Disney Earnings and Acquisitions. Walt Disney Co.’s shares fell sharply early Wed. morning, hitting a 52-week low, after the company reported its latest quarterly earnings the day prior (with revenue from cable networks up 7%, in part thanks to ESPN). Stock market swings aside, Disney’s on the lookout for new character acquisitions, with Marvel Entertainment’s bounty of heroes apparently having whet the company’s appetite.
Perry’s Own Net? Rumor has it Lionsgate, which has a first-look deal with film director/producer Tyler Perry, will launch a cable TV network, much like Oprah Winfrey’s OWN, anchored by the star. The NY Timesreports the new venture will be called “Tyler TV,” and will air Perry’s movies and sitcoms, in addition to third-party content in line with his Christian leanings. Distribution options discussed include rebranding the TV Guide Network, buying and revamping a small cable channel or involving Comcast in the mix. Will Perry have a better go at his own network than Winfrey?
In other Oprah news, Varietyreports Lisa Halliday has left Harpo, Inc. as svp of communications and strategy.
Strike Continues. Approximately 45,000 workers at Verizon Communications Inc., represented by the Communications Workers of America Union and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, have been on strike since Aug. 7 in the northeast and mid-Atlantic U.S. At the heart of the matter is a new contract requiring monthly healthcare payments and work-rule changes. The CWA is now appealing to Congress for support, according to Bloomberg. Vandalism of Verizon facilities and equipment is a problem, which the company intends to fix with ads offering $50,000 to those with information about the vandals.