As layoffs and restructuring continue over at The Walt Disney Company, one of its poplar branches is preparing to shut down for good. Radio Disney will be shuttering in early 2021 after 25 years on the air. Both Radio Disney and Radio Disney Country will stop broadcasting next year, laying off 36 employees in the process. The original Radio Disney studio, KRDC-AM in Los Angeles, will be sold after broadcasting is finished.
Radio Disney first launched in 1996 and helped kickstart the careers of Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, and the Jonas Brothers. The business transitioned to mostly digital and satellite distribution in 2014, but those will also cease in 2021.
Gary Marsh, president of Disney Branded Television, made the announcement on Thursday. His branch of the company has been tasked with shifting focus to content for the Disney+ streaming service and Disney channels. With those goals in mind, Radio Disney was cut.
Below, you can read the full statement from Disney.
"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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