Group: Disney EchoEar Grand Mouseter/AdministratEAR
Joined: Aug. 2001
||Posted: Dec. 05, 2003 9:08 am/pm
Yoo Hoo, Disney EchoEars!
Carol found this on LaughingPlace's forum, said to be a letter Michael Eisner sent to Disney Cast Members and written by him on the plane while on the way back to Disneyland's CMs Christmas Party after he attended the NYC Disney Board meeting. There's no mention of the high profile resignations of Roy Disney and Stanley Gold -- nor of the DOSH report finding fault with Disneyland's maintenance of Big Thunder Mountain -- in the letter.
12-3-03 Update and Thank You
Dear Fellow Cast Member:
I'm writing to you from a plane on my way to Disneyland for tonight's annual employee Christmas party, having just wrapped up two days of regularly scheduled meetings with your Company's board of directors. As you might guess, the board spent a great deal of time reviewing the results of all our hard work, and it's a privilege for me to tell you that the creativity, innovation and dedication displayed by each of you are paying off.
Disney was not alone in its struggle to navigate the tough economic and international waters of late — companies and individuals across America and around the world have had to work harder and longer. At Disney, the countless hours our employees put in over the past year were certainly worth the effort, and I'm happy to report the results are extremely encouraging.
First, congratulations to The Walt Disney Studios on making industry history by becoming the first studio to surpass $3 billion in global box office receipts for 2003. With Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Finding Nemo, Freaky Friday, Bringing Down the House and a string of other great Disney/Touchstone films paving the way, the studio has enjoyed a phenomenal year. In home entertainment, the benefits of increased DVD player penetration and the tremendous strength of our content have brought us recent record-breaking sales for The Lion King and Finding Nemo DVD releases. In fact, the combined current releases of Finding Nemo and The Lion King have already exceeded 30 million units, and yesterday's Pirates of the Caribbean DVD release is already off to a tremendous start.
The ABC Television Network team has made solid progress with its prime time schedule. Over the last 2-1/2 years, the network has successfully added an unprecedented 10 comedies to its primetime schedule. Versus regular competition, all 10 of ABC's comedies rank either first or second in their respective time periods in the key Adult 18-49 sales demographic (eight rank #1 and two rank #2). Just as important, these young comedies are building blocks that will form the groundwork for the future of the network. While there is clearly more work that needs to be done, we are pleased with the results the ABC team has shown thus far. In cable, ESPN's ratings were up 13% in 2003, and ESPN and ESPN2 had their highest viewership ever in October, up 39% over the same month last year. Disney Channel had its best year ever with ratings up 47% among Kids 6-11, propelling the network to #1 among Kids 6-14. Disney Channel has also evolved into a new engine of creative and franchise development with the introduction of new Company-wide properties such as Kim Possible, That's So Raven, Stanley and Lizzie McGuire. And we are equally focused on delivering growth from our other cable assets, including ABC Family, Toon Disney, our international Disney Channels and SOAPnet.
At Parks and Resorts, we're pleased to see continued signs of the gradual recovery in attendance that we have been expecting. Having just completed an extended period of investment, making each location worldwide a multi-day resort destination, Disney continues to strategically invest with the addition of new "E-ticket" attractions such as Mission: SPACE, one of our greatest technological and creative achievements, which had its grand opening in October.
As we discussed in our last quarter earnings call, the Consumer Products licensing business has experienced solid growth. One of Consumer Products' greatest successes has been its Disney Princess line of merchandise, which has grown from $100 million in worldwide sales in 2000 to $1.3 billion in 2003.
I hope these results will add to your enthusiasm and renew your energy for the coming year because, as Walt put it, "if any of you start resting on your laurels, I mean just forget it, because . . . we are just getting started."
We still have a lot of work ahead, but I could not be more confident in the team we have to meet these challenges. And we will not be distracted from what has been and must remain our sole focus — delivering growth and shareholder value.
There's no question that together we've made Disney the worldwide leader in quality, family entertainment. We've taken the strength of the Disney brand, nurtured it and built a wonderful array of assets that touch the lives of people in every corner of the globe. Of course, in creating and growing this fantastic enterprise, the most important assets of all are the people who make the magic happen . . . you!
I thank you and keep up the great work!