Disney chief rejects Loeb’s request to fire ESPN
financial timesBy Christopher Grimes, p.6
Pop NetworkDirector general Walt DisneyActivist investor requests rejected Dan lube To sell or dismantle a sports television network ESPN, pledging to restore the business to its former status as a growth engine for the company. Loeb, his hedge fund third point He revealed in August that he had bought a $1 billion stake in the group, and requested a crossover from ESPN to reduce Disney’s debt burden, just one element of a broad plan to turn the media company around. In an interview with the Financial Times, Chuckle said Disney is “overwhelmed” with interest from companies wanting to buy ESPN this year, following rumors it might want to sell the cable network. “If everyone wanted to go in and buy it… I think that says something about its potential,” he said. “I think his potential lies with Disney.” ESPN broadcasts live sports in the US, including matches from the National Football League National Basketball Association Based on Major League Baseball. “We have a plan that will put ESPN back on its growth trajectory,” said Chapek. “When the rest of the world knows what our plans are, they will be as confident as we are in this proposal.” Chuckle said he had “regular conversations” with Loeb, who also took a stake in Disney in 2020, which sold out this year.
He described the talks as “extremely collaborative, non-hostile and collegial,” including Loeb’s recommendations to change the Disney board of directors’ composition. He defended the board, noting that the average term is four years and that there is a “broad range of skills.” But he added, “We are very consistent with Dan’s thinking that everything he talked about is things we have taken into account in the past or are thinking about the future.” Loeb also asked Disney to buy Comcast’s 33% stake in the Hulu streaming service before January 2024, when it would have the option to buy the remaining stake. Some Wall Street analysts also urged Disney to solve the ownership issue soon hollow. Chabek said he “would like” to settle the matter sooner, but Comcast seemed reluctant. “We’ve talked to them a few times over the past year,” he said. “If it were possible, we would love to do it, but the tango requires two.”
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