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Topic: Roy Disney quits/Eisner tries to erase Roy's name?, Roy's signature won't be on Wave 3 DVDs?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >

RichKoster Offline

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Posted: Dec. 03, 2003 9:42 am/pm Quote

Newer parks suffered from belt-tightening

Quick quote:
Roy Disney's split from the company his Uncle Walt founded is seen by some observers as a clash over family tradition and a focus on the bottom line -- between Disney magic and Disney dollars. [...] "If you're saying Disney lacks some of the pixie dust it once had, then that's probably true," said Abe Pizam, dean of the Rosen School of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida. [...]It's true Eisner has tried to hold construction costs down, one expert said.

"The amount spent on Disney's California Adventure and Hong Kong and Paris is considerably less than they've spent on their other major parks," said the consultant, who spoke on condition of anonymity to protect a business relationship with Disney.

Tokyo DisneySea was built at a cost of about $3 billion, but it took only about half as much to build California Adventure in Anaheim, Calif. Both parks opened in 2001.

DisneySea had about 4 million visitors its first year and 12 million its second.

California Adventure, however, saw attendance decline from 5 million its opening year to 4.7 million in 2002.

"There's a relationship between dollars spent [on park construction] and attendance," a relationship Eisner probably understood, the consultant said.

"I don't know behind the scenes what Michael Eisner was thinking, . . . [but] I can't be too critical," the consultant said. "Eisner chose a particular direction," a direction that arguably put cost above creativity, the consultant said.

Eisner's emphasis on the company's balance sheet obviously frustrated Disney, said Dennis Speigel of International Theme Park Services in Cincinnati.

"Roy has always been the champion of that side of the brain, the creative side," Speigel said.

Full details.
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CarolKoster Offline

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Posted: Dec. 03, 2003 11:00 am/pm Quote

Over on Laughing Place some of the posters there also visit a WWW site called Animation Nation.  The Laughing Place folks say there is an online petition to support Roy Disney and the animation department.  If you are interested, go to:

http://www.pruiksma.com/letterofsupport.html

To be truthful, I don't know how far online petitions would go to show the press or Disney Board members that Disney fans and stockholders are seriously in support of Roy Disney and Stanley Gold.  Personally, I think a postal-type letter mailed to Shamrock Holdings would be more effective.  But if going to the above site seems legitimate and useful for you, then by all means at least check it out.

Some other posters on Laughing Place are proposing a week long boycott of spending any money on anything Disney.  I don't know how effective this action would be other than to make anyone participating feel as though they were doing something vs. nothing.  Take ten steps back from this week's news.  In some ways audiences and consumers have been voting with their feet and pocketbooks for the past few years and with the slowdown in the economy since 2000 people are spending less, looking for value and bang for the buck, and being selective in their consumer choices.  There's disgruntlement, yes, but that is bearing out unevenly in the Disney universe.  Only you can choose what you do and do not like about anything Disney such that you're willing to spend on it or not.  But that is not going to sway a CEO determined to stay the course and meet short term market conditions in movies and other consumer products.  Other boycotts, such as against Orlando by the Southern Baptists, haven't really worked.   Deliberately stopping purchases for a week might give a feeling of "doing something".  But at this time of year people are buying anyway and lots of people don't know about or hear about the advocacy or inclinations of the Disney online fan community.  When you actually go out into the world and talk to people, few read Disney message boards or would care enough to participate in boycotts, or even letter writing.  But on the other hand others may feel and want to act on denying Disney their money in order to make a point.  It's a free country and a free market economy, and if for you this feels the right way to proceed then by all means do so.

I think the most effective thing anyone can practically do is write to Roy E. Disney at Shamrock Holdings, cite his letter of resignation, and offer brief to-the-point support and encouragement.  No books or life stories or gushing, 'cause obviously Roy Disney knows what is going on already.  But concrete letters are tools for Mr. Disney and Mr. Gold to make their best case to others who have influence.

