Disney Shifts TV-Animation Group


The Walt Disney Co. is realigning its animation outfit, moving its
television-animation unit into the division controlled by ABC Cable Networks
Group president Anne Sweeney.

The shift is part of a wider restructuring that includes the appointment of a
new head of the theatrical-animation division, David Stainton, who had led the
TV-animation unit.

Following the changes -- which sources said could happen within days -- Barry
Blumberg, a veteran of the TV-animation division, will replace Stainton,
reporting to Sweeney.

The TV-animation division is responsible for current series productions, such
as the strips produced for Saturday-morning broadcast television and for Disney

Blumberg is credited with shepherding the Disney's One Saturday-morning kids'
block on ABC, bringing Kim Possible to Disney Channel and moving The
Legend of Tarzan
to worldwide syndication.

Sweeney already oversees cable networks including Disney Channel, SoapNet and
Toon Disney. The latter is approaching 40 million homes passed -- a threshold
that could make it ripe for original programming from the in-house division.

"By moving television animation to our cable group, we are combining
production and development with programming and distribution -- a model that has
worked extremely well for our motion-picture studio, and for Touchstone
Television and the ABC Television Network," Disney president and chief operating
officer Robert Iger said in a prepared statement.