10:30am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Disney Removes Fox From TV Studios, Revives Touchstone
To no one's surprise, Disney is rebranding its TV studios to remove the Fox name from two of them.
Nearly a year and a half after acquiring 20th Century Fox Television and Fox 21 TV Studios, Disney is changing the former to simply 20th Television, while the latter will become Touchstone Television. Additionally, ABC Studios and its subsidiary ABC Signature Studios are folding into one unit that will now be called ABC Signature. The full integration of the Disney Television Studios rebranding is effective immediately, with new logos and motion end cards that viewers will see onscreen expected to be completed by year's end. No executive changes or layoffs are expected as part of the changes.
The decision to remove "Fox" from two of the studios' names was part of the larger $71.3 billion deal between Disney and 21st Century Fox. Fox was dropped from film divisions 20th Century Studios and Searchlight in January.
"Our new studio names and logos mark a new day for ABC Signature, 20th Television and Touchstone Television while honoring their rich histories and the creative power of the Walt Disney Co. Dana [Walden] and I could not be more pleased with the first year of our three studios together as part of Disney Television Studios and we believe that with our powerhouse talent roster and exceptional studio teams, the best is yet to come," said Disney TV Studios president Craig Hunegs.
The Touchstone banner was retired in 2007 and rebranded as ABC TV Studios as part of Disney's then-push to lean into its signature assets. Reviving Touchstone is a way to honor the past.
The new ABC Signature will be overseen by president Jonnie Davis. Tracy Underwood, who added ABC Studios to her purview at ABC Signature, will continue to report to Davis. The blending of the two divisions was considered a logical progression after Davis expanded Underwood's role to include both units. ABC Signature Studios was previously the cable and streaming arm of ABC Studios. With streaming a priority for every studio, the blending of the two units makes sense.
Touchstone TV will be overseen by Fox 21's Bert Salke. Carolyn Cassidy will continue to lead 20th Television.