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June 7, 2008 | From Times Wire Services
Walt Disney Co. said it merged its video game and Internet units to better coordinate the operations. Disney Interactive Media Group will be led by Steve Wadsworth, who ran the company's Internet unit, and will develop and distribute entertainment for all digital media, Chief Executive Robert Iger said. Disney wants the units to collaborate on future projects because of the growing use of games that connect multiple players over the Internet, Iger said.
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BUSINESS
November 15, 2011 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski, Los Angeles Times
Walt Disney Co. has acquired New York-based Babble Media Inc., a parenting site that features advice about pregnancy, child development and related topics from some 200 mommy bloggers. The Burbank entertainment giant has been acquiring family-focused websites in recent years, as its struggling Disney Interactive Media Group seeks to build out its online offerings for parents. Babble, launched in 2006 by husband-and-wife team Rufus Griscom and Alisa Volkman, attracts about 2.1 million monthly visitors — about 483,000 of whom are women with children ages 2 to 17, according to Nielsen.
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BUSINESS
May 14, 2011 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski and Alex Pham, Los Angeles Times
Walt Disney Co. has agreed to pay $3 million to settle charges that online virtual worlds once operated by its Playdom games division violated federal rules designed to protect the safety and privacy of children younger than 13 on the Internet. The Federal Trade Commission charged that several sites, including one online virtual world targeting children called Pony Stars, illegally collected and disclosed personal information from thousands of children, in violation of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. Some 821,000 children registered with Pony Stars from 2006 to 2010, according to the FTC. An additional 403,000 children provided their information to some of the 19 other virtual worlds operated by Playdom, including 2 Moons, 9 Dragons and My Diva Doll.
BUSINESS
May 20, 2011 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski and Alex Pham, Los Angeles Times
Walt Disney Co. wagered that its acquisition last summer of game developer Playdom Inc. would help bring Mickey, Snow White and other familiar characters to a new generation of fans who play games on social networks. The bet has yet to pay off. Disney's $563-million investment was a key component in a broad restructuring of its interactive group intended to put the perennially money-losing division on the road to profitability. It signaled a strategic shift away from traditional console video games, to focus on emerging opportunities online and on mobile devices.
BUSINESS
November 15, 2011 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski, Los Angeles Times
Walt Disney Co. has acquired New York-based Babble Media Inc., a parenting site that features advice about pregnancy, child development and related topics from some 200 mommy bloggers. The Burbank entertainment giant has been acquiring family-focused websites in recent years, as its struggling Disney Interactive Media Group seeks to build out its online offerings for parents. Babble, launched in 2006 by husband-and-wife team Rufus Griscom and Alisa Volkman, attracts about 2.1 million monthly visitors — about 483,000 of whom are women with children ages 2 to 17, according to Nielsen.
BUSINESS
October 4, 2010 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski, Los Angeles Times
Two years after Walt Disney Co. merged its video game and Internet units to better coordinate the operations, the entertainment company said Sunday that it would divide the responsibilities for its Interactive Media Group under two newly appointed co-presidents. John Pleasants, a veteran new media executive who joined the company with Disney's acquisition this summer of Playdom, will oversee the games business, including online, console, social and mobile play. He will also continue to operate Playdom, the publisher of games for social networks such as Facebook and MySpace.
BUSINESS
July 28, 2010 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski, Los Angeles Times
Walt Disney Co. made a bold bet on social networks as an emerging entertainment platform Tuesday by agreeing to acquire gaming company Playdom Inc. for $563.2 million. Playdom is among the largest makers of online social games, which allow players to organize mock mafia hits, coordinate sorority soirees or play other games on networks such as Facebook and MySpace. The deal positions Disney to capitalize on a segment of the video game industry that's rapidly expanding. "There's a huge growth opportunity happening in the marketplace that we weren't really playing in in any significant way," said Steve Wadsworth, president of the Disney Interactive Media Group.
BUSINESS
January 26, 2011 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski, Los Angeles Times
When it comes to games, Walt Disney Co. is embarking on a new game plan. The entertainment giant is restructuring its money-losing digital media group, laying off employees and closing a game development studio as the company shifts away from expensive console games to focus on online and mobile entertainment. Disney Interactive Media Group laid off about 200 people Monday as co-Presidents John Pleasants and James Pitaro announced a sweeping reorganization of the unit's games and online groups.
BUSINESS
February 24, 2010 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski reporting from New York
Walt Disney Co. believes that World of Cars, its new subscription-based online community aimed at boys and based on the Pixar movie "Cars," won't get lost in the traffic of virtual worlds. Things are already a bit congested. Some 200 virtual worlds target children under 12. Each competes for a slice of the 10 hours and 45 minutes a day the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that kids spend viewing media, simultaneously vying for screen time against a growing number of portable media players and smart phones that offer their own diversions.
