Television

Disney Animation president Blumberg resigns; company integrates animation and TV biz

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MUMBAI: After administering Walt Disney Television Animation (WDTVA) for 11 years, the company's president, Barry Blumberg, has put in his papers.

The Walt Disney Company has decided to integrate WDTVA into Disney Channel Worldwide and is scheduled to make an official announcement on the integration in the near future.

WDTVA will be restructured to include four departments - production; creative affairs; finance, planning, technology and operations; and business and legal affairs.

"Through this integration, we are looking at further unlocking the creative resources of Walt Disney Television Animation by streamlining its international management into the broader global original-programming structure," Disney Channel Worldwide president, Rich Ross, said in an official statement.

Blumberg will, however remain with the company through the end of January in order to help integrate the WDTVA Group into Disney Channel Worldwide.

Blumberg was quoted in media reports as saying, "I have spent more than half my professional life at The Walt Disney Company, and have been privileged to work with some of the most talented individuals and storied character franchises in the world. I am honored to have been here and to have left a legacy, no matter how small, with this great institution. Even though I am moving on, I will always have a special place in my heart for all that is Disney."

In his capacity as president of WDTVA, Blumberg led all aspects of development and production for television series, series-based theatrical releases and series-based video premieres/compilations. He also served as a chief administrator for all division activities, including business affairs, finance, synergy, marketing and publicity.

During his tenure, Blumberg reinvigorated and expanded WDTVA's production slate to include programming for Disney Channel, Toon Disney and Jetix, as well as branded programming blocks around the world and on ABC Kids domestically.

In a series of firsts, Blumberg oversaw the creation and production of Disney's Kim Possible that became the first original WDTVA animated series to premiere on Disney Channel. He also oversaw the creation and production of Super Robert Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!, the first original animated series ever produced for Jetix Worldwide.

Blumberg took charge in the creation and production of several of The Walt Disney Company's key animated franchises, guiding properties like Disney's Recess from a television series to a theatrical release and a pair of video releases, and Kim Possible from a Disney Channel series to a pair of Disney Channel original movies. He also broadened avenues for franchise characters from the studio's theatrical releases through television series and video premieres for Hercules, Buzz Lightyear, Tarzan, and Lilo & Stitch. Under his direction, WDTVA also produced theatrical releases of Recess: School's Out! and Teacher's Pet.

Blumberg also handled the creation and production of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for Playhouse Disney. This will mark the first-ever CG animated television series starring Mickey Mouse.He reported to Disney Media Networks co-chair and Disney-ABC Television group president ,Anne Sweeney.

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