Disney Merging WDIG Group With Games Unit; Forming Disney Interactive Media Group

This story was written by Rafat Ali.
Disney (NYSE: DIS) is merging its digital media unit Walt Disney Internet Group with its video gaming unit Disney Interactive Studios, into a new unit called into a new unitDisney Interactive Media Group, we have learned. This new unit will be led by Steve Wadsworth, who was the president of WDIG prior to this. According to an internal memo from Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, the existing management teams will continue to run the combined group, and he will work with Graham Hopper, who was the EVP and GM at Disney Interactive Studios "to optimize for new opportunities this creates," the memo from Iger says.

Merging the online, mobile and video gaming divisions makes strategic common sense: "The uniqueness of the Disney brand provides us an opportunity and an imperative to create a unified Disney-branded experience and community across all connected devices. Additionally, as console and handheld games become more connected to the Internet, and as Internet and mobile become increasingly robust destinations for games and a range of interactive entertainment, we are taking this opportunity to integrate these activities," said Iger in the memo. Both of the divisions are major heavy-hitter major operations, and in fact WDIG hopes to hit $1 billion in revenues in fiscal 2008, according to Wadsworth. This certainly will help make the digital revenues look a lot better on the earnings calls...more than most of its big media rivals.

By Rafat Ali