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Gary Marsh Steps Down As Head Of Disney Branded TV: Here's Why It's A Big Deal

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Gary Marsh, whose 33-year tenure at Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) created generation-defining programming and a wave of new stars, is stepping down from his job as president and chief creative officer of Disney Branded Television at the end of the year to launch a production company backed by Disney General Entertainment.

What Happened: Marsh joined Disney in 1988 as executive director of programming and rose through ranks, becoming president of Disney Channels Worldwide in 2005 before landing his current job last November.

Marsh developed and coordinated a skein Disney Channel programs that blossomed into highly lucrative franchises, including “High School Musical, “Hannah Montana,” “Lizzie McGuire,” “Descendants,” “The Proud Family” and “That’s So Raven,” as well as Disney Junior Channel offerings including “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” “Sofia the First.”

Marsh’s programming helped to launch the careers of such diverse talents as Miley Cyrus, Hilary Duff, Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, the Jonas Brothers, Shia LaBeouf, Demi Lovato and Zendaya. Marsh’s work was also honored by Emmy, Peabody and Kid’s Choice Awards.

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What Happens Next: According to a Deadline report, Marsh will lead his new production company in developing content for Disney’s broadcast and streaming platforms, including continuations of popular franchises with two new “Descendants” movies, a “Beauty and the Beast” prequel and a new Disney+ offering based on the “Witch Mountain” series.

Marsh is also exploring original productions including “Tink,” which puts Peter Pan‘s Tinker Bell in the spotlight, and “School for Sensitive Souls,” an original animated musical.

“For 33 years, I’ve had the greatest job in television,” said Marsh. “The stories we’ve told, the music we’ve created, the stars we’ve discovered, the franchises we’ve built – all of it has entertained and engaged millions of kids and families around the globe. Thanks to the reach of Disney’s streaming platforms, those stories will live forever in the hearts and minds of future generations, alongside all the new stories I look forward to telling. There simply could not be a more compelling or creatively stimulating time to enter the production ranks.”

Photo: Gary Marsh, courtesy of Disney.

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