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Posts Tagged ‘Bob Iger’

As Promised, Activists Criticize MSNBC at Comcast Shareholders Meeting

As they promised they would, activists took aim at MSNBC at the Comcast shareholders meeting, forcing CEO Brian Roberts to respond.

The Hollywood Reporter‘s Paul Bond has some of the details:

“If you sit back and think about it,” said Borelli, “why would a conservative person in any state want their money to go pay for Al Sharpton’s salary? Have you contemplated the damage that MSNBC and its biased coverage is doing to the overall Comcast business?”

Roberts didn’t buy the premise, given all of the distributors – Time Warner Cable, Dish Network, DirecTV, Verizon, AT&T – that carry MSNBC.

“Ultimately, I think, giving diversity of voices has been what cable has stood for all these years, whether it’s one side or another, so I don’t think in the long run it will change the trajectory of Comcast cable,” Roberts said.

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Barbara Walters On Retiring in 2014: ‘This Is What I Want To Do’

As expected, ABC’s Barbara Walters announced her retirement on “The View” today. The show kicked off with Walters introducing a brief career retrospective, followed by her formal announcement:

“I have been on television–continuously–for over 50 years,” Walters said. “But in the Summer of 2014, a year from now, I plan to retire from appearing on television at all. It has been an absolutely joyful, rewarding, challenging, fascinating and occasionally bumpy ride, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I am perfectly healthy, this is my decision and I have been thinking about it for a long time. This is what I want to do.”

The audience in “The View” studio was filled with executives, including ABC News president Ben Sherwood (“Not only the best president of a news division but also the tallest,” Walters joked), ABC executive VP Vicki Dummer, ABC entertainment president Paul Lee, Disney-ABC TV group president Anne Sweeney and Disney CEO Bob Iger, who shared the story of when he first met Walters back in 1976.

He was a production assistant, and was asked to bring something to Walters’ dressing room. He wasn’t expecting her to be there, but she was, and she was very kind to him.

“From then on you called me Jim, my name is Bob,” he quipped, adding more seriously:

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Disney CEO Defends ABC News, ESPN Standards At Shareholders Meeting

The Disney annual shareholders meeting is always an interesting one to listen to. With such a wide range of shareholders, from various public and private groups, from across the country and across all persuasions, some of the questions can be… memorable.

There was a question a few years back when a shareholder demanded that the 1946 film “Song of the South,” now considered to be incredibly racist by today’s standards, be released on DVD.

This year, one of the questions focused on “the liberal bias” of ABC News and ESPN.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative research institute (and Disney shareholder) sent general counsel Justin Danhof to the meeting on its behalf.

Citing Brian Ross‘ erroneous Tea Party report after the Aurora shooting, and a comment from an ESPN columnist about Republicans, Danhof told Disney CEO Bob Iger:

“Liberal bias pervades Disney’s media outlets, it’s time to stop denying the bias and do something about it. Our company’s leaders should show the intellectual honesty to admit it exists, it is a problem, and let’s start working together on a solution.”

Danhof’s question was greeted by the crowd of shareholders with applause, and boos. Iger responded frankly, but deftly:
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Media Companies Make Big Donations For ‘Sandy’ Charities

A number of major media companies, including the owners of ABC News and Fox News Channel, are making sizable donations to charities to benefit the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

News Corp., which owns Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network, donated $1 million to charity, half of it for help in NYC, and half for New Jersey. News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch announced the donation on Twitter:

The Walt Disney Company, which owns ESPN, ABC and ABC News, is donating $2 million to relief efforts, half to the Red Cross and half to local organizations. The company will also match employee donations to many organizations.

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Brian Roberts On The Comcast/NBC Relationship

Bloomberg Businessweek’s latest edition is the “Interview Issue,” and among those interviewed are Mitt Romney, Disney CEO Bob Iger and Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. Roberts was asked about the relationship he has with NBCUniversal, which is now owned by Comcast, and what role he plays in some of those decisions:

Do you get involved in decisions at the network level? If Savannah replaces Ann, do you make that call?

