In an interview with CNBC earlier this month, Disney CEO Bob Iger shocked the media by offering numerous startling revelations. This came shortly after it was revealed that Iger had extended his tenure for an extra two years.
He emphasized the “transformative” work he has started with David Faber on the network’s “Squawk Box” show before handing the business over to a successor, which won’t happen until at least 2026.
“Transformative work is dealing with businesses that are no growth businesses and what to do about them, and particularly the linear business, which we are expansive in our thinking about,” Iger told the host. “And we’re going to look expansively about opportunities there because clearly, it’s a business that is going to continue to struggle.”
At that time, Faber interrupted Iger to inquire as to if by “transformative,” he meant eliminating established networks like ABC and FX: “Are you going to look to sell them?”
“We have to be open-minded and objective about the future of those businesses, yes,” Iger replied.
“Meaning that they’re not core to Disney?” Faber pressed on.
“That they may not be core to Disney,” Iger added. “The distribution model, the business model that forms the underpinning of that business and that is delivered great profits over the years, is broken. And we have to call it like it is.”
He stated emphatically that he was not criticizing ESPN, which he claimed Disney views “very differently.” He did stress the possibility that ABC, National Geographic, and other Disney-owned businesses would be put up for sale soon.
The daytime talk show “The View,” which is frequently very contentious, is one of the network’s legacy shows that could suffer if ABC were to be sold off.
Reports earlier this year noted Disney’s ongoing financial difficulties, many of which were brought on by a series of “woke” content-related decisions and a well-publicized conflict with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who is presently trailing former President Donald Trump in the GOP polls for the 2024 presidential nomination.
According to reports from April, Disney had started preparing for layoffs of up to 15% of its entertainment staff after Iger announced they would happen two months earlier.
The CEO announced plans to lay off 7,000 employees as part of a “strategic realignment” meant to save costs. According to a report at the time by Bloomberg News, employees in a variety of industries, including television, film, theme parks, corporate, and entertainment, were anticipated to be affected by the layoffs.
“For our employees who aren’t impacted, I want to acknowledge that there will no doubt be challenges ahead as we continue building the structures and functions that will enable us to be successful moving forward,” Iger told staff members in March. “In tough moments, we must always do what is required to ensure Disney can continue delivering exceptional entertainment to audiences and guests around the world, now, and long into the future.”
It was initially thought that Iger’s strategic move, which prioritized franchise properties and well-known brands, would have the greatest impact on the company’s entertainment division through layoffs. Recent events, however, imply that this circumstance may have changed or evolved in some way.
In addition to the layoffs, Disney is implementing a restructuring plan within its financial division. This strategy uses a more integrated approach and brings together the Disney Entertainment and ESPN account management teams. Bryan Castellani was assigned to serve as the finance head for both business units, working under the supervision of Disney CFO Christine McCarthy, according to a memo acquired by Business Insider.
The corporation was rocked by the roughly 9 percent decline in Disney stock in May, which was the biggest decline in six months.
“The report was the first since Disney announced its new three-pronged business reorganization — Disney Entertainment, ESPN, and Disney Parks, Experiences and Products,” Yahoo! Business reported at the time.
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