In an industry where many executives are quick to tout their own accomplishments, Peter Rice was known for turning down opportunities to take a public victory lap. The soft-spoken British executive, who was ousted on Wednesday from the top TV job at Disney, has a reputation for quietly cultivating relationships with producers and directors. On Thursday, he was formally replaced by his top lieutenant, Walt Disney Television entertainment chairman Dana Walden. By all accounts, Rice didn’t see it coming — at all. He was blindsided as he learned of his fate in what was described by a source as a conversation with Disney CEO Bob Chapek that lasted less than 10 minutes.
In a shocking turn of events, Peter Rice has been ousted as head of TV content for Disney, to be replaced by his top lieutenant, Dana Walden. The move enhances Walden’s stature as one of the most powerful and prominent executives in the content industry. Within Disney, it elevates Walden over her longtime peer John Landgraf, leader of FX Networks. Walden’s purview includes ABC Entertainment, ABC News, Disney Branded Television, Disney Television Studios, Freeform, FX, Hulu Originals, National Geographic Content and Onyx Collective. She will now report directly to Chapek.
Following Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s major reorganization announcement last month, Disney continues to reshuffle the corporate pieces to better focus on its streaming business. In an internal memo to staff from Peter Rice, chairman of the recently rebranded Disney General Entertainment Content (DGE) division, he elaborated on the company’s decision to split off its content creation team from its distribution and commercialization efforts, and outlined its leadership and publicity structures.
Fox will be logistically ready for its pending mega-deal with the Walt Disney Co. to close Jan. 1, top exec Peter Rice told employees Wednesday. According to sources present at a town hall meeting on the Fox lot in Los Angeles, Rice reiterated that the deal is still on track to close sometime in the first half of 2019, either in the first or second quarter. But he said that structure of New Fox — down to elements such as human resources and payroll — will be ready to go by Jan. 1. Regulatory processes will likely drag the ultimate closure beyond that date.
Peter Rice, the president of 21st Century Fox, will leave Rupert Murdoch’s empire after three decades to take charge of the Walt Disney Company’s TV division. Although he will become arguably the most powerful executive in the industry — he will oversee a broadcast network, a collection of cable channels and an enormous studio — his understated demeanor is unlikely to change.
21st Century Fox President Peter Rice held a town hall meeting on the lot today to reassure staffers amid jitters related to the pending acquisition by The Walt Disney Co. of key Fox assets, including 20th Century Fox movie studio, 20th Century Fox Television TV studio and FX Networks. While there had been some optimistic early estimates that the deal, announced last December, could go through regulatory approval faster, Rice said the transaction will most likely be completed by end of summer 2019 at the latest, close to the 18-month conservative initial projection.
Even though Comcast may revisit its bid for assets from 21st Century Fox, network chief Peter Rice is content with Disney’s $52.4 billion deal. “We struck a deal that we thought was good for Fox shareholders,” he said Monday night, adding that the Fox assets are “a great fit for Disney.”
Longtime Fox executive Peter Rice has been promoted to the corporate suite as president of 21st Century Fox. Rice will continue to oversee the majority of Fox’s domestic television operations, as well as the international channels group. He will retain his title as chairman-CEO of Fox Networks Group, a role he’s held since 2012.
Fox Networks CEO Peter Rice says the company needs to come up with some winners after a season when ratings tanked. Only two of Fox’s new shows from last season, the horror drama Sleepy Hollow and the comedy Brooklyn 99, survived.
Hill was named senior executive vice president of the corporation after more than a decade running Fox Sports. Rice, who served as entertainment chairman at Fox Networks Group since 2010, has been named chairman and CEO of the division.