Peter Rice Fired as Disney TV Content Chief, Replaced by Dana Walden

By Jason Lynch 

In a stunning turn of events, Peter Rice—Disney’s top TV content executive—is out at the company.

He was fired today as chairman of Disney General Entertainment Content by Disney CEO Bob Chapek, and has been replaced by Dana Walden, Walt Disney Television chairman, the company said.

“Dana is a dynamic, collaborative leader and cultural force who in just three years has transformed our television business into a content powerhouse that consistently delivers the entertainment audiences crave,” Chapek said in a statement. “Her well-earned reputation for championing creative talent and developing programming that truly captures the cultural zeitgeist has resulted in hit after hit, from ABC’s Abbott Elementary and Onyx Collective’s Academy Award-winning Summer of Soul, to Hulu Originals like Only Murders in the Building, Dopesick, The Dropout and The Kardashians. She and Peter have worked closely together for years to create the best programming in the industry, and I can think of no one better than Dana to lead Disney General Entertainment to even greater heights.”

Disney General Entertainment Content creates entertainment and news programming for Disney’s cable and broadcast networks, as well as streaming services Disney+, Hulu and Star. That portfolio includes includes 20th Television, ABC Entertainment, ABC News, ABC Signature, Disney Branded Television, Freeform, FX, Hulu Originals, National Geographic and Onyx Collective.
Walden had overseen the Disney Television Studios (20th Television, ABC Signature, 20th Television Animation and Walt Disney Television Alternative), as well as the original entertainment slates and content marketing for ABC and Freeform, and Hulu’s Hulu Originals and Onyx Collective programming brands.
“It is an incredible honor to be asked to lead this amazingly talented team—they are truly the absolute best in every respect—and I am grateful to Bob for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Walden said. “Disney General Entertainment’s culture of creative excellence and originality has made us home to many of the most talented creators in the business. I am humbled to lead this team, and I am confident that together, we will continue to build on the foundation of culture-defining entertainment we have achieved so far.”
Rice and Walden were both longtime Fox execs who moved to Disney after those two companies merged in 2019. Rice previously was president of 21st Century Fox, and chairman and CEO of Fox Networks Group, and Walden had been chairman and CEO of Fox Television Group, which included Fox Broadcasting Company and its TV studios.