Former Disney Internet honcho to advise indie prod'n venture
The former top executive at Walt Disney Co.’s digital unit has resurfaced nearly a year after exiting the conglom.Steve Wadsworth, former president of Disney Interactive Media Group, has taken on his first post-Disney assignment as an advisor to FishBowl Worldwide Media. Wadsworth was brought in by fellow Disney alum Bruce Gersh, CEO of FishBowl and a former senior VP of business development at Disney-ABC TV Group. He launched FishBowl last year with “America’s Funniest Home Videos” exec producer Vin Di Bona, who is chairman of the company. “I’ve had a lot of things come my way. But when I sat down with Bruce, I realized these guys had something special that I could be of help with,” said Wadsworth. In addition to producing series for cable, FishBowl is active online with a top YouTube program, “CuteWinFail” and a trove of user-generated content. Wadsworth was a 17-year veteran of Disney, the last nine of which he spent overseeing the conglom’s digital operations, from Disney.com to huge acquisitions that he authorized during his reign, including last year’s $563 million purchase of social-gaming company Playdom.But the DIMG unit was a frequent drag on Disney’s earnings, which likely contributed to Wadsworth’s sudden replacement last October. Playdom CEO John Pleasants and Yahoo Media Group chief James Pitaro were installed as co-presidents.Given FishBowl is not a full-time position, Wadsworth is keeping his options open for other future possibilities. He won’t tip his hand as to what he’s looking to do next, but disclosed that he’s recently relocated to the Bay Area.