Stephanie Azam is no longer the head of content for Disney+ Canada, Variety has learned. The executive was let go as part of the company’s recent reorganization after less than a year on the job, and amid news that Disney+ has paused original commissions in Canada.
Several other positions were eliminated as a result of the reorganization. Jason Badal remains in place as the VP and general manager of Disney+ in Canada. Sources indicate the company is still looking at Canadian originals, although the timeline surrounding any such commissions is unclear.
Last September at a Content Canada conference, Badal indicated the streaming service was in search of Canadian content for the Star component of Disney+ (an amalgamation of Hulu, FX and Fox content that hasn’t been distributed to other Canadian broadcasters). Azam was in the audience at the time and still new to the role. Still, Badal revealed her email for those in the room who wanted to send pitches.
“We did hire someone who’s actually in the audience. Her name is Stephanie,” Badal said, to cheers. “Does she have a reputation? Is it a good one? Yeah, okay. That’s how you would [pitch an idea]. You’re in much better hands with her than me.”
Before taking on the role at Disney, Azam spent 12 years at Telefilm Canada as the National Feature Film Executive. There, she oversaw production financing for all of English Canada. A year prior she left the position to join the independent Canadian distribution company MK2/MILE END, where she took on the newly created role of VP of development and acquisitions.
Disney+ is one of several streamers to have recently entered the Canadian market in anticipation of the now-passed streaming bill, Bill C-11. (The controversial act is currently awaiting a clear outline from the CRTC, Canada’s media regulator.)
Ahead of and since the bill’s passing, Netflix, Paramount Plus and Prime Video all announced original commissions. Following the recent Banff World Media Festival, Disney+ remains the only streamer with a Canadian team to not greenlight any original Canadian programming.
Disney declined to comment on this story.