BURBANK, Calif. – Barry Blumberg has been named president of Walt Disney Television Animation, it was announced today by Robert A. Iger, president and COO, The Walt Disney Company. Blumberg will be responsible for producing television animation that will appear on Disney’s global kids television platforms, including the “ABC Kids” programming block on ABC. In doing so, Disney strategically streamlines and organizes its children’s television animation programming, production and distribution under one business unit. Blumberg will report to Anne Sweeney, president, ABC Cable Networks Group and Disney Channel Worldwide.
“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. This structure is optimal for creating successful television animation product for global distribution and for maximizing growth potential,” Iger said.
“Television animation has been a growth area not only for ABC Cable and Disney Channel, but for the entire company. I am confident that Barry’s expertise and skills will enable us to continue to create refreshing content of the caliber our audience has come to know and find efficiencies between our production and distribution areas,” said Sweeney.
“The television animation business as I’ve known it for the last eight years is one of the most exciting places to be at The Walt Disney Company. I’m thrilled to fully share that excitement and legacy with Anne Sweeney and her team,” said Blumberg. “ABC Cable Networks Group and Disney Channel have unparalleled distribution and programming domestically and internationally. I look forward to working with everyone there to continue to create new properties and reach new audiences.”
Blumberg’s new appointment is part of Disney’s reorganization of its theatrical and animation units to improve overall use of resources and to continue the focus on the creation of endearing characters and franchise properties. As part of this change, Disney also announced today that Tom Schumacher has been named president, Buena Vista Theatrical, the business unit that oversees live stage productions around the world, and David Stainton has been named president, Walt Disney Feature Animation.
Blumberg joined Walt Disney Television Animation in 1994 as director of development and has held a series of positions of increasing responsibility, most recently as executive vice president, Television Animation. During his tenure, he has helped launch such notable endeavors as “Disney’s One Saturday Morning” television programming block on ABC, which at its inception in September 1997 featured the popular “Recess” and “Pepper Ann” animated series. He was also instrumental in bringing the highly acclaimed “Kim Possible” series to the Disney Channel in June 2002 and Disney’s “The Legend of Tarzan” to the UPN and international television in September 2002.
Prior to joining Disney, Blumberg spent time at Harvey Comics and in the New York advertising world. He graduated from UCLA with a degree in English literature.