Joe D’Ambrosia has been promoted to general manager, Disney Junior, broadening his current role of senior vice-president, Original Programming.
D’Ambrosia will now oversee all extensions of the Disney Junior experience, on- and off-screen, and will continue to be responsible for all development and production of Disney’s original programming content for kids 2-7 as well as acquisitions for the preschooler demographic. He will report to Nancy Kanter, executive vice-president, Content and Creative Strategy, Disney Channels Worldwide.
D’Ambrosia joined Disney in 2011 and played a crucial role in steering Disney Junior channel to be the No. 1 preschooler network for the past six years (2013-2018). In 2018, he led the development of a 120 show tour, Disney Junior Dance Party On Tour, the first of its kind for Disney Junior. It was nominated for a Pollstar Award honoring top achievers in live entertainment.
Furthering Disney’s investment in the development team for animated content, Kanter also announced the realignment of key roles under the leadership of Meredith Roberts, senior vice-president, Animation Strategy, and a fourth role that will continue Disney’s commitment to diversify programming while further strengthening Disney Junior’s learning-focused programming.
Emily Hart, Shane Prigmore, and Alyssa Sapire will lead the development of animated programming for Disney Channel, Disney Junior, and the upcoming Disney+ platforms.
Hart, vice-president, Original Programming, will lead development on Disney animated content for kids 6-11. Hart joined Disney in 2003 and oversaw the Emmy Award-nominated Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Fancy Nancy, The Lion Guard, The 7D, Miles from Tomorrowland, and Jake and the Never Land Pirates. She will report to Roberts.
Sapire, vice-president, Original Programming, will spearhead Disney animated content for kids 2-5. Since joining Disney Junior in 2016, she shepherded hits including Muppet Babies and Vampirina and the upcoming Monsters, Inc. series. Prior to Disney, she was vice-president, Development and Programming for FremantleMedia Kids & Family Group, overseeing both live-action and animated series. She will report to D’Ambrosia and work closely with Roberts.
Prigmore, vice-president, Creative and Artistic Development, will lead creative development across animated programming for both kids 2-5 and 6-11 demographics. The Annie Award winner joined Disney in 2014 to develop and serve as co-executive producer on Tangled: The Series before moving into the role of vice-president, Creative, shepherding shows including DuckTales and the upcoming Amphibia. His credits include The Iron Giant, The Lego Movie, How to Train Your Dragon and Coraline. He will report to Roberts.
In addition, Vicki Ariyasu has been appointed vice-president, Educational Resource Group, and Diversity and Inclusion, Disney Channels. She joined the company in 2013 and led the formation of the Disney Junior Educational Resource Group to ensure all content incorporates the best practices in early childhood education and development. She also helped establish the Disney Junior Advisory Board, a council of prominent academics that further guides Disney Junior’s curriculum. She will continue to report to Kanter.