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Bob Iger: Disney ‘Open-Minded’ About Potential Sale of Cable, Linear TV Networks

“The distribution model, the business model that forms the underpinning of that business and that is delivered great profits over the years is definitely broken. And we have to call it like it is.”

Maddy Troy

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https://barrettnewsmedia.com/2023/02/10/bob-iger-open-to-selling-disneys-stake-in-hulu/

Disney CEO Bob Iger has strongly suggested a sale of the company’s linear and cable TV networks, including ABC, could be a real possibility.

In an interview with David Faber on CNBC’s ‘Squawk Box’, Iger discussed the “transformative” plan he has before handing Disney off to a successor. This comes on the heels of Iger’s agreement to a two-year contract extension to remain at the helm of Disney through 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 said. “And we’re going to look expansively about opportunities there because clearly, it’s a business that is going to continue to struggle.”

Faber then stopped Iger, curious if he was referring to networks such as ABC and FX, and asked directly, “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 asked.

“That they may not be core to Disney,” Iger confirmed.

He added, “The distribution model, the business model that forms the underpinning of that business and that is delivered great profits over the years is definitely broken. And we have to call it like it is.”

The CEO made it clear that he was not referring to ESPN, which is viewed “very differently” by the company. Though, Iger did strongly suggest that he’s ready to sell ABC, FX, National Geographic, and more.

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Media Business

Court Approves Audacy Reorganization Plan

“We have achieved a speedy confirmation of our prepackaged Plan, which will enable Audacy to pursue our strategic goals and opportunities in the dynamic audio business.”

Barrett News Media

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Audacy Logo

A United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas has approved a plan for Audacy to reemerge from its bankruptcy proceedings.

Under the plan, Audacy will equitize more than $1.5 billion of funded debt, which reduces its debt load by 80%, down from $1.9 billion to $350 million.

Audacy Chairman David Field was encouraged by the development.

“Today’s announcement marks a powerful step forward for Audacy, positioning the Company for an exciting future,” said David Field, who also serves as the President and CEO of Audacy. “As expected, we have achieved a speedy confirmation of our prepackaged Plan, which will enable Audacy to pursue our strategic goals and opportunities in the dynamic audio business.

“We aim to drive accelerated growth and financial performance, capitalizing on our scaled, leadership position, our uniquely differentiated premium audio content and the robust capital structure that we will have upon emergence,” continued Field. “I also want to express my gratitude to our team, who continue their outstanding work to serve our listeners and customers with excellence and fulfill our commitments without missing a beat.” 

A statement from the company claims the restructuring “will enable Audacy to continue its strategic digital transformation and capitalize on its position as a scaled, leading multi-platform audio content and entertainment company differentiated by its exclusive, premium audio content.”

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Media Business

Fox News Begins 2024 Atop Key Digital Media Demographics

Fox News finished its 35th consecutive month atop the multiplatform minutes rankings, with 3.3 billion minutes according to a report from Comscore.

Barrett News Media

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A photo of the Fox News logo

Fox News Digital began 2024 by sitting atop the rankings in several key demographics in the digital media landscape.

Fox News finished its 35th consecutive month atop the multiplatform minutes rankings, with 3.3 billion minutes according to a report from Comscore. CNN finished with 1.9 billion minutes.

In multiplatform views, the outlet tallied 1.7 billion, with The New York Times scoring 1.5 billion. That marked the 16th consecutive month Fox News Digital finished on top.

6 million unique visitors visited the conservative cable outlet’s mobile app, which bested CNN, which tallied 5.4 million unique visitors.

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Media Business

Political Ad Spending Sees Highest Levels in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco

AdImpact has tracked 465 unique political ads across broadcast stations. In the 209 markets being monitored, political ads have aired a combined 87, 536 times.

Barrett News Media

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A side profile of the U.S. Capitol.

As the 2024 election season continues to take shape, political advertising is seeing large gains in three major metropolitan areas.

AdImpact has tracked nearly $110 million in political ad spending over the past two weeks, with the largest recipients of those figures being Los Angeles ($13.2 million), New York ($10.5 million), and San Francisco ($7.2 million).

Thus far, the highest-spending advertisers are the Adam Schiff for Senate campaign, as the current representative vies for the spot vacated by the death of Diane Feinstein. The campaign has spent $8.1 million.

Additionally, the American Values PAC — a political action committee supporting Democrat Robert F. Kennedy Jr. — spent $7.2 million.

Finally, the Yes on Prop 1 in California campaign — which will attempt to tackle mental health issues in the state — has spent $5.4 million in advertising.

In total, AdImpact has tracked 465 unique political ads across broadcast stations. In the 209 markets being monitored, election ads have aired a combined 87, 536 times.

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