If Disney isn’t yet in dire financial straights, it is in bad ones, with its stock price down as it struggles to make a profit of blockbuster movies that keep flopping thanks to their woke themes and audience frustration with such themes, particularly in IP like Indiana Jones that used to be great. So, CEO Bob Iger is considering selling some of the company’s non-core branches, such as ABC, and now staffers in them are losing it.
As background, Iger’s comment about selling ABC came during an interview, with him saying, “After coming back, I realized the company is facing a lot of challenges, some of them self inflicted. They may not be core to Disney. There’s clearly creativity and content that they created at its core to Disney, but the distribution model, the business model that forms the underpinning of that business and that has delivered great profits over the years, is definitely broken.”
During that interview, Iger also said, “We have to be open-minded and strategic about the future of those businesses. They may not be core to Disney. The creativity and content they create is core to Disney, but the distribution model, the business model that forms the underpinning of that business, and that has delivered great profits over the years, is definitely broken. And we have to call it like it is. That’s part of the transformative work that we’re doing.”
Well, now that seemingly offhand comment has gotten a lot more real, as Disney just received a bid from media mogul Byron Allen for the ABC television network, along with FX and National Geographic, for $10 billion. That offer is based on the estimate that the assets “accrued $1.25 billion in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization within the past year
A representative for Mr. Allen confirmed that the bid was real to CBS, though the report also added that the offer is a preliminary one and so subject to change with the situation. Further, the offer includes the purchase of several smaller, regional stations.
While Iger and others might be looking to offload the division and so are likely to be excited by the bid, CNN reports that staffers in ABC are less than pleased with the news and view the situation with no small degree of trepidation.
“In conversations with more than a half-dozen people inside and around ABC News that CNN spoke to Thursday evening, it was made clear that a feeling of dread and trepidation is washing over the outlet as they face the unknown,” CNN reported.
Further, the CNN report on the matter notes that staffers said things like “Everyone is freaking the f**k out” and “It’s all anyone at work is talking about.” Their worries mainly center around worries Mr. Allen will want to turn a profit on the deal by slashing costs, which would likely mean layoffs, along with the likelihood that the company doing the buying would fill leadership positions with its own people rather than the former heads.