Walt Disney Co. named senior Fox executive Peter Rice as co-chairman of its television business once the entertainment giant completes the $71 billion purchase of entertainment assets from 21st Century Fox.
Another Fox executive, Dana Walden, will become chairman of the Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment, according to a statement Monday. Ben Sherwood, the current co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of the Disney-ABC television group, will remain in his role through the transition.
The appointments, while expected, fill key roles at Burbank, California-Disney as it digests Fox entertainment assets including the company's TV and movie studios and cable networks such as FX and Nat Geo. In March, Disney named James Pitaro co-chairman of media networks and president of ESPN. He and Rice report to Bob Iger, Disney's chief executive officer.
Executives reporting to Rice include Walden; FX Chairman John Landgraf; Gary Knell, chairman of National Geographic Partners; Disney Channels President Gary Marsh; and the head of ABC News, James Goldston.
Walden will oversee the combined Fox and ABC studios, the Freeform network, the ABC-owned stations group and other operations.