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Craig Hunegs is leaving Disney.
The president of entertainment at Walt Disney Television has opted to leave the conglomerate after two years with the company. Sources say the Warner Bros. TV alum will pursue new opportunities after seeing his role significantly changed over the past year as Disney reorganized its executive ranks to streamline content groups in a bid to prioritize streaming. Hunegs will remain with Disney through the end of the upfronts-heavy month. Walt Disney TV entertainment chairman Dana Walden — who announced the news in a memo to staff Wednesday — is expected to name a replacement for Hunegs in the coming months.
Hunegs joined Disney from Warners in March 2019 in a newly created role as president of Disney TV Studios, the merged shingle that houses former Fox assets including 20th Television and the former Fox 21 (now Touchstone TV). His responsibilities changed in December after Disney reorganized its exec ranks, moving ABC entertainment president Karey Burke to 20th and giving the network to Hulu’s Craig Erwich. With the studio consolidation — which included Touchstone being merged into 20th — Hunegs’ duties shifted to working directly with Walden as president of entertainment for Walt Disney Television.
For the past six months, Hunegs has overseen a centralized business affairs, production, casting and creative talent development and inclusion team, while also overseeing 20th Animation and a newly formed unscripted division. The business and financial oversight that Hunegs previously had was transferred to the Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution Group, overseen by Kareem Daniel. That left less of a role for Hunegs.
Sources note that Walden was keen to keep Hunegs in the Disney fold, but the latter exec opted to pursue new opportunities after losing oversight of one of the industry’s biggest TV studios.
Hunegs is the latest high-level exec to depart Disney as a result of its restructuring. Former Fox 21 topper Bert Salke and several other veteran ABC staffers also left or saw their jobs eliminated as part of the reorg that shifted the company’s longtime legacy structure in favor of centralized groups focused on content.
Here’s Walden’s memo to staff:
I am writing to you today to share the news that Craig Hunegs has decided to step down as President, Entertainment, Walt Disney Television. With the reorganization at our company, his responsibilities have changed and his new role is no longer the one he joined The Walt Disney Company to pursue.
We’ve achieved so much over the last two years as we’ve reinvented our segment, pivoting from a traditional media brand to a content-first entertainment company built for the future and Craig has played a strong leadership role in our growth and evolution. He’s a gifted executive, who has also done an excellent job of thoughtfully leading our teams during two years of significant change at our company and in our industry, especially in successfully guiding our productions safely through the COVID crisis. Additionally, he’s been a champion of the important work being done across DGE to create a more inclusive culture.
I am grateful for Craig’s contributions to our success and he is leaving at a time of great strength for our organization. He has been a trusted and valued colleague to me and to so many of us, and he will be missed.
Craig will be with us until the end of May to ensure a smooth transition and we’ll identify a successor in the coming months. In the meantime, please join me in wishing Craig the very best as he embarks on his next adventure.
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