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.