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Walt Disney Company is restructuring its operations to prioritize streaming as the pandemic reshuffles the entertainment industry.
With the new structure, there will be three content groups: movies, sports and general entertainment such as television shows. Another arm will determine on which platforms content will be distributed.
"Managing content creation distinct from distribution will allow us to be more effective and nimble in making the content consumers want most, delivered in the way they prefer to consume it," said CEO Bob Chapek in a statement released on Monday. The distribution group will be led by Kareem Daniel, former head of the company's consumer products business.
Walt Disney Studios co-chairs Alan F. Horn and Alan Bergman will oversee Studios, the division focused on movies and theatrical franchises. Media Networks Chairman Peter Rice will oversee General Entertainment, including television series and long form content for streaming and cable. ESPN head Jimmy Pitaro, will run the Sports group
All four content group leaders and Daniel will report to CEO Bob Chapek.
The move comes as the entertainment giant continues to be pummeled by the pandemic. Last month, the company announced that it would layoff 28,000 workers from its theme parks. Disneyland in Southern California remains closed and attendance at Disney World in Florida is lagging. Movie theaters across the country have also been closed or not at full capacity.
But Disney has found success in streaming. In August, the company announced that it had 60 million subscribers to its Disney Plus streaming service. Add in ESPN+ and Hulu, and the company's total subscriber count now tops 100 million.Like other studios, Disney has opted to shift theatrical releases online, moving "Mulan" to Disney+ and additional for $30. Disney also recently announced the Pixar film "Soul" will be released on the platform on Dec. 25.
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