BURBANK, Calif. — The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) Board of Directors has nominated Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook Inc., to be a new independent director, effective upon her election at the Company’s next annual meeting.
Today, The Walt Disney Company registered a series of domain names revolving around one of its flagship television stations, WABC-TV in New York City. The domain names which include ILoveABC7.com, IWantMyABC7.com, SaveABC7.com and SaveABC7Now.com were also joined by StopCablevision.com
Unusual for Disney, the sites were already active, although it appears as though the content on the site — while not harmful in any way — was probably not meant for public consumption.
Under the title ABC/WABC Retransmission Consent, the page provides guidelines for how the company plans to address an upcoming negotiation with cable provider Cablevision beginning in January with a current contractual deadline of an unspecified date in March.
NEW YORK — Disney and Chase today announced a new offering in the Chase family of Disney Rewards Visa Cards, the Disney Rewardssm Visa Debit Card. The new card gives Chase checking account customers access to valuable Disney perks and rewards through the control and accountability of a debit card.
“This is an excellent new choice for Chase customers who prefer to make purchases with debit cards because of the immediacy and financial control it provides,” said Charlie Scharf, chief executive officer of Retail Financial Services for Chase. “The Disney Rewards Debit Card introduces a whole new world of Disney benefits to debit cardholders.”
CALABASAS, Calif., Dec. 16 — The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) announced today that Steve Wadsworth, President of Disney Interactive Media Group (DIMG) will keynote the D.I.C.E. Summit, which will take place at Red Rock Resort, Las Vegas, on February 17-19, 2010.
Wadsworth leads the Walt Disney Company segment that’s responsible for the global creation and delivery of Disney-branded entertainment and lifestyle content across all interactive media platforms, including online, mobile devices and game consoles. DIMG also provides digital media strategy, technology solutions and execution for Disney and its ABC and ESPN units.
The LA Times has reported that Roy Edward Disney, son of Roy Oliver Disney and nephew to Walter Elias Disney, born January 10, 1930, has died just a few weeks shy of what would have been his 80th birthday, presumably related to his cancer.
You can read the LA Times obituary for Roy here.
The official press release from The Walt Disney Company follows:
Roy Edward Disney, son of Disney Studios co-founder Roy O. Disney, and nephew of Walt Disney, passed away today (12/16/09) at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, California, following a year-long battle with stomach cancer. He was 79 years old. Disney was a successful businessman, philanthropist, filmmaker, and award-winning sailor, who played a key role in the revitalization of The Walt Disney Company and Disney’s animation legacy. He was associated with the Company over a 56-year period, and from 1984 – 2003, served as vice chairman of the Company’s board of directors, and chairman of the Studio’s Animation Department. In recent years, he held the title of director emeritus and consultant for the Company.
As head of Disney Animation, Disney helped to guide the Studio to a new golden age of animation with an unprecedented string of artistic and box office successes that included “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin,” and “The Lion King.” He personally executive produced “Fantasia/2000,” a sequel to the 1940 Disney classic, and served in a similar capacity on a number of recent animated shorts, including the 2004 Oscar®-nominated “Destino,” based on storyboards and original art by the iconic artist Salvador Dali. In the area of live-action films, Disney and his wife, Leslie DeMeuse Disney, most recently executive produced the 2008 feature documentary, “Morning Light,” which followed a group of young sailors as they competed in the grueling Transpac race from Los Angeles to Honolulu.
To celebrate a significant step in the expansion of Hong Kong Disneyland, a groundbreaking ceremony was held today at the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. John Tsang, Financial Secretary of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, and Jay Rasulo, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts officiated the ceremony with representatives from the Government, The Walt Disney Company and the Hong Kong community in attendance.
The ceremony represents a major milestone in the Resort’s expansion plan. The expansion will bring the total number of attractions, entertainment and interactive experiences at the Park to more than 100, create 3,700 jobs during the construction phase and 600 new full-time jobs after expansion.
