Disney Combines Distribution Operations Under Connolly

The Walt Disney Co. is combining its media sales and channel distribution operations under Justin Connolly, who has been named president, media distribution.

Connolly will be based in New York and report to Kevin Mayer, chairman of Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer & International unit.

Connolly had been in charge of distribution for Disney-ABC Media Networks and that business is moving to the Direct-to-Consumer Group. Connolly will be adding responsibility for content sales that had been under Janice Marinelli, who announced she was leaving the company earlier this week.

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"By combining all of our media, affiliate, content and syndication sales, and distribution efforts into the Direct-to-Consumer & International 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.”

Connolly will continue to oversee North American distribution and affiliate marketing for Disney and ESPN media networks, including those recently acquired with 21st Century Fox.

He will also work with the Direct-to-Consumer group’s international content sales teams, who now report to their regional leadership.

Connolly will have 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.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.