Jim Hill Media is continuing with columns about this business news.  He's had three columns this week so far about it.  Access at:

http://www.jimhillmedia.com

And peruse the archives for December 1, 2 and 3 or any future dates if you are reading this posting of mine as a dated older post.  Can't vouch for factualness over there, but Jim's writing is interesting and thought-provoking.


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Goofyteer Offline

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Posted: Dec. 03, 2003 2:14 am/pm Quote

Quote (CarolKoster @ Dec. 03, 2003 11:00 am/pm)
I think the most effective thing anyone can practically do is write to Roy E. Disney at Shamrock Holdings, cite his letter of resignation, and offer brief to-the-point support and encouragement.  No books or life stories or gushing, 'cause obviously Roy Disney knows what is going on already.  But concrete letters are tools for Mr. Disney and Mr. Gold to make their best case to others who have influence.

Once again, you put things very intelligently and properly in perspective Carol. :nod:

I agree with you 100%.  

In my personal opinion, internet petitions and not spending for a week just isn't going to do anthing. Heck, the Baptist boycott is still going on and it hasn't managed to accomplish anything concrete despite the good intentions of those people. A week's worth of not spending won't even be noticed. Nothing against anyone who decides to take such actions, of course. :) I just don't think that will have much effect, especially since the internet is basically a hobbyist's thing and is in many ways irrelevant in life - and as such has yet to really be taken seriously by most as a place for important statements and boycotts.

Think of the situation as if it involved a large group of CB radio enthusiasts deciding to boycott something. Granted, many more people have computers than CB radios, but even so if the CB radio enthusiasts kept making broadcast protest statements how many people as a whole would listen or even take it seriously?

The internet can be useful for many things, but it is really overrated and not really that influential. Therefore I personally agree that writing a brief letter of support to Roy would help much better.


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RichKoster Offline

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Posted: Dec. 04, 2003 9:38 am/pm Quote

Yoo Hoo, Disney EchoEars!

Whoa! Lots of great news to report...

Roy Disney & Stanley Gold working with Steve Jobs & John Lasseter and the Jim Henson family to oust Eisner?

Quick quote:
"Roy and Stanley are trying to make Michael Eisner himself the issue. ...Disney and Gold have supposedly been meeting quietly with members of the Henson family for months now. It's even been suggested that Roy and Stanley may have played a part in the family's decision to suddenly buy back the Jim Henson Company this past May, rather than allow the Muppets to be sold off to Mickey. ...Disney and Gold (or their representatives) have supposedly been met quietly with the Henson family over the past few weeks. ...the Walt Disney Company is reportedly looking to get into a long term production deal with the Jim Henson Company -- with the Mouse releasing and promoting a wide variety of movies, videos and TV shows that the Frog produces. Furthermore, should the above arrangement prove to be pleasant, professional and financially beneficial to both corporations, the door might once again swing open for acquisition. As in: The Henson family would allegedly agree to sell the Jim Henson Company -- lock, stock and Fozzie Bear-el -- to the Walt Disney Company. So what's the catch? The Henson family will supposedly only agree to the above arrangement IF Michael Eisner is out as head of the Walt Disney Company. You see the strategy that's emerging here? "Michael Eisner can't get Steve Jobs to agree to a Pixar contract extension. But Roy Disney -- who's a friend of John Lasseter -- can." And "Michael Eisner missed out on closing a deal to acquire the Jim Henson Company (again) in May. But the Henson family is willing once more to do business with the Walt Disney Company ... provided that Michael Eisner is out of the picture.""

Full details.




Support for Eisner eroding, even from within

Quick quote:
Harvey Weinstein, the co-chairman of Miramax Pictures: "All the great executives have been driven from the company. I think there is no camaraderie anymore, no great esprit de corps that I found earlier. I think there was more risk-taking, a more fun company. I don't know why, and it's sad that it is."

Marty Sklar, Vice Chairman and Principal Creative Executive of Walt Disney Imagineering, at an IAAPA seminar Sklar spoke at last month, when asked about what his thoughts were about Disney's California Adventure: "I think that you're nuts to build a park next to Disneyland that's half the size and charge the same amount of money."

