Jay Rasulo Talks Up Disney’s Fiscal Future

Jay Rasulo Headshot

Financially, this last quarter may have been a bit rougher than The Walt Disney Company forecasted, but things are alright now. At least according to CFO Jay Rasulo. One of the things new studio boss Alan Horn has been doing is reviewing all existing film projects, apparently he saw something he didn’t like in the stop motion animated project from Henry Selick and shut it down. Disney is taking a $50 million charge for that one. Also, Disney did not see as big a bounce in advertising revenue as they expected from the post-Olympics ad buys. But no worries, says Rasulo. Everything is looking good now.

Rasulo was speaking to investors at the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference in Beverly Hills. So, I’m sure he was doing his best to paint a realistic, but rosy picture. Among the successes he touted were: Disney’s California Adventure, ESPN in Latin America, and the global expansion of the Disney Channel.

A few other interesting tidbits. After over ordering on Iron Man 2 toys, Disney feels they missed the target a bit by under developing toys for the Avengers franchise, but they expect to have shelves full in time for Christmas shopping. Get your wallets ready.

As anyone listening to Bob Iger for the last few years would know, everything for Disney is tied around the franchise. This trend will continue. While Feature Films have been looked at as the greatest engine for creating franchises, the company also sees The Disney Channel as having great potential to generate new franchises. They’ve even given Mobile a go with “Where’s my Water.” In fact, when you combine the two (tv and mobile devices) you see more engagement, more brand alignment. Those are golden words to a marketer.

This marks a shift for Disney. Instead of one group of fans loyal to the overall brand, they now have to deal with a large number of smaller groups of fans who are more attached to the brand of the particular franchise they enjoy than the Mouse House overall. With more balls in the air, it’s a more difficult juggling act for sure. How confident are you in Disney’s current leadership ability to perform?

(via the LA Times)

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