Disney to Acquire Marvel Entertainment (Updated With Video Announcement)

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DATG, Hearst Corp and NBC Universal Announce Joining of A&E Networks and Lifetime Entertainment

New York/Burbank, August 27, 2009 – The Disney-ABC Television Group, Hearst Corporation and NBC Universal today announced an agreement for A&E Television Networks to acquire Lifetime Entertainment Services. The parent company will retain the name A&E Television Networks, LLC (AETN), and its subsidiary will retain the name Lifetime Entertainment Services, LLC. The closing of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to occur in 2009. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Abbe Raven, president and chief executive officer of AETN, will serve as head of the combined company following the closing. Raven has been recognized with numerous industry awards for building some of the most prominent brands in media including A&E Network, History and The Biography Channel, and for spinning them off into successful global franchises. Andrea Wong, president and CEO of Lifetime Entertainment Services, will continue to head the Lifetime Networks and will report to Raven following the closing. Robert DeBitetto, president and general manager, A&E Network and The Biography Channel, and Nancy Dubuc, president and general manager, History and History International, will both continue to report to Raven and run their respective networks.

The new agreement will, upon closing, consolidate three of the nation’s top cable networks under single management while preserving the distinct brand identities of each network. In addition, the combined company will be a global media content company reaching over 250 million homes worldwide in more than 140 countries around the globe. AETN will now include: A&E Network, History, Lifetime Television, Lifetime Movie Network, Bio, History International, Lifetime Real Women, History en Español, Military History and Crime & Investigation Network. Combining the resources, libraries and multiple platforms of 10 brands, including more than 20 Web sites, the new company will be well positioned to create new opportunities for expansion and cross-promotion, as well as build upon the record of success and strengths across a broad variety of audiences, platforms and programming. The combination of these businesses is also expected to yield substantial cost efficiencies.

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Jayne Parker Named Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for The Walt Disney Company

Jayne Parker (Photo courtesy of The Walt Disney Company)BURBANK, Calif., August 24, 2009 – Jayne Parker has been named Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), it was announced today by Robert A. Iger, president and CEO, The Walt Disney Company. Ms. Parker will report to Mr. Iger and be responsible for areas that include leading Disney’s overall human resources strategy including global talent attraction, staffing and retention, leadership development, diversity, organizational design and cultural development, employee education and development, compensation and benefits and employee relations. The heads of human resources in Disney’s business units will report to Ms. Parker as well as to the leaders of their respective business units.

“Jayne demonstrated clear leadership and innovation while overseeing human resources, diversity and inclusion for Disney Parks and Resorts’ nearly 100,000 employees worldwide,” said. Mr. Iger. “I’m delighted that she will now apply her results-oriented practices to our entire organization in order to attract, motivate and retain experienced, knowledgeable and creative employees.”

“Disney is successful because of its people – their commitment, their creativity and their passion. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Parks and Resorts division and am honored to now work on behalf of all Disney cast members and employees to continue to attract diverse talent and develop future leaders for all of our businesses,” said Ms. Parker.

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The Walt Disney Company Donates $100,000 to Red Cross Catastrophic Disaster Planning

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 17  — The Walt Disney Company has donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross of Greater Los Angeles in support of the organization’s Catastrophic Disaster Plan, a disaster preparedness project to feed and shelter 250,000 people following a major disaster, such as a large scale earthquake.

The Walt Disney Company’s donation aided the Red Cross in qualifying for a $1 million challenge grant. To date, the total committed donations to the Plan are nearly $5 million dollars.

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The Walt Disney Company Execs to Discuss Fiscal Full Year and Fourth Quarter 2009 Financial Results via Webcast

The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) will announce fiscal full year and fourth quarter 2009 financial results via a live audio Webcast beginning at 4:30 p.m. EST / 1:30 p.m. PST on Thursday, November 12, 2009 (results will be released at approximately 4:01 p.m. EST / 1:01 p.m. PST). To listen to the Webcast, point your browser to www.disney.com/investors. The discussion will be available via re-play through November 26, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. EST / 4:00 p.m. PST.

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Entrepreneur Magazine Recognizes Disney Entrepreneur Center as Valuable Resource for Small Businesses in Orlando

Disney Entrepreneur Center

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., August 14, 2009 – Entrepreneur Magazine’s August issue names Orlando as one of the “Top 10 Best Cities to Start a Business” and gives kudos to the Disney Entrepreneur Center for its efforts in mentoring small-business owners and directing them to the right resources.

“We are unbelievably fortunate to have community leadership that is creative, open to partnerships, and willing to give a new idea or a new business an opportunity,” says Jerry Ross, executive director of the Disney Entrepreneur Center.

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The Walt Disney Company Releases 3Q FY2009 Report; Things Not Looking UP.

The Walt Disney Company released it’s annual report today for the 3rd Quarter of the 2009 Fiscal Year. Decreases in items such advertisers and increases in items such as promotions at the parks are reasons cited for virtually every unit of the company’s decrease in revenue for the quarter.

You can access the report directly here.

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HK Disneyland Expansion is On – Disney to Invest $452M for 30 New Attractions, 3 New Lands

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong on Tuesday said the Walt Disney Co will invest $452 million to expand its Hong Kong theme park, seen as necessary to bolster the park’s long-term prospects against a planned rival park in Shanghai.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang said Hong Kong would not invest more capital in the joint venture but would convert a substantial part of its loan to the project into equity.

After Disney’s new investment and the government’s debt to equity swap, Hong Kong will see its stake in the underperforming park fall to 52 percent from 57 percent.

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Learning Tree Partners with the Disney Institute to Offer Classes in Key Business Markets

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., June 24  — Disney Institute professional development programs will soon be offered at Learning Tree Education Centers in select cities throughout the U.S. The programs are part of a new relationship between Disney Institute — the professional development arm of The Walt Disney Company — and Learning Tree, the world’s leading vendor-independent management, business skills and IT training company.

Beginning August 2009, the relationship will bring a broad range of Disney Institute content to Learning Tree Education Centers in Atlanta; Reston, Va.; Rockville, Md.; Alexandria, Va.; Chicago; and New York City. A variety of course topics and formats will be offered, enabling individuals and intact work teams to select content that is ideally suited to meet their organizations’ needs.

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ABC Entertainment Group Announces Reorganization of Creative, Business and Operational Functions

Completing a process begun in January, ABC Entertainment Group President Stephen McPherson today announced the Group’s final organizational structure. Effective immediately, Business Affairs, Business Development, Casting, Program Planning, Scheduling and Distribution will be managed as integrated areas, while ABC Entertainment and ABC Studios retain separate creative teams, with each combining development and current programming roles.

In making the announcement, Mr. McPherson said: “The new organization will strengthen our position as a top quality content engine and promote a healthier business model to sustain it. The structural changes we have put in place ensure a cohesive vision from a creative, production and business standpoint, and will make us a stronger, more efficient team more seamlessly focused on common goals.”

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