"When people like Harvey Weinstein and Marty Sklar -- men that Michael Eisner helped make rich and powerful -- start complaining about how tough things are nowadays at the Walt Disney Company these days, you know that Eisner's REALLY in trouble."

Full details.




Roy Disney Sees Groundswell in Rebellion

Quick quote:
Roy Disney's rebellion against the management of Walt Disney Co. has found fertile ground among small shareholders and average "folks," the former director said on Wednesday. ..."There is a kind of a groundswell out there," Disney said, describing an outpouring of support from small investors and employees at the company, where he was the last founding family member in senior management. "The response from folks is astonishing. I am absolutely boggled by it," he said. ...Eisner, he argues, has not invested in theme parks as he should, and the board of directors was ineffective. "The upkeep down in Disneyland is sickening," he said, adding that the company under Eisner had built "half a park" but charged full-park prices at California Adventure, the theme park opened next to Disneyland in Southern California. ...Roy Disney referred to average folks, however, such as smaller investors who had held Disney for years or decades. "I think they are the ones who will be the most vociferous" in support, he said. Disney said he wanted to "present the idea that there is a better future." He and Gold say it is too early to talk specifics. Disney concluded that those who said he could not succeed reminded him of doubters in 1984, when he resigned from the board to force a change in management. Six months later he succeeded in getting Eisner named CEO and chairman. "The things that need to happen tend to happen," he said.

Full details.




Sign a Letter of Support for Roy and Stanley

A letter of support for Roy Disney and Stanley Gold from three former Disney employees (supervising animator Dave Pruiksma, Steve Moore and Tim Hauser) asks for others to sign (online) in support of them, too, at animator Dave Pruiksma's website. many of the big names who worked at Disney in the '80s and '90s have added their names to the list including Pres Romanillos, Gary Trousdale, Dave Brewster, Tony Anselmo, Gaetan Brizzi, Dave Spafford, Brenda Chapman, Bill Kroyer, and Tom and Pat Sito.

Full details.




Roy Disney talks about his resignation on CNN's Paula Zahn show
Roy Disney discusses his resignation with CNN's Paula Zahn
Tonight's Paula Zahn Now features an exclusive interview with Roy Disney.  Watch for the transcript to appear here.




Disney shares slide amid board tussle

The December 3rd Hollywood Reporter reports that Disney shares continue to decline as influential analysts express concern over the impact the vocal departures of Roy E Disney
and Stanley P Gold.

Full details.




Disney Moves On After Resignations
Disney's board of directors began their dinner meeting venting over the departures of Disney and Gold, glad that vocal critics are gone from the board.

Full details. (Free registration required to view the article.)
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Goofyteer Offline

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Posted: Dec. 04, 2003 1:35 am/pm Quote

:clapping:

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mickeyvw98 Offline

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Posted: Dec. 04, 2003 3:08 am/pm Quote

I second that! :clapping:

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RichKoster Offline

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Posted: Dec. 04, 2003 8:08 am/pm Quote

Roy E. Disney's 12/3/03 Letter to Cast Members

Roy E. Disney sent a letter to Disney Cast Members on December 3rd explaining why he resigned from Disney’s Board of Directors and resigned as Chairman of Disney’s Animation Department. He explains how he feels Michael Eisner has lost sight "the dream born of Walt and my father ... the vision upon which this Company was founded," how he recentlywas prevented from attending the Animation Department screening of three pending feature animation projects. He also thanked the Cast Members for helping "make the magic and wonder that is Disney."

The letter was sent by Roy via e-mail from the office at his investment company (Shamrock Holdings, Inc.) to friends and colleagues, including senior executives in the Company's feature animation and theme park divisions in California and Orlando plus the Walt Disney Imagineering research group.

