Disney Channel Promotes Key Members Across Business


Disney Channel has made several executive and staff member promotions across its business, including Vicki Ariyasu, who has been upped to senior VP of the educational resource group and inclusion.

Ariyasu joined the company in 2013 and works closely across the Disney Junior and Disney Channel programming development teams to inform curriculum based on national educational standards, new technologies and cultural trends. Additionally, Eric Bjorklund, a 20-year veteran of Disney Channel, has been promoted to VP of current series. Bjorklund is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day creative management of many of Disney Channel’s live-action series. The channel and its animation studio, Disney Television Animation, also unveiled nine additional promotions.

Ariyasu also leads Disney Channel’s work in social responsibility, diversity and inclusion for animated and live-action programming. Bjorklund also leads current creative content for several Disney Channel-produced live-action series for Disney+. He was most recently executive director of programming.

Diane Ikemiyashiro has also been named VP of current series, alongside Bjorklund. An executive director for Disney Junior since 2014, Ikemiyashiro’s responsibilities have expanded to include creative supervision of current series, short-form series and production for preschoolers and their parents/caregivers.

Khaki Jones has been promoted to the role of senior VP of current series. A Disney TV Animation executive since 2010, Jones is now responsible for supervising current content for all series and short-form content produced internally at Disney TV Animation and various third-party studios. This content feeds all three linear Disney Channels and Disney+. She was elevated from her role as VP of current series.

Morgan Di Stefano has been named VP of communications. Di Stefano oversees publicity for a growing slate of live-action series and movies for Disney Channel, as well as the live-action series and movies the group produces for Disney+. She also leads publicity for Radio Disney. She joined Disney in 2018 as executive director of communications.

Sarah Finn has been upped to VP of production. Finn oversees the production of all of Disney Junior’s original animated television series and shorts and will now expand her portfolio with the recent additions to the Disney Junior slate. She has over 20 years of animation experience, joined Disney in 2013 and was most recently an executive director of production.

Rafael Garcia has been tapped for the role of VP of development. Garcia is responsible for developing live-action series, with an emphasis on finding emerging content creators for both Disney Channels and Disney+. He joined Disney in 2012 and, most recently, was executive director of original series.

Meanwhile, Emily Hart has been promoted to senior VP of development. Hart is now responsible for oversight of the creative and artistic development team at Disney Television Animation. This role is accountable for the development pipeline for all animated content developed at TVA for various platforms, including Disney Channels and Disney+. She originally joined Disney in 2003 and was most recently VP of original programming.

Claire McCabe has been upped to VP of alternative programming. Since joining Disney in 2015, McCabe has been responsible for the growing development and production of alternative series and specials, including live events and non-scripted programming.

Alyssa Sapire is now senior VP of original programming, upped from her role as VP of original programming. Sapire is responsible for the Disney Junior development slate and has day-to-day creative oversight of current series for preschoolers and their parents/caregivers. She joined the company in 2016.

Lastly, Jermaine Turner has been named VP of development. Turner’s role has expanded to include the development of new animated content to support the increased volume demanded by the linear channels and Disney +. He has over 20 years of service at Disney and was most recently an executive director at Disney TV Animation.

Each promotion recognizes and invests in key talent, strong leadership and ongoing contribution to the group’s success. In the past 18 months, Disney Channel increased its annual content development to 450-500 new live-action and animated episodes and several original movies for Disney Channel and Disney Junior, plus more series and movies exclusively for Disney+.

Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer of Disney Channels Worldwide, said: “The strengths and capabilities of our team differentiate us from the competition; with these promotions, we acknowledge many of those who have contributed significantly to our success. They are driven by a passion for the optimistic Disney brand, and they prioritize what is truly important in telling great stories for preschoolers, kids, tweens and families. They also have innovative ideas and the confidence, passion and wisdom to thrive in a creative environment, particularly during this most exciting time in the television business.”