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.