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Disney Takes Tighter Control of Hulu After Disney+ Bundle Revs Up Growth

  • Super Bowl ad marks new era for the streaming service
  • Company will update investors on online effort this week
The Hulu app
Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

As the workday wound to a close Friday evening, employees from Hulu flocked to local watering holes across Santa Monica, California, to toast the end of an era. Some were thrilled. Some fought back tears. But they all accepted that Hulu’s days as a stand-alone operation were over.

Earlier that day, Walt Disney Co. had announced Hulu Chief Executive Officer Randy Freer would depart in the coming weeks, and the people underneath him would now report to Disney managers. The world’s largest entertainment company is tightening its grip on Hulu after the successful launch of Disney+ in November and a push to sell all its streaming services in a single discounted bundle.