Disney Promotes April Carretta to Head of Communications, Direct to Consumer

Veteran home entertainment publicity executive April Carretta has been promoted to head of communications, direct to consumer, for Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution, The Walt Disney Co. announced Sept. 21.

Carretta leads communications globally for Disney’s direct-to-consumer video streaming businesses. In her new role, she oversees proactive and integrated communications, including consumer, content publicity, international, crisis communications and incident management, as well as internal employee communications.

Carretta, a 20-year veteran of the business, reports to Heather Hust Rivera, SVP of Communications for Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution. 

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 Carretta joined Disney in 2019 through its acquisition of 20th Century Fox. She initially led communications for Disney’s Platform Distribution organization, playing a key role in shaping communications across all of DMED’s third-party media sales efforts for distribution, content sales agreements, affiliate marketing for direct-to-consumer services and linear media networks, global theatrical film distribution, and other Disney properties including Disney Music Group and the El Capitan Theater.

Prior to joining Disney, Carretta spent nearly four years as SVP of global communications and partnerships for 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, as a key member of publicity chief James Finn’s team. She had been recruited to  spearhead integrated marketing, corporate communications, global partnerships and next-gen technology initiatives at the studio, the latter a key priority for then-division head Mike Dunn.

Prior to Fox, Carretta had enjoyed a more-than-eight-year run at the Edelman agency, most recently as SVP of digital and consumer marketing. There, she oversaw strategic communications and digital marketing plans for the agency’s largest accounts, including Walmart, Best Buy, Quaker Oats, Unilever and Dairy Management Inc. (DMI).

From 2005 to 2007, Carretta was manager of worldwide publicity at Sony Pictures Entertainment under SVP of worldwide publicity Fritz Friedman.

Disney Direct to Consumer is part of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution, which manages The Walt Disney Co.’s content commercialization and distribution ecosystem. DMED is responsible for the monetization of content from the company’s content engines — Studios, General Entertainment and Sports. This includes P&L management and operations of the company’s portfolio of streaming services; its linear television channels the ABC-owned stations; theatrical film distribution; content licensing and distribution; and global advertising sales.

Veteran Fox Publicist James Finn to Head Content Marketing at Audible

Less than two years after he lost his job at 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment in the wake of the studio’s takeover by the Walt Disney Co., veteran publicist James Finn has been tapped as head of content marketing at Audible, the online audiobook and podcast service owned by Amazon.

Finn will “oversee the marketing of our titles, including Audible Originals,” the company announced in a LinkedIn posting. “He has decades of experience driving successful campaigns and collaborations with top creators and entertainment and technology companies to shape the future of next-generation storytelling. Now at Audible, he will be working to amplify a wide spectrum of voices around the globe.”

Finn had enjoyed a nearly 20-year run at Fox, the last 10 at the studio’s home entertainment division, which he joined in August 2009 to succeed Steve Feldstein as SVP of corporate and marketing communications.

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In April 2013, he was promoted to EVP and co-head of marketing for both 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and the Fox Innovation Lab. Four years later, he assumed additional duties as EVP and head of marketing at FoxNext.

Disney closed its $71.3 billion acquisition of Fox in March 2019 and soon began cutting staff, including Mike Dunn, the longtime home entertainment president.

While at Fox, Finn was known for his strong relationships with the media, innovative approach to marketing and passion for all things high-tech, particularly in the areas of virtual reality and augmented reality.

In 2018, Finn was selected as one of Media Play News‘ digital drivers, hailed for his role in advancing the digital evolution of entertainment.

Finn began his 20th Century Fox career in Oct. 2000 as a publicist in New York. In June 2003, he was named VP of national publicity for Fox Searchlight Pictures.

Prior to 20th Century Fox, he worked at Miramax and NBC News, both in New York.

Finn holds a bachelor of business administration degree from Pace University’s Lubin School of Business.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment Marketing Executive James Finn Exiting

James Finn, co-head of marketing at 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, is exiting the studio after nearly 20 years.

Fox, which was acquired by The Walt Disney Co. for $71.3 billion, has been streamlining staff, including executives, as a result of the March 2019 merger. So far there have been three rounds of layoffs; departing executives in the first round, which happened immediately following the closure of the acquisition, included Mike Dunn, the longtime home entertainment president.

It wasn’t immediately clear if Finn had been let go or chose to depart on his own. Finn was known for his strong relationships with the media, innovative approach to marketing and passion for all things high-tech, particularly in the areas of virtual reality and augmented reality.

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In a parting e-mail sent to colleagues and the media obtained by Media Play News, Finn wrote, “For nearly 20 years I’ve called Fox my home, and I’ve read many of these ‘peace out’ emails. While some have been inspiring, sweet, funny and kind, nearly all of them have been too long. So I’ll try to break that trend. I’ve been incredibly fortunate in every step of the way. Thank you to my colleagues, my mentors, my family, my friends and my team for making it so much fun.”

Finn, known for his sense of humor, in a postscript quipped, “I intended to keep it shorter but I had already hit the send button before I could edit it down.”

Last year, Finn was selected as one of Media Play News‘ digital drivers. “Finn works across two distinct business units at 20th Century Fox,” the article noted. “As co-head of marketing for home entertainment, he leads marketing communications strategies in the rapidly developing digital and disc transactional businesses. As the head of marketing for FoxNext, he oversees marketing across interactive and immersive experiences and games.”

Finn began his 20th Century Fox career in Oct. 2000 as a publicist in New York, where according to his LinkedIn profile he “leveraged expansive media relations to secure widespread press coverage for noteworthy films, including Cast Away, Moulin Rouge, Ice Age, Minority Report, X2, The Day After Tomorrow, I, Robot, and Master and Commander.”

In June 2003, he was named VP, national publicity, for Fox Searchlight Pictures, and in August 2009 he moved west to California to succeed Steve Feldstein as SVP, corporate and marketing communications, at 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

In April 2013 he was promoted to EVP and co-head of marketing for both 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and the Fox Innovation Lab.

Finn assumed additional duties, as EVP and head of marketing at FoxNext, in May 2017.

Prior to 20th Century Fox, he worked at Miramax and NBC News, both in New York.

Finn holds a bachelor of business administration degree from Pace University’s Lubin School of Business.