Disney pumps up its superhero muscle by hiring Craig Hunegs as President at Disney TV Studios
Craig Hunegs, former Warner Bros TV group's head of business and former president of the studio's digital networks wing, will be taking up the role when the acquisition is complete
Things seem to be moving hard and fast at the Walt Disney Company. With the Disney-Fox merger — first announced in December 2017 — likely to be closed in the coming weeks, the Company has already taken its first step towards the future. After current CFO for Fox Networks Group Ravi Ahuja was named the CFO of Disney Television while Robert Langer, CFO of Disney/ABC Television, transitions to executive VP of Finance and planning for the parent company after the merger is complete, Disney announced on Tuesday who the new president of their Disney Television Studio will be.
Craig Hunegs, former Warner Bros TV group's head of business and former president of the studio's digital networks wing, will be taking up the role when the acquisition is complete. With Hunegs' 25 years of expertise at Warner Bro TV's digital wing, it definitely looks like Disney+ is in great hands.
For those unaware of Disney's upcoming venture, Disney+, it is going to be home to all your beloved Disney content and more. Set to be the Company's own streaming service, it will have most of your favorite superhero content, both old and new, exciting originals. The Company will have films like 'Avengers: Infinity War' and 'Captain Marvel' for you to binge on when it launches in the latter half of this year, along with new works like a 'Loki' TV adaptation, a 'Star Wars' prequel to 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' as well as 'Star Wars: Mandalorian'. Hunegs' expertise will fit right in.
When he was with Warner Bros TV, he was responsible for not just the growth of the business but also played a key role in the US broadcast production as well as the SVOD services.
Apart from being the founding president of Warner Bros. Digital Networks, he was also the man behind the DC Universe streaming platform as we know today. The platform revolutionized DC's Universe's content for sure and Hunegs definitely seemed to understand what was required from a streaming service like this.
"Developing new ways for consumers to access some of our most popular and iconic brands and franchises as well as exclusive, new content whenever they want, on the devices they choose, is one of our studio's top priorities," he had said at the time to Deadline.
He added, "The DC Universe platform gives fans a place to tailor their experience and build a direct relationship with DC in a way they never could before." Iconic show creator Greg Berlanti, who has been the man behind most of The CW's extremely successful superhero shows like 'Arrow', 'The Flash' and 'Black Lightning' has time and time again, thanked Hunegs for his support making it clear that the upcoming Disney TV Studios president has an eye for the creative as well as a knack for what would work.
According to data collected by Sensor Tower, the DC Universe app was downloaded and installed by 143,000 users within the first two weeks of its launch in September 2018.
Apart from the DCU streaming service, Hunegs has been closely associated with 'Friends', renewals, and shows like 'ER', 'West Wing', 'Big Bang Theory', 'The Bachelor', 'Ellen', 'Shameless' and 'Queen Sugar' that came to be during his tenure.
However, while Disney is building its dream team, the future the sister networks of 21 Century Fox, like 20th Century Fox, FX Networks and National Geographic Partners is still in limbo. It's too soon to say what changes will follow the acquisition that will give Disney 60 percent stake in Hulu and a 73 percent stake in National Geographic Partners, among other things. For Hunegs, however, who began his career in TV as a program attorney at ABC Entertainment, it will be a homecoming of sorts.