Disney Channel Execs Panic Over Potential Sale, Bob Iger Reportedly Changes Tune

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Bob Iger with the Disney Channel logo

Credit: Disney/Inside the Magic

The Disney Channel is reportedly in panic mode over CEO Bob Iger’s recent suggestion that the whole branch of the company is potentially up for grabs, and it seems the chief executive is on the defense about it.

Disney Channel Logo and Old Shows
Credit: Inside the Magic

In a now-infamous interview with CNBC’s David Faber at the Sun Valley Allen & Co.’s annual conference (popularly known as the “summer camp” for billionaires), Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed a lot of controversial thoughts about the company and its future.

Among other things, Bob Iger aggressively rebutted Florida Governor Ron DeSantis‘ claims that Disney was sexualizing children (calling the allegations “preposterous and inaccurate”), saying that the writers currently striking for job protections and streaming residuals were “unrealistic” and “disruptive,” and that linear TV was a “broken” business model.

Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger looking at Disney Brand Image with Castle and Logo
Credit: Inside the Magic

Related: “Sick, Vile and Disgusting,” Writer on Disney’s Most Acclaimed Show Bashes Studios

Linear TV means traditional (i.e., not streaming like Hulu or Disney+) broadcasts, which for Disney means outlets like the beloved Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, ABC, FX, and National Geographic.

So when CEO Bob Iger said that the Disney Channel and the rest “may not be core to $DIS,” it sent a shockwave through Disney General Entertainment Content, the division of the Walt Disney Company that operates linear TV.

According to a new report from CNN, Disney General Entertainment Content executives had no idea that CEO Bob Iger was going to go on TV and imply that the Disney Channel was broken and he was up for selling it to the highest bidder.

Bob Iger with the hulu and disney plus logos tied to gether with wedding rings
Credit: ITM/Disney

As one can expect, this has caused an atmosphere of “high anxiety” for the Disney division, which employs over 7,000 people (as of 2016). Prior to his statements to CNBC, there were no internal memos, announcements, town halls, or indications that the Disney Channel (and the other channels) were on Bob Iger’s immediate plans for cutting costs and potential sales.

Since Bob Iger took over as CEO from Bob Chapek (who stepped down amidst controversy over Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law), he has been slashing budgets, laying off thousands of Disney employees, and basically doing everything he can to make Cast Members nervous. No wonder the Disney Channel is freaking out about Bob Iger’s future plans.

It seems that Bob Iger is currently on damage control within the company, speaking to Disney General Entertainment Content senior executives and assuring them that the Disney Channel is “incredibly valuable to our business.”

Disney's 80s logo

However, that does not exactly square up with his previous comment that their entire business model is broken. One can draw one’s own conclusions from there.

Related: Four Things Bob Iger Spends His Ridiculous Fortune on Instead of Paying Disney Employees

According to one Disney insider, Bob Iger was delivering “the usual jewel in the crown stuff — except now we know that he’s selling the jewel… he has revealed the truth: he wants to get the highest price he can for the jewel because he can’t afford it anymore.”

Should the Disney Channel remain safe from Bob Iger? Let us know in the comments below!

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