Disney Boss on ABC News Cuts: ‘Extremely Proud of the Way They’ve Stepped Up and Faced Those Challenges’

By Chris Ariens Comment

Iger_3.11.jpgDisney CEO Bob Iger, who’s married to tvnewser Willow Bay, told investors he’s “extremely proud” of ABC News. “We’re proud of their efforts, we’re proud of their products,” he told participants at a shareholder meeting yesterday.

But the headline of several write-ups yesterday was what Iger said just prior to that.

Answering a shareholder’s question about Disney possibly spinning off ABC, Iger answered, “There are no guarantees in terms of what will remain part of our company and what will not.”

So, for context, the entire question and Iger’s answer after the jump…

> Earlier on TVNewser: Massive Cuts at ABC News; 300-400 Positions to be Eliminated

Question: CBS (inaudible)Viacom up from CBS and GE is working with a French company and a cable company and apparently, eventually, are going to get out of their TV and other their media. Does it look like ABC and/or their News will be split off of Disney at a future date that you can for see? Because I understand from your report that the News division didn’t do very good.

Iger: Well to your larger question we’re comfortable and actually quite proud of our current mix of assets at the company under the ABC/Disney/ESPN/Pixar and now Marvel umbrellas. However, we always look at the long term prospects for each of our businesses with an eye toward making sure that we continue to grow our company and provide the kind of shareholder value that our shareholders expect when they invest in our company. So there are no guarantees in terms of what will remain part of our company and what will not. Specifically about ABC News, we’re proud of their efforts, we’re proud of their products; they’re in a business that is undergoing significant challenge because of all kinds of changes in the way people access and consume news. There’s far more competition then there ever was in the past and they continue to address those challenges. I’m actually extremely proud of the way they’ve stepped up and faced those challenges by addressing costs, adjusting the way they deliver their product, the way they produce their product and I hope they continue to do that. We also continue to invest significantly in ABC News because it’s a business that we’re proud to be in and a business that is important to the ABC TV network and to our local stations around the country. Thank you-