TeleVentures ups trio of exex to sr. VP roles

Walt Disney Co. subsid Disney TeleVentures has upped three of its vice presidents to senior VPs. Mark Handler, president of Disney TeleVentures, recently announced the promotions of Diana Ritchie to senior veep, new media development; Maureen Whalen to senior VP of business and legal affairs; and Barry Cottle to senior VP, marketing.

Disney TeleVentures was formed in 1995 as a unit within the Walt Disney Co. charged with fulfilling the creative, programming and marketing functions Disney performs in support of Americast, the partnership with Ameritech, BellSouth, GTE and SNET.

In making the announcement, Handler said, “Diana, Barry and Maureen have each shown tremendous leadership in achieving our success and accomplishments to date. We are delighted to promote them and look forward to their future achievements.”

Ritchie, who joined Disney TeleVentures at its inception in 1995 as vice president of network licensing before segueing to new media development, will continue to evaluate Internet-based and other digital TV opportunities, in addition to supervising all finance and business administration functions in the division. Previously, she was VP of special markets for the Disney Channel, which she joined in 1988.

Tapped as a VP in 1992 after being with the Disney Channel since 1988, Whalen will remain focused on providing legal counsel to Disney TeleVentures’ various departments, while also overseeing all human resources functions in the division.

Cottle, who also joined Disney TeleVentures at its inception, will continue to oversee national marketing activities for the joint partnership. Under Cottle’s purview, the Disney marketing team guides the strategic marketing direction for the partnership, including brand development, marketing strategy, consumer marketing, advertising, creative development and research. Before joining Disney TeleVentures, Cottle had been Western region VP of marketing and sales for the Disney Channel, which he joined in 1991.

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