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Tag Archives: The Walt Disney Company

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.

May 1

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May 1, 2007 – Susan E. Arnold Joins Disney Board of Directors

“Her distinguished ability and track-record in strategy development, innovation and brand building will be great assets to the Disney board.” – Disney Chairman John E. Pepper

On May 1, 2007, the Walt Disney Company announced that Susan E. Arnold had been elected to the company’s board of directors. In 2004, Arnold was the first woman to be named a vice chairman at Procter & Gamble, and went on to lead P&G Beauty and Health. She then held the office of President – Global Business Units of P&G, which she left in 2009. Arnold has also held the position of the director of the McDonalds Corporation from 2008 to 2016, and was a director of NBTY, Inc. since 2013, along with being an operating executive of The Carlyle Group.

April 25

April 25, 1988 – Michael Eisner and Mickey Mouse Appear on the Cover of Time Magazine

“Why is this mouse smiling?”

On April 25, 1988, the cover of Time magazine featured Mickey Mouse and then-CEO Michael Eisner, along with the cover story about how Eisner had taken the company and turned it into a $3 billion dollar empire.  Eisner, who had been CEO since 1984, grew Disney holdings significantly, including expansions of Walt Disney World and Disneyland.

April 2

April 2, 1940 – The First Sales of Disney Common Stock are Offered

On April 2, 1940, the first common stocks of Walt Disney Productions were offered to the public. The offerings were released with 6% cumulative convertible preferred shares; common stock offerings were about $5 a share (almost $89 when adjusted for inflation). The sales of stocks went on to raise $3.5 million for the company. On November 12, 1957, the company would be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

March 24

March 24, 2014 – Disney Buys Maker Studios

“Mickey Mouse became a YouTube giant on Monday.”

On March 24, 2014, the Walt Disney Company announced that it had completed a deal to acquire the YouTube-based video supplier Maker Studios for $500 million. The acquisition deal also includes a stipulation that Disney would pay an additional $450 million if the aggressive growth targets are met. Disney’s acquisition was mainly about expanding its distribution and programming channels, as Maker manages over 50,000 YouTube channels, including Epic Rap Battles of History and PewDiePew. There were concerns over the acquisition, as analysts believe that Maker operates in the red due to its proceeds coming from ads across their channels. However, Disney will operate the studio under the financial area of the company until it is ready to serve the other business units.

March 18

March 18, 1968 – The Partners Federal Credit Union Starts in Disneyland

“Imagine what we can do together.”

On March 18, 1968, the Partners Federal Credit Union started in Disneyland. The Walt Disney Company has a long history with creating credit unions for its employees, with the first one, the Walt Disney Employees Federal Credit Union, opening in 1945. This Disneyland federal credit union has run under several different names, including Disneyland Recreation Club (DRC) Federal Credit Union, as well as Disneyland Employees Federal Credit Union. Partners was officially founded through a merger of Disney’s other credit union, the Vista Federal Credit Union.

March 9

March 9, 1984 – Roy E. Disney Resigns from The Walt Disney Company Board

“The thing that distinguishes us from everybody else, and always has and always will, is our past…we shouldn’t be intimidated by them; they’re an arrow pointing someplace.”

On March 9, 1984, Roy E. Disney, son of Roy O. Disney and nephew of Walt Disney, resigned from his position on the board of The Walt Disney Company. Tensions had reached a boiling point by 1984, as Disney was not thrilled with the direction the company was going under the leadership of Walt’s son-in-law, Ron Miller. Soon after Disney resigned, he started buying up several shares of the company, raising his stake to 5.2 percent. His actions, however, led to several takeover actions against the company, and forced Miller to resign. Later that year, after gaining backing of the largest group of shareholders to hire Michael Eisner as the CEO and Frank Wells as the president, Disney working with the company as its vice chairman and headed up the animation department.

January 18

February 18, 2011 – Disney Acquires Togetherville Social Network

On February 18, 2011, Disney completed their acquisition of the social network Togetherville. The network, aimed at kids aged 13 and younger, was created by Mandeep Dhillon and Rajveer Tut, and released in a public beta version on May 19, 2010. The intent of the site was to provide children the experience of Facebook, but within the confines of an age-appropriate environment that allows parents to moderate their children’s connections. With this acquisition, Dhillon became the Vice President of TogetherVille, as well as Vice President of Strategy at Disney Interactive. The Togetherville network was discontinued in March, 2012.