He started working for ABC/Disney back in 1985, and when he leaves the company next March he will be “one of the longest-tenured single-studio marketing executives in the industry,” Disney/ABC Home Entertainment and Television Distribution has announced.
He’s Sal Sardo, the division’s executive vice president for distribution marketing. Sardo is one of the most respected, well-liked executives in the syndication business.
Here’s the rest of the official announcement: “Sardo began his 31-year Disney career in 1985 as an advertising manager for the company’s then-newly-formed syndication arm. He currently leads in-home creative and digital marketing, as well as in-home creative content, for all motion pictures from Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm, as well as television distribution marketing for Disney ABC, overseeing trade and consumer campaigns for all first-run and off-net content in the U.S. and Canada.
“‘Sal possesses a rare combination of intelligence, composure and drive, and as a creative executive, his strategic instincts and thoughtful leadership have been invaluable to our team and to the company,’ said Janice Marinelli, President, Disney ABC Home Entertainment and Television Distribution. ‘We wish him the best in his much-deserved retirement.’
“During Sardo’s tenure, he has contributed to numerous physical and digital sell-through successes, including the inaugural release of the Star Wars catalog on digital; the massive in-home release of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’; and the recent in-home release of ‘Zootopia.’ He and his team also collaborated on the launch of Disney’s direct-to-consumer digital cloud service Disney Movies Anywhere. In his early career at Disney, Sardo led key program launches including ‘Live with Regis & Kathie Lee’ (now ‘Live With Kelly’) as well as the syndication marketing launches of such long-running hits as ‘Home Improvement’ and ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.’ He later co-developed a primetime ABC reality show (‘Vital Signs’) and initiated an innovative program to develop public service campaigns for nonprofit organizations. He has held the title of executive vice president since 2001.
“‘It’s been a fantastic ride with an incredible company – I couldn’t have scripted a better career,’ said Sardo. ‘I’m very grateful to Disney for the support and opportunities I’ve experienced here and to my talented colleagues for the wonderful collaboration we’ve shared over the years.’
“Sardo got his start as a promo producer at Metromedia Television, later running a marketing department for its station group during five years at the company. Over the course of his career, Sardo has been honored with numerous industry awards, including Promax, Emmy and Telly awards and a Clio, as well as Promax ‘Brand Builder’ and ‘Campaigns of Distinction’ awards.
“Following his retirement from Disney, Sardo looks forward to spending more time with his wife and five sons, as well as working on a variety of projects.”