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August 31, 2005
The Walt Disney Company Commits $2.5 Million for Hurricane Katrina Relief and Rebuilding Efforts
The Walt Disney Company announced today that it will make a corporate contribution of $2.5 million to the relief and rebuilding efforts for victims of Hurricane Katrina. One million dollars will be donated to the American Red Cross for immediate relief efforts, one million dollars will be designated for rebuilding efforts targeted at children's charities, and the remaining $500,000 will be directed towards volunteer centers providing services to the communities affected by the hurricane. "The devastation in the wake of Hurricane Katrina is simply heartbreaking and our thoughts are with those struggling in the aftermath of this disaster," said Michael Eisner, CEO, and Bob Iger, president, COO and CEO-elect of The Walt Disney Company. "We hope that our donation will aid emergency management teams and organizations in their efforts to provide assistance to those impacted."
Strength at ESPN, improvements in the ABC television network and steady performance at Walt Disney World in Orlando helped Walt Disney Co. post a surprisingly strong 41 percent boost in profit in the third quarter. In his final earnings report as Disney's top boss, outgoing Chief Executive Officer Michael Eisner said Tuesday the diversified media-entertainment company is benefiting from long-term investments made in recent years and now is "extremely well positioned for ongoing growth." Profit rose to a record $851 million, or 41 cents a share, up from $604 million, or 29 cents, in the same period a year ago. Revenue rose 3 percent to $7.7 billion. Total profit in the quarter ended July 2 beat the 38-cent average estimate of 20 analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial. Disney President Robert Iger, who this fall is taking the reins at the Burbank Calif.-based media giant, said the parks and resort division's expansion internationally will help keep the momentum going as the company prepares to open Hong Kong Disneyland next month.
The Walt Disney Co.'s board did not breach their fiscal responsibilities by agreeing to hire Hollywood superagent Michael Ovitz as president in 1995, then granting him a $140 million severance package when he left just 14 months later, a judge ruled Tuesday. Chancellor William Chandler III said that while directors' conduct "fell significantly short of the best practices of ideal corporate governance," board members did not breach their duties or commit waste.
After a summer filled with tragedy at Disney World, Channel 9 has learned why it will soon be much more difficult to learn about accidents and deaths at the theme park. That's because the fire department that sends ambulances to Disney wants to scramble all their radio transmissions. That means the public probably wouldn't know when paramedics were called out to an incident. The fire chief at Reedy Creek said the move is largely about protecting patients' private information. Disney watchers said it might be about protecting Disney from bad publicity.