Nancy Kanter, currently executive vice president of content and creative strategy at Disney Channels Worldwide, will leave her role next year.
Here is what’s currently known about her departure.
- Kanter will step down in January 2021. Rather than retire, she’s said to be looking for new opportunities. The news was announced by Kanter’s colleague Gary Marsh, president and CCO at Disney Channels Worldwide, in a company email that was first reported by Deadline.
- Joining Disney in 2001, Kanter started out as vice president of original programming for what was then Playhouse Disney, a programming block for preschoolers. She oversaw its rebranding as Disney Junior, which launched in 2011, with an accompanying channel following the next year. After a series of promotions, she assumed her current role in 2017, expanding her remit to content for kids aged 2–14.
- Along the way, Kanter masterminded the launch of highly popular series and franchises, including Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (Disney Television Animation’s first cg series for preschoolers), Sofia the First, Elena of Avalor, Doc McStuffins (for which Kanter had the idea of making the lead character black — an unusual move a decade ago), and Mira, Royal Detective.
- Kanter championed Disney Channel shows like Marvel’s Moon Girl, Devil Dinosaur, and The Owl House (“our #1 animated series with girls and kids,” according to Marsh). She is also behind a number of shows for Disney+, including High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, and the upcoming The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder and Secret Society of Second-Born Royals (Disney Channel’s first original movie for the streamer).
- In his email, Marsh wrote, “[T]he content Nancy has championed is world-class and vast — far too extensive to list here. But beyond the specific content, her enduring legacies are the people she’s mentored, and the culture she’s helped nurture — both of which embody and embrace Nancy’s commitment to honesty, integrity and excellence in every aspect of work.”
- In a response, Kanter said, “I could not be more proud of the content I’ve had a hand in creating and the teams I’ve been fortunate enough to lead. I will leave next year looking forward to continuing to create content that will have a lasting impact on the lives of kids and families around the world via today’s expansive entertainment landscape.”
- According to Deadline, Kanter agreed to a long transition “to allow Marsh time to put together a comprehensive plan for the future at Disney Channels.”
(Pictured at top: “Doc McStuffins” and “The Owl House.”)