BUSINESS
May 20, 2011 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski and Alex Pham, Los Angeles Times
Walt Disney Co. wagered that its acquisition last summer of game developer Playdom Inc. would help bring Mickey, Snow White and other familiar characters to a new generation of fans who play games on social networks. The bet has yet to pay off. Disney's $563-million investment was a key component in a broad restructuring of its interactive group intended to put the perennially money-losing division on the road to profitability. It signaled a strategic shift away from traditional console video games, to focus on emerging opportunities online and on mobile devices.
BUSINESS
May 14, 2011 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski and Alex Pham, Los Angeles Times
Walt Disney Co. has agreed to pay $3 million to settle charges that online virtual worlds once operated by its Playdom games division violated federal rules designed to protect the safety and privacy of children younger than 13 on the Internet. The Federal Trade Commission charged that several sites, including one online virtual world targeting children called Pony Stars, illegally collected and disclosed personal information from thousands of children, in violation of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. Some 821,000 children registered with Pony Stars from 2006 to 2010, according to the FTC. An additional 403,000 children provided their information to some of the 19 other virtual worlds operated by Playdom, including 2 Moons, 9 Dragons and My Diva Doll.
BUSINESS
January 26, 2011 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski, Los Angeles Times
When it comes to games, Walt Disney Co. is embarking on a new game plan. The entertainment giant is restructuring its money-losing digital media group, laying off employees and closing a game development studio as the company shifts away from expensive console games to focus on online and mobile entertainment. Disney Interactive Media Group laid off about 200 people Monday as co-Presidents John Pleasants and James Pitaro announced a sweeping reorganization of the unit's games and online groups.
BUSINESS
October 4, 2010 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski, Los Angeles Times
Two years after Walt Disney Co. merged its video game and Internet units to better coordinate the operations, the entertainment company said Sunday that it would divide the responsibilities for its Interactive Media Group under two newly appointed co-presidents. John Pleasants, a veteran new media executive who joined the company with Disney's acquisition this summer of Playdom, will oversee the games business, including online, console, social and mobile play. He will also continue to operate Playdom, the publisher of games for social networks such as Facebook and MySpace.
BUSINESS
July 28, 2010 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski, Los Angeles Times
Walt Disney Co. made a bold bet on social networks as an emerging entertainment platform Tuesday by agreeing to acquire gaming company Playdom Inc. for $563.2 million. Playdom is among the largest makers of online social games, which allow players to organize mock mafia hits, coordinate sorority soirees or play other games on networks such as Facebook and MySpace. The deal positions Disney to capitalize on a segment of the video game industry that's rapidly expanding. "There's a huge growth opportunity happening in the marketplace that we weren't really playing in in any significant way," said Steve Wadsworth, president of the Disney Interactive Media Group.
BUSINESS
February 24, 2010 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski reporting from New York
Walt Disney Co. believes that World of Cars, its new subscription-based online community aimed at boys and based on the Pixar movie "Cars," won't get lost in the traffic of virtual worlds. Things are already a bit congested. Some 200 virtual worlds target children under 12. Each competes for a slice of the 10 hours and 45 minutes a day the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that kids spend viewing media, simultaneously vying for screen time against a growing number of portable media players and smart phones that offer their own diversions.
BUSINESS
June 7, 2008 | From Times Wire Services
Walt Disney Co. said it merged its video game and Internet units to better coordinate the operations. Disney Interactive Media Group will be led by Steve Wadsworth, who ran the company's Internet unit, and will develop and distribute entertainment for all digital media, Chief Executive Robert Iger said. Disney wants the units to collaborate on future projects because of the growing use of games that connect multiple players over the Internet, Iger said.
BUSINESS
June 1, 2011 | By Walter Hamilton, Los Angeles Times
Emily Smith has been named to the newly created position of senior vice president of digital for the Los Angeles Times Media Group, underscoring the news organization's increasing focus on digital media. Smith will oversee new ways to deploy content through online and mobile platforms, and will also lead efforts to generate revenue from these initiatives. "One of [the company's] overarching goals is to ensure our digital portfolio best reflects our commitment to being Southern California's No. 1 source for news and information, anytime and anywhere," said Kathy Thomson, Times president and chief operating officer.
BUSINESS
December 17, 2008 | Dawn Chmielewski
The Disney Channel is headed for Russian television. A unit of Burbank-based Walt Disney Co. has formed a joint venture with Media-One Holdings Ltd. to start a Russian version of the family channel on 30 stations throughout the country. Anchored by familiar Disney Channel shows for kids and families such as "Hannah Montana" and "Wizards of Waverly Place," dubbed in Russian, the venture also plans to create original Russian programming.
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