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Another Fox player is making the move to the Walt Disney Corporation. Just a month after Disney’s formal acquisition of most of Fox’s entertainment properties, longtime network executive Shannon Ryan is joining some of her former colleagues as ABC Entertainment and Disney Television Studios’ new president of marketing.
Ryan enjoyed a strong run at the Fox network over two decades, most recently serving as chief marketing officer of Fox Television Group, a role that saw her overseeing marketing efforts at both the broadcast network and its former sister studio. In her new role, Ryan will report to ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke and Disney TV Studios president Craig Hunegs.
“Joining Disney, a company I’ve always admired and one of the most powerful brands in the world, is the opportunity of a lifetime,” Ryan said Thursday in a statement. “I’m beyond excited to begin this next chapter and look forward to collaborating with Craig and Karey and their incredibly talented teams to shine a light on the fantastic work being done at these creative companies.”
Ryan’s move from the network follows that of former bosses Dana Walden and Peter Rice, each of whom took top posts at Disney in the wake of the merger. Her new role will see her overseeing all marketing, publicity and communications strategies for the ABC Television Network, as well as the communications and marketing operations of Disney Television Studios, a substantial portfolio that now includes ABC Studios, Fox 21 Television Studios and 20th Century Fox Television. She will manage marketing, PR, corporate communications, events, talent relations and awards strategies across all three companies.
Throughout her Fox tenure, Ryan was promoted multiple times before rising to the role of CMO. During her last season with the network, she launched TV’s No. 1 new series in The Masked Singer. She also was integral to media strategies for Empire, Glee, 24, House, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The X-Files — not to mention American Idol at its prime. Ryan is also credited with introducing the terms “adorkable” and “celebutante” to the cultural lexicon with campaigns for New Girl and The Simple Life, respectively.
Outside of work, Ryan has been honored for her mentorship work by the national advocacy organization Girls Inc.
“I can’t wait for Shannon to get here,” said Burke. “I’ve admired her innovative campaigns and fierce competitive spirit from afar for years, and I know ABC will be better in every way with her guiding our talented marketing and publicity teams. We are lucky indeed.”
Added Hunegs, “Shannon’s one of the best strategists in the business, and we’ve already reaped the benefits of her marketing and publicity expertise at 20th and Fox 21. We’re excited that she’ll add ABC Studios to her portfolio as we build the Disney Television Studios brand into a world-class content creation engine.”
Ryan’s first official day at Disney will be May 20, at the official conclusion of the broadcast season and one week after the company’s expanded TV portfolio makes its presentation for media buyers during the New York upfronts.
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