To be honest, I wasn’t exactly clear about the future direction of Disney’s recent major changes among its senior executives when it comes to its studios and networks operations.
One of the chief moves: Karey Burke leaving the top job as president of ABC Entertainment to becoming president of a Disney studio -- 20th Television.
So was that a promotion, a lateral move, or something else? The bottom line: Being the head of one of the big four broadcast TV networks is still a big deal -- but maybe a little less so.
In a world of streaming, CTV, OTT, where on-demand programming -- especially entertainment programming is key -- the venue of a traditional live, linear TV network means little. Waiting a week to see another new episode of that favorite drama, comedy, or unscripted reality show? C’mon. That was so 2019. (Or perhaps 2010 for others).
Netflix knew the score years ago -- which is why it departed the traditional act of doling out episodes one a time, once a week. Instead, Netflix, and other services, provides 10 or 13 episodes of a series all at once! Binge a whole season, a couple of episodes at a time or maybe stop in the middle of one 60-minute show.
What it comes to is scheduling -- a traditional TV activity isn’t all the necessary for modern-day TV programming. Of course, we saw this coming with traditional time-shifting capabilities first offered by TiVo and then pay TV providers. (That said, scheduling is still a big deal for live TV content -- TV news networks, sports TV programming, and other content.)
Surely a network’s chief executive still has other chores to oversee: marketing, advertising and distribution.
Increasingly, all this ramps up a closer association among traditional broadcast TV networks to be more aligned with their sister TV production units. So much so, that buying TV programming outside closed-wall gardens of their respective media companies studios has become a rarity.
In that regard, the head of entertainment at a TV network would seem somewhat less important than in previous years. At Disney, and other big media companies, the big public goal is about all things “streaming” and “connected TV.”
Not only will content continue to be king, but it has essentially won re-election for the foreseeable future -- with no revolution in sight.