“Today marks the beginning of another exciting phase for Hong Kong Disneyland,” said Mr Rasulo. “The new themed areas will showcase the best in creativity, technology and story-telling. The planned attractions and rides will position our youngest Disney theme park for future growth and success.”
Mr. Tsang said that a larger park with more attractions will continue to draw the crowds and provide even more fun and excitement for visitors.
The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) board today declared an annual cash dividend of $0.35 per share, payable on January 19, 2010 to shareholders of record at the close of business December 14, 2009. The January dividend payment represents the 54th consecutive year of dividend payments to shareholders.
“While last year was a challenging one, our strategic focus has remained consistent and our execution disciplined,” said Robert A. Iger, president and CEO. “We are pleased to be able to continue returning capital to our shareholders through dividends while investing for future growth.”
After a few postponements, Marvel has finally set the date for its shareholders to vote for the acquisition by The Walt Disney Company on December 31. All those who own Marvel stock as of November 23 are eligible to vote at the meeting which will be held at the offices of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP, 75 East 55th Street, New York, New York.
BURBANK, Calif. (November 24, 2009) — Carolina Lightcap has been promoted to President, Disney Channels Worldwide, it was announced today by Anne Sweeney, Co-chair, Disney Media Networks and President, Disney/ABC Television Group, to whom she will report. A highly-regarded executive with more than 20 years in the media/entertainment industry, Ms. Lightcap joined The Walt Disney Company in 2000 and most recently served in the dual roles of senior Vice President, Programming and Creative Affairs, Disney Channels Latin America, and Chief Marketing Officer, The Walt Disney Company, Latin America. She will assume her new position within the Disney/ABC Television Group effective immediately and will relocate from Buenos Aires to Burbank.
A versatile and well-regarded executive who, during her career, has been based in Los Angeles, Miami and New York, Ms. Lightcap will be charged with shepherding Disney Channels Worldwide, the global leader in kid-focused, family-inclusive entertainment, through its next period of growth. The Disney Channel global executive team representing Programming and Production, Business Affairs, Business Planning and Development, Marketing, Brand Management, Advertising Sales and Radio Disney, will report to her.
And in recognition of his extraordinary and continuing contribution, Gary Marsh will assume the new title of Chief Creative Officer in addition to his current title of President, Entertainment, Disney Channels Worldwide, remaining in charge of all program development, creative and production, reporting to Ms. Lightcap.
In making the announcement, Ms. Sweeney stated: “Carolina has made enormous contributions to Disney over the past decade, especially in launching and building Disney Channel Latin America into the #1 cable channel in the region. She’s a highly respected member of our global team and her wealth of experience, leadership acumen and programming, marketing and franchise building skills make her the ideal executive to lead Disney Channels Worldwide into the future.”
A trio of University of Oregon students: Brian McAndrew, Jamie Slade and Michael Bishon, also known as Supwitchugirl, have come into the limelight recently with a music video they produced and released on YouTube singing (and/or rapping) their praises of the school’s football team, the Oregon Ducks.
They’ve also produced a little bit of controversy and it may not be reasons that you’d immediately think of. The problem, some are finding, including the UO Athletic Department, is the prominent appearance in the video by the school’s mascot, the Duck (and often just the head of the Duck on someone’s body).
What this has to do with controversy (and — more importantly — Disney) is that the UO Duck, although not an identical twin by any stretch of the imagination, is a licensed version of Donald Duck. Donald was licensed to the University by Walt himself in a famous anecdote in which the deal was sealed with a simple handshake. Upon Walt’s death, when the question of the legitimacy of the claim came up, a photograph featuring Walt wearing a UO Letterman’s jacket featuring Donald was accepted as grounds for continuation of the deal, this time on paper.
What some are afraid of is that the unauthorized use of the mascot in the video may be subject to legal action by The Walt Disney Company as Disney would need to explicitly provide consent for anything beyond the already agreed upon use of Donald’s likeness. While the licensing contract details haven’t been revealed, some are concerned this may be the beginning of the end of the agreement altogether and have asked the students to remove the mascot from the video, a Herculean task which the students have respectfully declined.