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ICYMI: The Week of Bob Bloodshed
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Ed note: The Squeeze series returns tomorrow with a story from Nicole LaPorte about how the economic/streaming climate is hurting producers. Reminder, the series is for paid subscribers only.
It was a week to remember for Hollywood. Eight days ago, the scenario of Bob Iger’s return to the helm of Disney was the stuff of fanciful conspiracy. But the fanciful became reality in one of the more brutal and breathtaking power moves the business world will see for a long time.
The Ankler had full team coverage on the changing of the Bobs. As news broke, Richard had the first take on Bob I, The Restoration, pondering, “Think of all the things a person with the wealth and reputation of Bob Iger could have done in the world once outside of the company. But it turned out, none of it, nothing in this wide world compared with what it is like the be the revered head of the Walt Disney Company. The U.S. Presidency is hell on earth in comparison.”
But after the initial cheers and shock, things started to feel… a little funny.
In Two Bobs and a Board: ‘Nobody Looks Good Here’, CNBC’s Alex Sherman brought sharp words: “I likened it… to the Jay Leno-(Conan) O'Brien situation… for sure there's a guy that just can't let go… that leads to a quasi toxic environment… [but[ Bob Chapek’s tenure is mired in gaffes, and frankly, he iced out Bob Iger… It's very risky to isolate yourself from a beloved CEO who just picked you.”
In “When You Wish Upon an Iger”, Entertainment Strategy Guy challenged the “wishcasting” being projected on the great CEO’s return with analysis of the harsh reality: a re-org that may disincentivize leaders from sending content to streaming; erosion to Marvel and Lucasfilm from the relentless demands of streaming; and a changed M&A climate with new targets — including Roku!
At week’s end, Richard’s Bobinations: Something Isn’t Adding Up reflected on a story not aging well: The insistence Iger knew nothing until the board called him to destiny, that others refused the job… the inside tick-tock of events raised more questions than it answered: “For a company that is the most buttoned-up, zero-drama company in Hollywood, Disney sure produces a lot of drama. This is epic, world-historic soap opera level.”
Meanwhile, Sean McNulty’s morning briefing, The Wakeup, the smartest daily analysis of the entertainment business, looked at Disney three ways:
Before we bid farewell to Kareem Daniel, Chapek’s controversial right-hand man was profiled by Nicole LaPorte in May.
Finally, in non-Bob entertainment, Rob Long’s latest, Martini Shot: Danger in the Trades, takes on the perils of hyped-up industry announcements.
Thanks for being part of The Ankler, as always. We’ll see you with new stories, podcasts and analysis beginning tomorrow. If you’re on the road or in the air today, safe travels home.