I knew about it ahead of time, but I do not make that call. I have tremendous confidence in [NBCUniversal CEO] Steve Burke, who worked 12 years for Disney (DIS) and 12 years for Comcast and grew up in broadcast television with his dad. [Daniel Burke was a former president and CEO of Capital Cities/ABC.] So I have the utmost confidence in Steve’s leadership and the team he relies on. I want all the key folks to know I’m involved and I care, but there should be one leader, and Steve is making those hard calls.

You can read more here.

ESPN Shakeup: John Skipper to Become President, Bodenheimer To Become Executive Chairman

Left: Skipper, Right: Bodenheimer

In a major development at sports juggernaut ESPN, Disney has announced that ESPN president George Bodenheimer will step down and become executive chairman of the channel in January, 2012. Meanwhile, John Skipper will become the new president of ESPN, as well as co-chairman of the Disney Media Networks alongside Anne Sweeney.

Bodenheimer has been president of ESPN for 13 years, and has worked at the network for 31 years. Skipper has been with ESPN since 1997, and is currently executive VP of content. The news comes just a month after Disney announced that it would transition Disney CEO Bob Iger out of his role and into an executive chairman role in 2015.

2011 has seen a number of sports media executives leave their posts. In May longtime NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol resigned, and in July HBO lost its sports chief Ross Greenburg.

More information below.

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Anchors, Celebrities Toast Regis Philbin At His Last ‘Live!’

This morning was Regis Philbin‘s last day co-hosting “Live! with Regis and Kelly,” and ABC went all-out to celebrate the man who holds the record for most hours spent in front of a TV camera. Attendees included Former NBC and CBS News anchor Katie Couric, who recently joined ABC, Couric’s former “Today” colleague Bryant Gumbel, “ABC World news” anchor Diane Sawyer, Disney CEO Bob Iger, former “Today” anchor Meredith Vieira, former “Good Morning America” anchor Joan Lunden, current “GMA” anchor Robin Roberts, Philbin’s former “Live!” co-host and current “Today” co-host Kathie Lee Gifford, actors Tony Danza and Alan Alda, cable news regular Donald Trump and more.

“I will always remember spending these mornings together,”Philbin said at the close of the program. “I hope to see you all again real soon.”

While Philbin may return to TV at some point, today’s event was treated as something of a retirement party, with New York City Mayor (and Bloomberg TV founder) Mike Bloomberg presenting Philbin with a key to the city, and Iger unveiling a plaque in Philbin’s honor outside of Disney’s New York headquarters on Columbus Avenue.

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Disney CEO Bob Iger Inks New Contract, But Will Step Down in 2015

The Walt Disney Company, which owns ABC, ABC News and ESPN, among numerous other media properties, has unveiled an unusual succession plan for CEO Bob Iger. Under the deal, Iger will step down as CEO in 2015, at which time he will become executive chairman of the board.

In the immediate term, the deal keeps Iger with the company for an additional three years beyond his current contract, and the executive will become chairman of the board in early March, when current chairman John Pepper retires. Once Iger becomes executive chairman in 2015,  he will lead the search for his successor.

In a filing with the SEC, Disney said that the decision was made due to Pepper’s decision to retire, and the end of Iger’s contract:

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Which TV News Personalities and Media Moguls are in Sun Valley for the Allen & Co. Conference?

AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

This week Allen & Co. is hosting its annual shindig in Sun Valley, Idaho. It was at Sun Valley a few years ago that Comcast first reached out to GE about acquiring NBC Universal, so it is no small event.

Business Insider has a slideshow of many of the attendees, including TV news anchors Tom Brokaw (right) and Charlie Rose, as well as News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch (dealing with the News of the World scandal from afar), Disney CEO Bob Iger and Discovery CEO David Zaslav.

NHL Begins Search For International Media Rights

The National Hockey League announced a tender process Monday for international media rights to live NHL games throughout Europe, Middle East and Africa.

The open bidding process will run from May 17 to June 8 and the foreign rights would run from 2011-12 through 2014-15 seasons.

According to the NHL, 26 percent of its players come from outside of North America. Since 2007, the NHL has staged more than 35 exhibition and regular season games in Europe attended by over 400,000 fans.

 

 

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