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Tag Archives: The Walt Disney Company

May 6

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May 6, 1991 – The Walt Disney Company Joins the Dow Jones Industrial Average

On May 6, 1991, the Walt Disney Company joined the Dow Jones Industrial Average (known as the Dow), a stock market index that tracks the value of 30 publicly owned companies from the United States. This inclusion was part of a revamp of the Dow, and was the first time an entertainment company had been added to the Dow since 1932; Paramount-Publix was briefly in the Dow from 1928 to 1932. Disney was added alongside J.P. Morgan and Caterpillar Inc., replacing Navistar International Corporation, USX Corporation, and Primerica Corporation.

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March 21

March 21, 1940 – The Disney Studio Commissary Opens

Image credit: D23.com

“Many a celebrity has enjoyed dining at the commissary at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, including Walt Disney himself.”

On March 21, 1940, the Walt Disney Studios Commissary opened. Most studios had a commissary where actors and staff could congregate and have a meal between takes, and the Disney Studio was no different. The Disney Commissary was popular among actors, with actress Cloris Leachman raving about it in a 1979 interview. The area has undergone several changes over the years, including new décor and new menu items, although Walt’s favorite chili dish is still a staple on the menu.

March 3

March 3, 2004 – George J. Mitchell is Elected Chairman of The Walt Disney Company

On March 3, 2004, former U.S. Senator Majority Leader George J. Mitchell was elected chairman of The Walt Disney Company. Mitchell joined The Walt Disney Company in 1995, having been elected to the board; he was named the presiding director on December 3, 2002. His tenure as chairman wasn’t without controversy, as the company was going through a period of turmoil, which included the ousting of then-CEO Michael Eisner. Mitchell departed from his role at Disney on December 31, 2007.

February 9

February 9, 1996 – Thomas Murphy Joins Disney Board of Directors

On February 9, 1996, Thomas Murphy joined the Disney Board of Directors. Murphy helped to build the company Capital Cities, working his way up the ladder until he was named chair and CEO in 1966. In 1985, Capital Cities merged with one of the network leaders, ABC; at the time, this was the largest merger of media companies, which was outdone ten years later when the company then merged with the Walt Disney Company. After this merger, Murphy was not only added as a member of the Board of Directors, but would also join the Executive Committee the following year.

February 4

February 4, 1958 – The Wall Street Journal Publishes Article “Disney’s Land: Dream, Diversify – and Never Miss an Angle”

“Integration is the key word around here: we don’t do anything in one line without giving a thought to its likely profitability in our other lines.”

On February 4, 1958, an article entitled “Disney’s Land: Dream, Diversify, and Never Miss an Angle” appeared in the Wall Street Journal. Written by Mitchell Gordon, the article looks at the integration of business lines within the Disney Company, using the recent release of Sleeping Beauty as an example; the film’s release also spawned success in book, tv, record, and park profits. The article also takes a look at the intricacies of the company’s employees as more than just “movie moguls,” but innovators of various fields. The article was also sent to the company’s shareholders, as it was seen as an accurate description of how the company worked across business lines.

December 2

December 2, 1988 – Disney Acquires KHJ Television Station

On December 2, 1988, The Walt Disney Company finished their acquisition of the Los Angeles-based television station KHJ. The station, originally owned by RKO, had been made available due to corporate issues; Disney had to purchase the license from Fidelity Television, while purchasing the intellectual property from RKO. Once Disney purchased the station, the call letters were changed to KCAL, and was eventually changed to K-CAL 9 in the mid-90s. The station ran Disney’s syndicated animated series, such as the lineup of the Disney Afternoon, as well as investing in other family-oriented series. Disney would eventually sell K-CAL 9 to CBS on February 14, 2002.

August 31

August 31, 2005 – The Walt Disney Company Pledges $2.5 Million for Hurricane Katrina Relief

“We hope that our donation will aid emergency management teams and organizations in their efforts to provide assistance to those impacted.” – Then-CEO of the Walt Disney Company Michael Eisner

On August 31, 2005, the Walt Disney Company sent out a press release announcing that it had pledged a $2.5 million contribution to the rebuilding efforts for victims of Hurricane Katrina. A million of the money pledged would go to the American Red Cross for immediate relief, another million would be sent to selected children’s charities, and $500,000 would go to volunteer centers that provided services to the communities most affected by the hurricane.