Disney fires Peter Rice, its top TV content manager

Walt Disney has fired its senior television content manager Peter Rice, citing incompatibility with Disney’s corporate culture.

He is the chairman of Disney General Entertainment Content, a division of the company that hosts more than 300 shows a year on sites such as ABC, Disney Channel, Disney +, Hulu and FX. Rice has been fired by Disney CEO Bob Chabeck. A brief meeting on Wednesday, these people said. Mr. Rice also recently oversaw ABC News He renewed his contract At Disney in August. It ran until the end of 2024. People said Disney would pay him.

Mr. Rice declined to comment.

Mr. Rice’s exit went like a boom in Hollywood, where she was widely acclaimed. Many in the entertainment business (outside of Disney, at least) have called Mr. Disney’s CEO. Mr. Have seen Rice. Mr. Chabeck’s decision, however, is sure to raise questions as to whether that conversation was a little too much; Mr. For a few months it was hard for Sabeck, and Disney became one Political punch bagEspecially Governor of Florida Ron DesantisAnd Disney’s share price plummeted amid industry-wide concerns about the profitability of streaming services.

In April, Mr. Saabek fired the company’s most senior communications and government relations executive; Administrator, Jeff Morel, Joined Disney in January under a multi-year contract. Disney also gave him money. On Thursday, Disney shares closed above $ 103, down nearly 4 percent, more than the broader market’s 2 percent decline.

Susan E., chair of Disney’s team. Arnold, in a statement sent by email, said Mr. Sabek had the support of the group – a rare public opinion, despite the uprising, Mr. Indicates that Sabek is moving towards renewing the contract. His current contract expires in February.

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“Walt Disney’s business emerging from the epidemic is a testament to Bob’s leadership and vision for the company’s future,” Ms Arnold said. “At this crucial juncture of business growth and transformation, we are committed to keeping Disney on the path to success today, and the Board has the support and confidence of Bob and his leadership team.”

Another Disney team member, who did not want to be named to discuss the company’s affairs, said Mr. Rice said the board never considered it.

Disney confirmed that Mr Rice would leave the company immediately, but declined to comment on why. Following the news of his departure, Disney announced it Dana WaltonHe was followed by Walt Disney Television’s head of entertainment. Mr. Ms. Walton, who works with Rice, has recently performed hit songs such as “Abbott Elementary”, ABC comedy and “Only Murders in the Building” as Hulu’s comedy.

“Dana is an energetic, co-leader and cultural force who has transformed our television business into a content force in three years,” he said. Sapek said in a statement. “He and Peter worked together for many years to create the best programming in the industry.”

Mr. Mr. Sapek. Nothing else is offered about Rice, and in these moments Hollywood has avoided the glowing platitudes that usually return. Disney never gave Mr. Rice a parachute in the form of a production contract. (“I know we’re all congratulating Peter,” Mr. Sabek announced Ms. Walton’s accession in an internal email.)

Ms. Walton said in a statement that the promotion was “an incredible honor” and that Mr. Rice praised the assembled team as “truly the best of all genres”. The group includes Kimberly Godwin on ABC News and Io Davis on Disney Branded Television.

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Mr. Rice’s abrupt departure broke the powerful trio that Disney acquired from 21st Century Fox, agreeing to buy from Rupert Murdoch in 2017. Mr. Rice, Mrs. Walton and John Landgraf, head of the FX network, have worked closely with Fox for decades.

Mr. Rice, who was loving but often misunderstood by those who worked with him, was born in 1987. He began his leisure career as a summer coach at Murdoch’s film studio. Over the next three decades, he became Mr. Closer to Murdoch, he rose to become president of the 21st Century Fox. Along the way, Mr. Rice turned Fox Churchlight into an Oscar and box office superpower, delivering weird hits like “Little Miss Sunshine,” “Sideways” and “Slumdog Millionaire.”

Disney Shake Mr. Rice and M.S. Walton was shocked by both, and people described the matter. As recently as three weeks ago, Disney announced the launch of its annual advertising product for the advertising industry, Mr. A key manifestation usually indicates that the position of an executive in a company is strong.

Introduced on stage by Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez, Mr. Rice, the star of “Only Murders in the Building,” spoke of Disney’s strong market position, pointing out that it was the only company that did not have “bought or sold in the last 100 years.”

The Disney TV division is doing well. In addition to “Only Murders in the Building”, Hulu recently aired “The Dropout”, a critically acclaimed limited series about Theronos founder Elizabeth Holmes. The best shows for ABC News are “Good Morning America” ​​and “World News Tonight” which are the most watched news in the morning and evening.

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Ms. Walton’s relationships run deep in Hollywood like Mr. Rice. Jay Suarez, co-chairman of the United Talent Agency, called him “the best creative manager in the television business” and “he is loved for his talent.”

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