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Disney's Go A Sleeping Giant

On Tuesday, February 22, 2000, Disney chairman-CEO Michael Eisner made the

announcement: "With Go.com, I believe we are now the sleeping giant of the

Internet. Once streaming video is commonplace," he added, "Disney is ready

with a vast library and the ability to create new content." Added Go.com

chairman Steve Bornstein: "I see a time, in the next few years, or even

sooner, where nobody will talk about television or the Internet separately.

They will become one synergistic, fused media." In scheduled business,

shareholders re-elected 10 company directors Tuesday and rejected two

proposals -- one to consider reducing executive salaries and discontinue

bonuses, and another to create an election contest for each seat on the

board. The remarks were made at Disney's annual shareholders meeting in

Chicago which some 3,000 shareholders attended. They were shown the opening

clip of animated picture DINOSAUR, which Eisner predicted "could be the big

event for Memorial (Day) weekend with major implications for our entire

company." He also promoted the upcoming holiday film THE EMPEROR'S NEW

GROOVE, a South American-set comedy formerly named KINGDOM IN THE SUN.

Disney has implemented cost cutting measures on the film side with a

smaller slate, lower production budgets, a consolidation of operations,

fewer talent deals and the trimming of overhead. The studio cut costs by

$500 million in the past few years. The company expects that its

cost-cutting measures will save it about $500 million per year starting in

2001. In addition, the company touted its growing theme park empire.

California Adventure opens in 12 months, while Tokyo DisneySea is scheduled

to launch in 18 months, just across from Tokyo Disneyland. In two years, a

Disney Studios park will open at Disneyland Paris. The ambitious Hong Kong

park comes on board in 2005. Execs foresee revenues close to US$2 billion

from the attractions division between 2002 and 2003.

Rick DeMott's picture

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
Director of Content
Creator of Rick's Flicks Picks