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Disney merges television distribution into home entertainment [updated]

November 1, 2010 |  6:00 pm

Walt Disney Studios is shaking up its distribution group in a move that brings television sales together with DVDs and digital for the first time. There will be an unspecified number of layoffs along with the shift as a trio of executives take new positions and evaluate their staffing needs.

Janice Marinelli, who previously oversaw television distribution of movies and TV shows, will now add DVDs and the Internet to her duties as head of a new "in-home sales organization," according to a news release. She will report to both Bob Chapek, president of distribution for the studio, and Ben Pyne, president of global distribution for Disney Media Networks, the TV unit of Walt Disney Co.

Jason Brenek is taking on a similar role outside of the U.S. and Canada as head of international in-home sales, though his duties will be limited to film content. Brenek, who will report only to Chapek, was previously the senior vice president in charge of digital cinema for the studio.

Lori MacPherson, previously the general manager in charge of DVDs under Chapek, is taking a new post in charge of bigger picture strategic decisions for DVD, digital and television distribution. Her new title is head of global product management. [This post was updated at 7:39 a.m. on Nov. 2 to clarify MacPherson's duties.]

Chapek, who was president of home entertainment before he was promoted in a studio-wide restructuring last November, said in a statement, "As we continue to respond to changing consumer behavior, we have realigned our distribution organization to be more integrated, global and holistic, taking into account the entire life cycle of our films around the world."

-- Ben Fritz

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