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As expected Disney CEO Bob Iger named John Pleasants to the post of president of the Disney Interactive Media Group. A bit of a surprise, Iger also named James Pitaro Co-president. Pleasants joined Disney when his company Playdom was acquired a few months ago. Pitaro joins Disney from Yahoo! Inc. where he was Vice President and Head of Media. (This is where I make some snarky joke about Yahoo! Inc.) This move effectively splits the unit where it is hoped focus can grow the division.

“Our rapidly growing Disney digital businesses will benefit greatly from the deep experience and distinct leadership skills shown by John and Jimmy,” Iger said. “John has shown incredible agility and skill in helping companies achieve success in the ever-shifting digital games business, while Jimmy has vast knowledge of the online world and has been hugely successful at creating and building audiences around branded online content.”

“Both have outstanding track records in anticipating trends and delivering to consumers creative, innovative and successful experiences and products,” Iger added. “As Co-Presidents, I’m confident they will make Disney’s digital content and businesses even more robust and successful.”

Best wishes to the two new leaders of a very important division at Disney. Sometimes fresh leadership is just what’s needed.

The full Press Release is below the cut:

We saw the teaser trailer for Cat Cora and the Muppets new web series last week. Turns out it wasn’t for The Disney Channel, but rather for Disney Online and DisneyFamily.com. “Muppets Kitchen” and “Hasty Tasty” both aim to help families rediscover together time through cooking.

Disney Online, part of the Disney Interactive Media Group, launched two new original video series today featuring The Muppets and celebrity chef Cat Cora. “The Muppets Kitchen with Cat Cora” on Disney.com (www.Disney.com/MuppetsKitchen) inspires and entertains families through cooking and classic Muppet comedy, while “Hasty Tasty Cooking Tips with Cat Cora and the Muppets” on Disney Family.com (www.Family.com/HastyTasty) was created specifically for moms, offering recipes, step-by-step cooking tips and fun family-time ideas. “Muppets Kitchen” and “Hasty Tasty” are exclusively sponsored by the all-new Honda Odyssey and the National Milk Mustache “got milk?”® Campaign.

Disney XD, launched today, February 13, is a revised version of ToonDisney, one of Disney’s family of cable channels. But Disney XD is really a multi-platform brand that will showcase live-action and animated programming for kids age 6-14, hyper-targeting boys and their quest for discovery, accomplishment, sports, adventure and humor.

Disney XD branded content will span television, online, mobile and VOD platforms. The programming includes series, movies and short-form, as well as sports-themed programming developed with ESPN. In the U.S., Disney XD is expected to reach over 72 million households via its basic cable affiliates.

In today’s world, the difference tween digesting media online and on a Television is rapidly shrinking. So it was no surprise that Disney Online has also introduced DisneyXD.com, the online and mobile Web destination for the new Disney entertainment brand designed to appeal to kids and tween boys to tag team with the cable channel. DisneyXD.com will feature an abundance of action-based games, full-length video and customizable community features populate the site focused heavily on themes of adventure, accomplishment, gaming, music and sports.