Disney Creative Executive Heads to Digital Entertainment Network; Former Creative Affairs Director at Touchstone TV To Develop Content For Web's Leading Gen Y Online Network
(SANTA MONICA -- Sept. 1, 1999) - Morgan Wandell, Director of Creative Affairs at the Touchstone TV division of Buena Vista TV Group, has ankled his post to join Internet media start-up Digital Entertainment Network (DEN(TM)).
DEN is a privately held interactive online network that targets Generation Y through original entertainment, culture programming and e-commerce opportunities. The move reunites Wandell with former Walt Disney TV President David Neuman, who joined DEN as president in July of 1998.
In his new role, Wandell will collaborate with agents, writers and directors to develop new and existing creative content for DEN. He will also acquire rights to movies, television shows, books and other intellectual properties to be developed as interactive media on DEN.
"Morgan has been a rising superstar in the television industry and understands the creative potential of the Internet," said Neuman. "I had the good fortune of working with Morgan twice before; at Channel One, where he was our best field producer, and later at Disney, where he was the creative executive assigned to `Home Improvement.'
"He's got excellent relationships with all the agencies and a great eye for talent. In my opinion, he is the absolute best and brightest of the newest generation of media executives, and I'm thrilled that he's joined the DEN team."
Wandell reports directly to Neuman.
"The Internet allows us to develop and showcase a new kind of entertainment experience and I'm thrilled to be doing it at DEN," said Wandell, who starts on Monday, Sept. 13th and will office out of DEN's Santa Monica production center. "I think generation Y is tired of passive forms of entertainment like network TV and is starving for a more interactive experience," Wandell continued.
Wandell will also be reunited with former Walt Disney Imagineering Sr. V.P. Eddie Sotto, a renaissance creative who developed several projects with Wandell at Touchstone TV. Sotto, a 13-year Imagineering veteran, the division of Disney that builds its theme parks, joined DEN last week.
At Touchstone TV, Wandell shepherded two original programs that are currently in production skewed to 14 - 24 year old viewers. The first is a one hour dramedy about the politics of being in high school titled "Popular" for which the WB has ordered 13 episodes.
The second, a half-hour single camera show about the neurosis of Generation Y dubbed "Brutally Normal" is scheduled as a midseason replacement with an eight episode order, also for the WB. During his tenure at Disney, Wandell also oversaw current programs including "Home Improvement", "The PJ's", "Boy Meets World", "Unhappily Ever After", and "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids".
Prior to his stint at Touchstone TV, Wandell was a field producer for ABC news, where he covered the O.J. Simpson trial. He got his start in news as a segment producer for Channel One, where he did in depth news features and investigative reports for the cablecaster, including a segment on child labor atrocities in Pakistan. Wandell graduated from Claremont College in 1993 with honors.
Digital Entertainment Network Inc. (DEN(TM)) is the Internet entertainment network that creates original youth culture programming and e-commerce opportunities of, by and for Generation Y consumers. As a privately held company, DEN has built the technical infrastructure and assembled the creative expertise to empower and entertain 14 to 24 year olds on the web and revolutionize their unique culture worldwide.
DEN's studios are based in Santa Monica, Calif. For more information, visit the DEN site at www.den.net.