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Bob Iger Returns to Disney One Month After Retirement

“Iger is focused on making Disney a viable company for the world after Covid-19.”

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Bob Iger retired as the CEO of the Walt Disney Company in February. Around that time, Disney was keeping an eye on the coronavirus. The company had already closed its theme park in Shanghai, but there was no indication that Disney was bracing for a global pandemic.

The announcement seemed sudden and out of the blue for those of us on the outside, but Disney announced that Iger would step away and Bob Chapek, head of the company’s theme park and cruise line business would fill his shoes.

Now though, according to The New York Times, it seems both Iger and Disney have backtracked and Iger is in charge again, leading conference calls and video conferences. He still retains the title of Executive Chairman with the company.

“A crisis of this magnitude, and its impact on Disney, would necessarily result in my actively helping Bob [Chapek] and the company contend with it, particularly since I ran the company for 15 years!” Iger said in an email to Times writer Ben Smith.

Iger is focused on making Disney a viable company for the world after Covid-19. Different sectors of the company, the Disney Parks, ESPN Events, even the movie studios owned by Disney, all rely on people gathering in large groups.

Lenders clearly have confidence in Iger and Disney’s ability to rebound. Despite the fact that the Walt Disney Company is currently losing around $30 million per day, it just secured a $6 billion loan at the end of last month.

Disney employed over 223,000 people as of last summer. Now though, employees across all divisions are being furloughed. All are keeping their benefits, but won’t receive a paycheck after April 19.

Iger has told some associates to brace for an end of some long-held practices, particularly in the television world. Even when the world gets back to business as usual, The New York Times reports that Iger has discussed doing away with expensive practices like producing pilots for every concept executives find interesting and advertising upfront presentations.

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Cris Collinsworth Wonders If Tom Brady Knows Broadcasting Is a Hard Job

“It’s a seven day a week job. For somebody that has reached where he’s reached in the NFL and made that kind of money, I’m honestly really surprised.”

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Many in the sports media industry were surprised by the news that Tom Brady will join FOX Sports as the lead NFL analyst when he eventually decides to end his playing career. That includes the current lead analyst of NBC’s Sunday Night Football telecasts, Cris Collinsworth. 

“I’m a little surprised,” he said on the latest episode of The Cris Collinsworth Podcast. “There’s no amount of money they could throw at him that would have influenced him. He’s going to still be working weekends for half the year no matter what it is.” 

Collinsworth mentioned that he hears from most people and they ask him what the TV life is like when they are thinking about getting into the industry. Tom Brady was not one of those people. He hopes the GOAT knows what he is in for.

“It’s hard. I’m working on the airplane when I’m flying home from the other game. I’m working on the next game. It’s a seven day a week job. For somebody that has reached where he’s reached in the NFL and made that kind of money, I’m honestly really surprised. I guess the money now has gotten to the point where it’s of interest to everybody.” 

While some might be unsure about how Brady will do in the FOX NFL booth with Kevin Burkhardt, count Collinsworth in as one of those people who think Brady will do a great job.

“I think he’ll be fantastic. Every conversation I have ever had with him about the game of football, you always go oh, I didn’t know. He’s always been pretty open and honest with us. He has a real personal side to the game…He’s got it all, but I’ve got to say I am surprised.”

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Sunday Night Baseball Viewership Up On ESPN

“Telecasts are averaging 1.73 million viewers.”

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The first month of the 2022 MLB regular season has concluded and ESPN is celebrating an uptick in viewership for Sunday Night Baseball.

The network announced on Tuesday that viewership for Sunday Night Baseball is up 4% compared to this time last year. In addition to that, compared to the 2020 full season average, ratings are up 40%.

Telecasts are averaging 1.73 million viewers. The Dodgers/Cubs game on May 8 averaged 1.781 million and peaked at over 2.1 million viewers during the 8-8:15 p.m. window.

Karl Ravech, Eduardo Perez and David Cone comprise the Sunday Night Baseball broadcast booth, with Buster Olney contributing reports.

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Nickelodeon Gets Christmas Day NFL Game

“This will be the network’s first regular season game.”

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The NFL’s Christmas triple header will include a little slime this year. The afternoon game between the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams and Denver Broncos will be simulcast on CBS and Nickelodeon.

Nickelodeon has ramped up its NFL presence each year since 2020. The network has aired a kid-friendly broadcast of a Wild Card Round playoff game each of the last two seasons. Last year’s tile between the 49ers and Cowboys drew an audience of 41 million.

Before the start of last season, the studio show NFL Slimetime debuted. This will be the network’s first regular season game.

Kickoff is set for 4:30 pm Eastern on Christmas Day. No details of what Nickelodeon’s coverage may include are available yet. Nate Burleson, Noah Eagle and Nickelodeon star Gabrielle Nevaeh Green have been on the call of the network’s previous NFL broadcasts.

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