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Disney Merges Maker Studio Into Content & Media Biz Unit; Courtney Holt Gets New Gig

Deadline logo Deadline 12/20/2016 Dominic Patten
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The situation at Maker Studios shifted into a new mode today with parent company Disney now melding the digital operation into its content and media business division and boss Courtney Holt now being made an EVP Media and Strategy at the House of Mouse.

“In the weeks to come, you’ll hear more about how the teams will come together around an integrated digital content strategy – both domestically and internationally,” Holt said Tuesday in a memo sent to staff announcing the move to the Andrew Sugerman-run division. “Maker Studios will add to Content & Media’s capabilities around shortform content creation and distribution, making this a natural fit,” Holt added.

Disney had no comment on the organizational changes when contacted by Deadline. Maker was made a part of Disney’s consumer products and interactive media unit last year.

The move for Holt comes just over a year after the Myspace Music alum was promoted to replace Maker president Ynon Kreiz, after a struggling time under new management, so to speak. In mid-2014, Disney committed $500 million for the once-amateur content creators network — with additional payouts of millions more if the company reached undisclosed financial targets.

Whatever those numbers were, Maker didn’t make them, and the Bob Iger-run Disney ended up paying out $198 million, including about $100 million for the fiscal year that ended in early October 2015.

Despite ambitious presentations at this year’s Newfront, Maker made job cuts this summer with around 30 employees being let go.

Holt’s memo was first reported by our sister publication Variety.

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