Disney Names Animation Unit President

From a Times Staff Writer

Walt Disney Co. named David Stainton, a company veteran, president of its feature animation unit, while restructuring its television animation division, the company said.

Stainton, previously head of TV animation, succeeds Thomas Schumacher, who was named president of the studio's live stage production unit.

Schumacher had agreed to step aside as Disney's animation chief last fall after a four-year tenure marked by both hits, such as "Lilo & Stitch," and misses, such as "Atlantis: The Lost Empire" and "Treasure Planet." Stainton had been expected to succeed him.

In the television realignment, Disney placed its profitable TV animation division in the company's cable group, which includes the Disney Channel and the ABC Cable Networks Group.

Barry Blumberg, formerly executive vice president of TV animation, was named president of the division, succeeding Stainton.

Blumberg now reports to Anne Sweeney, president of the cable group. Television animation had been overseen by Schumacher, under the previous management structure.

Disney said it expects the new structure to encourage stronger growth in TV animation.

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