Exec named program development chief

Former Walt Disney TV prexy David Neuman has segued from the Mouse House to the new frontier, joining Internet programming startup Digital Entertainment Network as its head of program development.

Neuman, who was president of Disney TV and Touchstone TV, left the Disney fold last month in the wake of the appointment of Lloyd Braun to the top Disney TV job of chairman of Buena Vista TV Prods.

As president of Encino-based Digital Entertainment Network (DEN), Neuman will focus on creative development and production of programming aimed at “virtual communities,” aka niche markets, that congregate on the Web, in chat rooms and news groups. DEN also has named Lloyd Chao, formerly a distribution exec with Golden Harvest, as exec VP of international.

DEN was founded in 1996 by cyber pioneers Marc Collins-Rector and Chad Shackley, known for launching one of the earliest commercial Internet service providers, Concentric Networks Corp. DEN expects to unveil its first program slate, to be distributed and marketed via the Web, later this month.

“I was attracted to DEN because it staked its future on a part of the entertainment business with the greatest opportunity for growth, creative innovation and profitability,” Neuman said.

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