Walt Disney Company executive Tim McNeal and his Creative Talent Development & Inclusion Team will now be housed within Disney Television Studios. The respected veteran exec will report directly to Disney Television Studios President Craig Hunegs. The move comes as the company — and the entire industry — is becoming more cognizant of increasing diverse representation across its executive, talent and production ranks while amplifying underrepresented communities, voices and performers on the screen.
“Our most resonant series have always been those that reflect the broadest possible audience, and creating a more vibrant culture at our studios makes for a more attractive home for talent and executives of all backgrounds,” said Hunegs. “Embedding Tim and his team within the content engine of Disney Television Studios is going to be incredibly meaningful. Tim’s a gifted creative executive who has led an effort at the Walt Disney Company that has increased representation across every business unit, and while he’ll continue to be a resource to all areas of the company, I’m thrilled he agreed to move his operations to DTS and grateful to Sonia Coleman for enthusiastically endorsing this strategic move.”
McNeal added, “Craig and I go way back, working together when I was a drama development exec at The WB, so the chance to work together again was very appealing. More importantly though, he recognized the value the CTDI team has brought to the company. When he asked if we wanted to amplify our efforts to attract and retain diverse talent, all from squarely within one of the most powerful creative engines of the Walt Disney Company, there was no other answer but ‘yes.’”
McNeal’s Creative Talent Development & Inclusion Team includes DMA, Victor Bui, Kristi Shuton, Liz Kelly, Brian Pacheco, Vicente Fuentes and Adrienne Thomas. They have worked together to implement innovative programs and initiatives, from hiring events and programs to community relationship-building to tracking and reporting the company’s progress toward more inclusive hiring. They have placed creative talent on dozens of series including Modern Family and Grey’s Anatomy as well as numerous Disney platforms such as Freeform and Disney Channel. Though they will be housed within Disney Television Studios, the group will continue to service these platforms and divisions as well as many others including ABC News, the owned television stations, FX, National Geographic and Hulu.
McNeal transitioned into talent development when he joined Walt Disney Television (WDT) as Vice President, Talent Development & Diversity in 2006. In 2013, he was promoted to head of Creative Talent Development & Inclusion.
McNeal oversees WDT’s Creative Talent Development hiring referrals and events, professional development offerings and talent programs, including the Walt Disney Television Writing Program, Walt Disney Television Directing Program, and National Latino Media Council (NLMC)/National Hispanic Media Coalition’s (NHMC) Latino Television Writers Program, among others. He is also responsible for further expanding the scope of these programs across WDT to include Freeform and Disney Channel. Additionally, McNeal serves as a primary liaison between WDT and diversity-related coalitions, nonprofit arts institutions and entertainment industry guilds, and he leads the strategic planning for the Company’s diversity agenda across WDT business units.
Prior to WDT, McNeal joined the programming team that launched The WB Television Network in 1995. As Vice President, Drama Development, McNeal developed iconic series that defined a generation including Dawson’s Creek, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 7th Heaven and Felicity. After working in development for several years, McNeal had a first-look writing deal at The WB. He eventually returned to the executive ranks as Senior Vice President, Development, Tom Lynch Company, where he led the production company’s expansion from kid-centered daytime entertainment to primetime television. Before working in development at The WB, he was a literary agent at InterTalent and ICM Agencies.
McNeal is on the board of Colour TV, an organization of diverse television executives; and a former director on the board of the UCLA Alumni Association. He is also on the UCLA Industry Advisory Cabinet, Entertainment.