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Disney bumps Twitter CEO, Facebook COO from board

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 1/13/2018 Elizabeth Weise
a close up of a sign: FILE - In this Aug. 8, 2017, file photo, The Walt Disney Co. logo appears on a screen above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Disney is buying a large part of the Murdoch family's 21st Century Fox in a $52.4 billion deal, announced Thursday, Dec. 14, including film and television studios, cable and international TV businesses as it tries to meet competition from technology companies in the entertainment business. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File) ORG XMIT: NYAG402 © AP FILE - In this Aug. 8, 2017, file photo, The Walt Disney Co. logo appears on a screen above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Disney is buying a large part of the Murdoch family's 21st Century Fox in a $52.4 billion deal, announced Thursday, Dec. 14, including film and television studios, cable and international TV businesses as it tries to meet competition from technology companies in the entertainment business. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File) ORG XMIT: NYAG402

SAN FRANCISCO — The Walt Disney Company on Friday said it would not renew the board seats of Twitter's CEO and Facebook's COO over potential conflicts of interest.

The move is a marker of how the media and entertainment landscapes are shifting as viewers turn to non-traditional sources and venues for what they watch. 

In its annual proxy filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Disney said Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg would not be renominated to serve on its board.

"Given our evolving business and the businesses Ms. Sandberg and Mr. Dorsey are in, it has become increasingly difficult for them to avoid conflicts relating to Board matters, and they are not standing for re-election," Disney said in a statement.

In 2017 Twitter signed a deal with the NFL that would allow the company to run a 30-minute show on the social media platform five days a week during football season. The live digital show will be hosted by NFL Network talent and will cover breaking news, game highlights and fantasy projections.

In August Facebook announced plans to launch a new section called Watch, part of a push by the company to go beyond the News Feed with appointment viewing. It’s also bankrolled several big-budget reality and dating shows planned to debut when Watch eventually goes national.

Videos in Watch are meant to be different from watching in the News Feed, where most Facebook users find and view clips. “This is where you go when you want to catch up,” said Daniel Danker, director of product for Facebook, said at the time. 

At the same time, Disney is becoming more like a tech company. In September it announced it was allowing its deal with Netflix to lapse so that it could launch its own streaming movie service in 2019. Disney has also said it plans to launch a ESPN-branded sports service, due in early 2018.

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