Radio Disney Shutting Down in Early 2021 as Company-wide Restructuring Continues

Radio Disney and Radio Disney Country will be shutting down in the first quarter of 2021. This is the latest move in Disney’s restructuring to focus more on streaming.

Radio Disney first launched in 1996 as a terrestrial network and expanded to satellite radio and more platforms over the years. In 2005, it was available in 97% of the U.S.A. Many major Disney channel stars and other artists benefitted from their music playing on Radio Disney in the past 24 years, including Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers, Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, and One Direction.

Thirty-six employees will be impacted by the closure.

Below is Disney’s statement.

Radio Disney and Radio Disney Country will cease operations in the first quarter of 2021.  The announcement was made today by Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Branded Television, who today addressed the 36 full- and part-time employees who will be impacted by the closure early next year.

Radio Disney in Latin America is a separate operation and is not impacted by the announcement today.

The difficult decision to close these two radio networks coincided with Disney’s recently announced structural changes that call for Disney Branded Television to sharpen its focus on increasing production of kids’ and family content for Disney+ and Disney Channels.  Division leaders also took into account the fast evolving media environment that provides more personalized music choices than ever to a generation of young consumers, and the ongoing public health crisis that continues to affect in-person music events.

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  1. Well… I think this is an ill-considered move. Most children end up in control of the car radio and with careful focussed programming, Radio Disney could be a much better brand. Considering the vast library of songs in the Disney archives which could be mined and supplemented with audio from Disneyland television shows, there’s potential for a bright new future. But somebody needs to know what they’re doing — like a former programmer?

    1. I must agree with Pam. This decision is short sighted. It is a perfect opportunity to reinvent the business of broadcasting to all Americans regardless of their ability to pay

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