Sotto ankles Disney to join Internet DEN

Former Imagineering veep new creative affairs exec

Eddie Sotto, a 13-year vet at Walt Disney Imagineering, has ankled his position as senior veep of concept design to join Digital Entertainment Network as executive veep, creative affairs for the Generation Y-skewing ‘Netcaster.

Sotto’s move reunites him with David A. Neuman, former prexy of Walt Disney Television, who joined DEN as prexy in July 1998.

In his new post, which he starts after Labor Day, Sotto will spearhead the redesign of DEN’s image, from office design to how shows look and feel “to enhance the brand for the ‘Net generation.”

“David has given me carte blanche across the entire spectrum of DEN,” Sotto said. “What excites me about the Internet is that it’s a new electronic canvas on which to create. With the media revolution, this is a fantastic opportunity to dream up entertainment experiences of the future.”

While at WDI, the Disney division responsible for creating theme parks and resorts, Sotto formed the Concept Development Studio, a think tank to push the creative envelope of ABC, Disney Online and other divisions. He was also responsible for the conceptual development of restaurants, shops, shows, attractions and merchandise at Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland in California.

Sotto also designed the Times Square Television Studio currently under construction in New York City — the future home of ABC’s “Good Morning America” — as well as designed the Encounter restaurant and lounge at Los Angeles Intl. Airport.

Santa Monica-based DEN has already launched 10 original shows on the Internet, targeting 14- to 24-year-olds and plans to release 20 more by the end of the year.

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