Disney Reorganizes ABC, Hulu, General Entertainment’s Marketing and Communications Departments

·3 min read

ABC, Hulu and Disney General Entertainment’s Shannon Ryan has reorganized her marketing, creative and communications departments, starting with a new reporting structure that puts ABC Entertainment, ABC News, Disney TV Studios, Freeform and Disney’s syndication unit under one oversight.

Under the new setup, Naomi Bulochnikov, the senior VP of communications and publicity for ABC and General Entertainment, will add news, studio, syndication and Freeform to her existing ABC Entertainment purview. Disney TV Studios’ Chris Alexander, ABC News’ Van Scott, Disney syndication’s Kim Harbin and Freeform’s Kristen Andersen and their teams will now report to Bulochnikov. (In the case of Freeform, where Bulochnikov oversaw publicity prior to ABC Entertainment, it’s a bit of a homecoming.)

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Hulu will maintain a separate team led by Barrie Gruner, who has been upped to executive VP (from VP) of Hulu Originals Marketing & Publicity. Gruner, who handles strategy, campaign management, communications, creative, media, social, events and talent relations for Hulu Originals, also adds oversight of marketing/publicity for Onyx Collective. Under Gruner, Spencer Peeples has been promoted to senior VP (formerly VP) of Hulu Originals Marketing & Awards, and will also lead an Awards “Center of Excellence” (COE) for all content brands in the Disney TV portfolio, which means awards teams from other departments will report dotted line to Peeples.

The moves were announced Wednesday by Ryan, president of Content Marketing for Hulu & General Entertainment, calling it a furthering of “the company’s content-first business model.”

“This new structure will allow us to break down silos so we can better support our teams and vast content portfolio,” Ryan wrote in a memo to staffers. “By unifying the marketing and PR areas across all of our great brands, we will establish clarity for our organization, foster greater collaboration and create even more opportunities for all of us to succeed.”

The restructure comes following a larger alignment implemented last fall by Peter Rice, chairman of Disney General Entertainment Content, in his division. Under Rice, DGE split its marketing operations into agencies, including Ryan as president, Content Marketing, Hulu and General Entertainment.

Among other changes, Aaron Goldman has been upped to exec VP (from senior VP) of creative marketing, ABC & General Entertainment. He’ll continue to lead ABC Entertainment’s creative team, and will now lead a “Creative Center of Excellence” (COE) for all brands, including ABC Entertainment, ABC News, Freeform, Hulu Originals and Onyx Collective.

As head of creative marketing, Goldman handles creative strategy, on and off-air design, marketing production, and A/V creative, heading a team that includes senior VP Jill Hershman and VP Melissa King. Additionally, the creative teams within ABC News, Freeform, Hulu Originals and Onyx report dotted line to Goldman under the “COE” structure.

And Erin Weir has been promoted to executive VP (formerly senior VP) of marketing, ABC & General Entertainment, leading campaign planning and strategy, experiential, digital and owned assets for ABC Entertainment while also adding ABC News, Disney Television Studios and Syndication to her mix. Disney TV Studios’ Steven Melnick, ABC News’ Alan Ives and syndication’s Tom Connor and their teams now report into Weir.

Remaining in place are Joe Ortiz, senior VP of marketing, Freeform, and Kristen Graham, senior VP, talent relations, at ABC Entertainment.

“Please join me in congratulating Naomi, Aaron, Erin, Barrie and Spencer on their newly expanded roles,” Ryan wrote in her memo. “I’ve had the privilege of working very closely with these exceptional and thoughtful leaders, and know they will continue to foster an environment that will enable all of you to thrive, think big and do your best work ever… I’m confident that this new structure will give us the opportunity to increase our strength by allowing us to work more closely together across our agency.”

[Photos: Barrie Gruner, Erin Weir, Naomi Bulochnikov]

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