The Walt Disney Company is merging its media sales and channel distribution activities under one division, to be led by Justin Connolly.
As president of media distribution, Connolly, based in New York, reports to Kevin Mayer, chairman of Disney’s direct-to-consumer and international (DTCI) segment. “By combining all of our media, affiliate, content and syndication sales, and distribution efforts into the DTCI segment, we continue to transform the ways in which we distribute the great stories and characters created by The Walt Disney Company’s studios and media networks,” said Mayer. “I’ve had the great pleasure of working with Justin for many years and believe his experience makes him well-suited to drive Disney’s media sales and distribution efforts. He is a consummate professional, a fantastic dealmaker, and a great leader.”
“I am excited to have the opportunity to lead the industry’s best multiplatform sales and distribution teams,” said Connolly. “Through our combined efforts we will achieve the company’s vision for an even stronger, more agile organization that is better able to pivot and capitalize on the many opportunities present in today’s fast-changing and increasingly complex global marketplace.”
Connolly will continue to oversee all aspects of North American distribution, affiliate marketing and affiliate-related business operations for all the services provided by Disney and ESPN media networks. His new remit includes final approval on all content sales agreements for Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Fox Film, Fox Animation, Disneynature, ABC Studios, ABC Entertainment, National Geographic, FX Productions, 20th Century Fox Television, WABC, Freeform, Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior. He will spearhead global app distribution deals for Disney+, ESPN+, and Movies Anywhere. He will also be responsible for the distribution of film and television programming via home entertainment, broadcasting platforms, digital platforms, SVOD and pay networks. He was most recently executive VP of affiliate sales and marketing at Disney and ESPN Media Networks.