Bob Chapek’s PR effort ‘has dramatically improved in recent weeks’

Bob Chapek, who has had a checkered tenure at the helm of Disney, was on a “charm tour” working to rebrand himself over the weekend. At the D23 Expo in Anaheim — the three-day event where some 140,000 people flocked to see Disney stars, hear about upcoming movies and new theme park rides — he “squeezed hundreds of hands from Thursday night to Sunday afternoon, praised the stars in backstage schmooze sessions, according to The New York Times. He even gave several 15-minute taped interviews. “He didn’t do a lot of press, so it was kind of an occasion,” said Kim Masters, who attended the event and spoke to Chapek. Masters and Matt Belloni discuss what this image reboot means for Disney and Chapek.

Chapek’s PR effort has improved dramatically

Kim: [Chapek] looked classy. He wore this new beard, [as if] someone paid more attention to the making of the clothes. Its public relations effort has drastically improved in recent weeks.

Mast: He has more to say now that they are definitely looking into a reboot of the picture. Disney’s finances are pretty good, especially compared to Netflix and some of the other companies right now. Wall Street appears to value these more diverse media companies, somewhat more than the overall streaming valuation we’ve seen in recent years. The parks are absolutely printing money and the cinemas are coming back.

There is one story that Bob Chapek would like to publish that is very different from this beleaguered CEO he was tagged with in the first three years of his tenure. He has a new contract. He’s really starting to put his fingerprints on this company, and I think we’re going to start seeing more announcements to that effect.

It’s not just pure Disney gaming

Kim: The big question people raised was, “Is there a transformative vision? Bob Iger really added so many things: Pixar, Lucas Films, Fox. [He] changed the business, while it doesn’t seem like it’s quite where we are right now with Disney.

But Chapek was asked: “What about Hulu? What about ESPN?” and there had been pressure on him by Dan Loeb, the activist-investor, to get rid of some things. It’s been clear it has no intention of doing this It’s not so much pure Disney play, as if the company is just doing what Disney is doing, as some would have argued, but a more diverse society.

Mast: It doesn’t look like they are going to part ways with ESPN as some had hoped.

Industry Trend: Integration

Mast: It looks like we’re headed towards an integration of Hulu into the larger Disney+ app, which seems to be an industry trend right now. Warner Bros. Discovery combines HBO Max, Discovery+. Showtime and Paramount come together in one Paramount+ app where you’ll have a title you can pay extra for Showtime. This is key because it increases that friction where people won’t stay in your ecosystem if they have to leave to log into another app. And I think we’re going to see that with Disney very soon.

So there are things he does that come from Chapek’s worldview rather than Iger’s worldview. It’s just not that big transformational move that a lot of people wondered if it had something up its sleeve, at least not yet.

“Can you do this on a streamer?”

Kim: I asked him about this idea of ​​trying to start franchises and things that spawn the kind of stuff that a company like Disney needs with theme parks, cruise ships, these huge attractions. “Can you do this on a streamer?” And he said yes, but he quoted “Encanto”.

“Encanto” was released in theaters, [and] he said it was a bummer until he got to the streamer. But of course the question would be, “If ‘Encanto’ hadn’t been in theaters, even though people at that time weren’t ready to go because of the pandemic, would it have happened? turned into this kind of phenomenon that then became?”

Mast: I would say the answer is probably no. But maybe he has another vision of the world. It’s just that he couldn’t cite an example to compare it to something huge without theater, so it’s still an open question.

Chapek “feels it makes sense”

Kim: I also pushed him on his conflict with Scarlett Johansson, who he said was fine now. He’s great with CAA. He was very optimistic about the whole thing, so it seems like he at least feels like it’s coming into its own.

About Michael Sauers

Check Also

“Life is too short to miss out on nice things like a double cheeseburger” – Muddy River News

Daily Dirt for Tuesday, September 13, 2022 Have you recovered from that first full weekend …