‘Summer of Soul,’ to Hulu Originals like ‘Only Murders in the Constructing,’ ‘Dopesick,’ ‘The Dropout’ and ‘The Kardashians.’ She and Peter have worked intently together for years to develop the best programming in the industry, and I can think of no just one better than Dana to lead Disney Standard Entertainment to even better heights.”  

Walden extra, “It is an remarkable honor to be questioned to direct this incredibly gifted team—they are really the absolute finest in each and every respect—and I am grateful to Bob for this at the time-in-a-life time opportunity.”

Walden put in 25 many years at 21st Century Fox. During her tenure, she aided usher strike broadcast sequence these types of as “This Is Us,” “Empire,” “Modern Family” and “Glee” to the display. Other popular sequence overseen by Walden incorporate “24,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “New Girl,” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” At Disney Tv Studios, she has overseen the production of hits this sort of as “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Simpsons,” “Family Male,” “Bob’s Burgers” and “9-1-1.”