Dana Walden

Dana Walden (born October 13, 1964) is an American businesswoman and the Chairman of Entertainment, Walt Disney Television.

Dana Walden
Dana M. Freedman

(1964-10-13) October 13, 1964 (age 56)
OccupationBusinesswoman, Network Television executive
EmployerThe Walt Disney Company (2019–present)
TitleChairman of Entertainment, Walt Disney Television
Board member ofLos Angeles Zoo
Live Nation Entertainment

Early life and educationEdit

Dana Freedman was born to a Jewish family[1] in Los Angeles in 1964. Her father was in the travel industry and her mother was a dancer. As a teenager, Walden rode show hunters competitively. She earned a degree in communications from the University of Southern California.[2]


Following her graduation, Walden worked for the public relations firm Bender, Goldman & Helper as Larry Goldman's assistant. She spent five years there, rising to the role of vice president. She then managed marketing and communications for talk show host Arsenio Hall.[2] She worked on campaigns for The Arsenio Hall Show and Star Trek: The Next Generation.[3] Media executive Lucie Salhany recruited Walden to work in public relations for 20th Century Fox Television in 1992. Following a "Jerry Maguire moment" during a presentation at a Fox corporate retreat in the mid-1990s, Walden was made a programming executive.[2][3]

In 1999, Walden and Gary Newman were made co-chairs and CEOs of the Fox studio.[2] In 2014, the pair were promoted to chairperson-CEOs of Fox Television Group.[4]

In October 2018, it was announced that Walden would leave Fox after the acquisition of 21st Century Fox's key entertainment assets by The Walt Disney Company, and become a chairwoman of Disney Television Studios and the Disney-ABC Television Group. The acquisition excludes the Fox Broadcasting Company itself, which will be led by AMC's Charles Collier.[5][6][7][8] In one of first decisions as head of Disney programming after the merger with Fox was approved in March 2019, Walden signed writer, director and producer Drew Goddard to an exclusive, multiyear contract with Fox Television.[9]

Other rolesEdit

Walden is a boardmember of the Los Angeles Zoo. She is a supporter of the animal rescue organization Chance for Bliss.[2] She also serves on the board of Live Nation Entertainment.[10]

Personal lifeEdit

Walden is married and has two children. She lives in Brentwood, Los Angeles.[2] Her grandmother Rose Freedman was a survivor of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire who lived to 107.[11]


  1. ^ Jewish Daily Forward: "The World’s Most Powerful Jewish Women" by Laura E. Adkins June 15, 2016
  2. ^ a b c d e f Flint, Joe (October 2, 2011). "Dana Walden is obsessed with TV". Los Angeles Times.
  3. ^ a b Rose, Lacey (December 5, 2012). "20th TV's Dana Walden On Her Career-Changing 'Jerry Maguire' Moment". The Hollywood Reporter.
  4. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (July 14, 2014). "Dana Walden, Gary Newman Take Over Fox Broadcasting in Restructuring". Variety.
  5. ^ "Fox Network Is Replacing Chief With Charlie Collier of AMC". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-11-22.
  6. ^ Holloway, Daniel (2018-11-16). "Channing Dungey Exits ABC; Karey Burke Named Network President". Variety. Retrieved 2018-11-22.
  7. ^ "Channing Dungey Exits ABC; Karey Burke to Take Over as Entertainment President". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-11-22.
  8. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (2018-10-08). "Analysis: Peter Rice, Dana Walden Tasked With Forging New Path for Production at Enlarged Disney". Variety. Retrieved 2018-11-22.
  9. ^ https://variety.com/2019/tv/news/oscar-nominated-drew-goddard-inks-exclusive-overall-deal-with-20th-century-fox-tv-1203169254/
  10. ^ "Dana Walden Joins Live Nation Board". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
  11. ^ Martin, Douglas (February 17, 2001). "Rose Freedman, Last Survivor of Triangle Fire, Dies at 107". The New York Times. Retrieved December 20, 2018.