Read his letter to the Cast Members in this Adobe Acrobat pdf file, or simply read the text below:




ROY EDWARD DISNEY

December 3, 2003

Dear Disney Cast Members,

It was nearly 20 years ago that a small group of us recognized that dramatic changes were necessary to reinvigorate and reenergize the Disney Company. We changed the composition of the Board and assembled a new leadership team headed by Frank Wells and Michael Eisner. I returned to the Disney cast and, working as a team, we planted the seeds that rekindled the spirit and creativity that is synonymous with Disney. Those efforts paid off handsomely in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Once again, Disney was admired for the wholesome family entertainment it brought to millions of people of all ages. Together we created the dreams and excitement that made Disney respected and beloved throughout the world. We succeeded in recapturing the dream born of Walt and my father and the heritage they left to us.

Sadly, times have changed. Michael Eisner has lost sight of the vision upon which this Company was founded. The focus has shifted to the chase for the quick buck instead of a dedication to new and high quality ideas, the development of enduring value. This has lead to division within the Disney workforce, a revolving door of managers, and the exodus of too many of our most creative and inspired employees.

For the last several years, Michael Eisner has done his utmost to isolate me from the members of Disney’s Animation Department and exclude me from participation in decision making regarding the Department. Most recently, I was prevented from even attending the Animation Department screening of three pending feature animation projects. The collegiality and openness that once typified the Disney workplace has been destroyed.

It is against this backdrop that I had no choice but to resign as Chairman of Disney’s Animation Department and as a member of Disney’s Board of Directors. This has been a very painful decision. I am torn between my duties and loyalties to all of you who have made my journey so memorable and special, and the need to preserve the Disney heritage for future generations. However, I cannot stand idle as the heart and soul of this Company is being systematically eliminated by senior management protected by an ineffective Board of Directors. This is a Board that seeks to avoid the constructive tension necessary to guide management through difficult times. Instead, it is a Board that seeks to stifle dissent and, to that end, has asked me to leave the Board of Directors.

Although this is not how and when I would have liked to leave the Disney Company, I assure you that I view it not as an isolated and sad event, but as part of a process. I hope it is not too late for the Disney Board of Directors to finally recognize that fundamental change is needed to restore the Disney luster, nurture and protect the wonderful characters that together we have developed and, most importantly, to create the environment within the workplace necessary to give life to new Disney icons  or the generations to come.

As I now set off on a different course, I cannot fail to publicly and openly once again express to all of you my most heartfelt thanks. I am grateful that we have shared this journey. Without you, your contributions and camaraderie we would not have been able to make the magic and wonder that is Disney. I hope that one day soon the Disney Board gets the message.

Yours faithfully,
Roy E. Disney
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RichKoster Offline

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Posted: Dec. 04, 2003 8:11 am/pm Quote

Steve Jobs to star as Eisner's worst nightmare in next Pixar production

There is a possibility that Steve Jobs could replace Roy Disney.

Full details.




Eisner's "Very Repressive Regime"

Read excerpts from an interview with Roy E Disney about his
resignation.

Full details.




Mice Behaving Badly
An article about the battle between Roy Disney and Michael Eisner.

Full details.
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CarolKoster Offline

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Posted: Dec. 04, 2003 11:31 am/pm Quote

About Steve Jobs coming over to Disney:  Jobs seems to like Apple Computers and Pixar.  His coming over to Disney isn't out of the realm of possibility, but doesn't seem likely at this time.

About Roy Disney's interview with Business Week:  I think Roy is echoing the points in his resignation letter.  I would like to hear more specific things Roy Disney and Stanley Gold find disappointing or wrong direction of the Disney company, as well as their proposed solutions for fixing what they say are problems or wrong directions.  

About the "Mice Behaving Badly" article:  Loved this one.  Basically it echoes Jim Hill's and Al Lutz's articles on their respective sites, that this is a long and nasty public fued spilling out.


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RichKoster Offline

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Posted: Dec. 05, 2003 9:08 am/pm Quote

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

12/03/2003 -

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!

Michael
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83 replies since Nov. 30, 2003 6:39 am/pm < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

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