Carolina Lightcap Named President of Disney Channels Worldwide; Gary Marsh Becomes CCO
BURBANK, Calif. (November 24, 2009) — Carolina Lightcap has been promoted to President, Disney Channels Worldwide, it was announced today by Anne Sweeney, Co-chair, Disney Media Networks and President, Disney/ABC Television Group, to whom she will report. A highly-regarded executive with more than 20 years in the media/entertainment industry, Ms. Lightcap joined The Walt Disney Company in 2000 and most recently served in the dual roles of senior Vice President, Programming and Creative Affairs, Disney Channels Latin America, and Chief Marketing Officer, The Walt Disney Company, Latin America. She will assume her new position within the Disney/ABC Television Group effective immediately and will relocate from Buenos Aires to Burbank.
A versatile and well-regarded executive who, during her career, has been based in Los Angeles, Miami and New York, Ms. Lightcap will be charged with shepherding Disney Channels Worldwide, the global leader in kid-focused, family-inclusive entertainment, through its next period of growth. The Disney Channel global executive team representing Programming and Production, Business Affairs, Business Planning and Development, Marketing, Brand Management, Advertising Sales and Radio Disney, will report to her.
And in recognition of his extraordinary and continuing contribution, Gary Marsh will assume the new title of Chief Creative Officer in addition to his current title of President, Entertainment, Disney Channels Worldwide, remaining in charge of all program development, creative and production, reporting to Ms. Lightcap.
In making the announcement, Ms. Sweeney stated: “Carolina has made enormous contributions to Disney over the past decade, especially in launching and building Disney Channel Latin America into the #1 cable channel in the region. She’s a highly respected member of our global team and her wealth of experience, leadership acumen and programming, marketing and franchise building skills make her the ideal executive to lead Disney Channels Worldwide into the future.”
Ms. Lightcap added: “I’m thrilled and honored that Anne has entrusted me with this incredible opportunity. During the 10 years I’ve worked at The Walt Disney Company, I’ve had the pleasure of leading a team that took Disney Channel Latin America to number one. Now I’m looking forward to working with the unparalleled talent at Disney Channels Worldwide as we create the future of kid-focused, family inclusive entertainment.”
In commenting on Mr. Marsh, Ms. Sweeney said: “Gary is the creative force behind Disney Channel’s tremendous success and some of The Walt Disney Company’s most heralded and popular franchises including ‘Hannah Montana’ and ‘High School Musical.’ His unique vision helped define Disney Channel as a global leader in kid and family entertainment while fueling a content bonanza for other areas of our Company.” She continued, “With Gary’s creative vision and Carolina’s leadership, I have no doubt Disney Channel will remain at the forefront of our industry for years to come.”
In her role as Senior Vice President of Programming and Creative Affairs, Media Networks, Latin America, Ms. Lightcap was responsible for all programming, production, on-air, marketing, research and publicity for Disney Channel, Disney XD and Playhouse Disney Channels, which includes14 localized feeds in Spanish and Portuguese that are broadcast to 19 territories in Latin America.
During this time, she led the successful creative transition of Disney Channel from a premium to basic service and the organizational restructure and relocation of the teams from Miami to Buenos Aires. After acquiring full basic distribution, Disney Channel has been the pan-regional ratings leader — not only among kids and tweens, but also among cable HH´s and the cable universe (people 4-55+ years old), both on a 24-hour basis and during prime time — for four consecutive fiscal years (FY06 to FY09). Ms. Lightcap also oversaw the successful rebrand of Jetix to Disney XD and the launch of Playhouse Disney Channel throughout the region.
In addition to successfully aligning the operation and building it to unprecedented ratings heights, Ms. Lightcap spearheaded the Latin American launch of “High School Musical,” which became the most watched movie among kids 4-17 in the channel’s history. She also was an integral part of the team that led “High School Musical” to become a key Disney franchise which includes local feature films in Argentina, Mexico and Brazil, three multi-part “High School Musical”-themed talent competitions broadcast on Disney Channel and free to air TV in the region, and a five country concert arena tour.
As Chief Marketing Officer for The Walt Disney Company Latin America, Ms. Lightcap led the integration of Disney’s marketing departments into one organization, and has been responsible for the strategic marketing direction for all Disney’s lines of business in the region (Disney Studios, Disney-ABC Television Group, Disney Consumer Products and Disney Interactive Media Group) as well as Corporate Brand and Franchise Management, Corporate Communications and Corporate Responsibility.
She joined The Walt Disney Company as Vice President, Marketing, Media Networks, Latin America, in 2000. In 2001 she was promoted to Vice President, Marketing, On-air and Brand Strategy, and in 2004 she was elevated to Senior Vice President, Programming and Creative Affairs for Disney Channels in Latin America. In 2006 she added Chief Marketing Officer responsibilities for The Walt Disney Company.
Prior to joining Disney, Ms. Lightcap served as Vice President, Programming, Sales and Marketing, Sky Latin America Partners, based in Miami, where she was responsible for all sales and marketing for the direct-to-home satellite television service.
Before Sky, she worked for Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment from 1996 through 1999, serving ultimately as Executive Director, Latin America, where she was responsible for the strategic development and supervision of all trade and consumer marketing and sales plans for sell-through and rental video releases throughout Latin America.
From 1993-1996, Ms. Lightcap worked for Fox Latin American Channel, where she helped launch the Fox Latin American Channel in a record three-month period. During her six years with Fox, she was based in Los Angeles.
She began her career in media in 1986, working for such companies as Reuters Ltd. and Editorial Atlantida in New York and Buenos Aires.
Ms. Lightcap holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude, from Columbia University.