A number of developments have come about at The Walt Disney Co. in the past few days. In addition to former president of television animation David Stainton replacing Thomas Schumacher as president of Walt Disney feature animation, the House of Mouse has merged its television-animation unit with the Disney Channel and appointed Barry Blumberg to head of Walt Disney television animation.
According to Disney, outgoing Schumacher will focus on the company’s live theater division as president of Buena Vista Theatrical Worldwide, which has produced Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida. Productions in the works include The Little Mermaid, Tarzan and Mary Poppins.
In regards to the divisional merger, Walt Disney Co. president and COO Robert A. Iger issued a statement saying, "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."
Blumberg will be responsible for producing television animation for Disney’s global kids television platforms, including the "ABC Kids" programming block. The eight-year Disney veteran most recently served as executive VP of television animation.