The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) announced today it will contribute $100,000 in humanitarian aid to the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. The donation will be provided to the Red Cross International Fund to support Haiti’s relief efforts.
Well, anyway, ever since we first learned the news that Tom Staggs (former CFO of the Walt Disney Company) and Jay Rasulo (former Chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts) were going all Freaky Friday on us (that’s the Jodie Foster kind if you will), the atmosphere quickly became thick with questions and theories about the future of the parks (oddly, not so much for the bottom line) and speculation that Staggs was being groomed by Iger for bigger and better things.
Building on an already successful three year creative and business relationship, POW! (Purveyors of Wonder) Entertainment Inc. (Pink Sheets: POWN), the advanced media and entertainment company led by comic book and motion picture icon Stan Lee, announced today it is deepening its ties with The Walt Disney Company.
“Enhancing our relationship with one of the world’s most creative and innovative entertainment companies makes perfect sense given all the exciting projects we have underway,” said Lee, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of POW! “Disney has been a great partner for us and we look forward to working closely with them in the coming years. In addition to the huge creative opportunity this affords POW!, it also provides for the next positive stage in the expansion of the company itself.”
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.
“Sheryl is an outstanding executive who can add incredible value to what is already a diverse and highly experienced group of directors,” said John E. Pepper Jr., Disney’s chairman. “She brings great expertise in the online world, considerable international experience and a deep understanding of consumer behavior.”
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.”