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OnMedea: Disney Archives

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broadcast_networks_death_and_dying.jpgFor Broadcast Networks, the end is coming and it's time for them to Accept their fate.

This isn't to say ABC, CBS, FOX, MBS, NBC, Univision and The CW (and similar Broadcast Networks around the world) are going away.  They'll just have to transform into one of the million other "Channels" out there - high profile Channels with good programming and production values - but still just another button on the Great Media Grid like ESPN, TNT, USA, Oxygen, (indeed), YouTube, etc.

According to a model developed by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in her 1969 book "On Death and Dying", there are Five Stages of Grief

Over the past 20 years or so, Broadcast Networks have bounced around the First Four Stages in an effort to fight off the inevitable:

1.  Denial:  Broadcast Networks will always be the only place to reach a large audience.  We don't see that ever going away.  No one is going to watch the shit they make on Cable.  It's nothing but George Foreman Grill infomercials and drunken Jackass teenagers riding their bikes into traffic.

2.  Anger:  It's just not right!  They make such crap on Basic Cable.  How are they pulling in more advertising than us?!  I don't give a shit about the ratings of "Jersey Shore", the content on Broadcast Networks is far superior and always will be.  Goddamnit!  And don't you dare mention that fucking "Mad Men" to me again!  And Hell will freeze over before we ever produce a series for that inferior platform  There's no syndication value.  It's bullshit!

3.  Bargaining:  The playing field is not level.  It's not fair.  We really need you cable and satellite operators to pay us to retransmit our signal.  Don't forget - we're the Broadcast Networks.  If you give us two revenue streams, we'll give you really great programming with high ratings and advertising rates that are healthy for everyone.  Don't you realize there is only one place to reach a large audience?

4.  Depression:  Remember when Saturday night was the greatest night on television - when three networks (and three network Presidents) controlled every household?  Everyone had incredible line-ups.  It will never be that good again.  Thursday night used to be a place where advertisers needed us to launch a new movie or car or department store sales.  Those were the days.  Oh well, at least we still have our beach houses and court side basketball seats.

5.  Acceptance:  It's going to be okay.  It's not so bad to be equated with TBS.  I mean, they have Conan O'Brien now.  They are sort of like a Broadcast Network.  And we're still bigger than most of the other Channels.  And we'll get the Super Bowl back one day (after ESPN and The Food Network have their turns).  It's all good.


The death of Broadcast Networks may not happen in the next five years but it IS going to happen and the sooner we put them out of their misery and end that painful decline, the faster the industry can heal and begin to grow again. 

leslie_moonves.jpgMake no mistake, nothing can be done to save Broadcast Networks.  It's an old concept in a new world. 

For old school TV executives and their Madison Avenue chronies who are accustomed to lavish Upfront Presentations at Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden and the International Space Station, it's time to just let it go.  The Days of Wine and Roses and Fine Dining and Muffin Baskets are over.

Broadcast Network defenders (yes, Les Moonves, this means you) are becoming pathetic.  Face the facts, ESPN and Google are more valuable than CBS.  It may not seem fair - but there are many new Sheriffs in town.   Remember, if  you're in a business where single-digit drops in viewers is the New Growth, your business sucks.

So what are the Broadcast Networks supposed to do next?  Very simple.  Just accept equal footing (two revenue streams - subscription and advertising - enough with this silly Retrans business that no one can understand) and continue to run your business as just another Channel on the Grid

In the future (and it's coming), with a channel lineup grid that will be sorted Alphabetically and not by "importance" or "size" (and will include TV channels, websites and whatever else comes up) programming is, as it always has been, King . 

And may the best programmer win.

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea

playhouse_disney_becomes_disney_junior.jpgSo, it was announced today that Playhouse Disney will become Disney Junior.  The folks at Disney Corporate must have put in quite a bit of overtime on that one. 

It's a stroke of brilliance really -  just as I thought it was brilliant when Viacom changed Noggin to Nick Jr. last year!

Bravo to Disney's Brand Consultants who, most likely, put in extremely long hours and probably weren't cheap.  

noggin_becomes_nick_junior.jpgI can imagine conference calls, late night food deliveries and logo designs on several other names like Disney Tots, Disney Ragamuffins, ToddlerDisney, Disney 2-7 (or 'The D27!')... before finally reaching the stroke of genius that is Disney Junior

And I'm sure it was a tense few days before Bob Iger finally signed off on it.  During the presentation, he probably said things like "Disney Junior?  Really?  Isn't Junior a term for boys?  Nickelodeon did it?  OK, go ahead."  And that was that.  Disney Junior will launch in 2012!

Being a parent of a five year old, I am not cynical about children's programming and appreciate the big media companies producing so much content that distracts my child long enough so I can take a five minute break to go to the bathroom (including my own parent company Manka Bros. and our Manka Kids brand - Manka Junior anyone?).

I just think with all the millions of dollars being thrown around at media companies on Brand Management, it's nice to know that all anyone needs to do to brand something for toddlers it to put the word "Junior" behind it.   Clorox Junior, Coke Junior (with 40% less sugar), 1976 Chateau Lafite Rothschild Junior (for French children)...

Maybe I'll launch OnMedea Junior for toddlers who want to read scandalous corporate media stories about "Dora the Explorer".

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea
harvey_bob_weinstein_buy_miramax.jpgBy selling Miramax back to the Weinstein Brothers (that would be Harvey and Bob) and (ahem) Lord Ron Burkle (he who has single-handedly created thousands of jobs in the prostitution and supermarket industries), Disney Chief Bob Iger has effectively given the coup de grace to Harvey and Bob thus ending their 30+ year run in show business.

But, you say, they'll be running Miramax, picking up awesome Kevin Smith and Ben Affleck movies that the big studios don't want to make?  Right?   They're still in the business.

Sorry.  Miramax will out of business in five years.  In 2013, a fire sale of the library will be hastily arranged by GoldmanSachsBankOfAmericaJPMorganCiti (a division of Lending Tree) and the price will be less that $200 million.

ron_burkle_buys_miramax.jpgI suppose the deal allows Harvey and Bob the chance to die with dignity and go down in flames with the company they started (the name combines their parent's first names "Miriam" and "Max") - but I think a real friend (which obviously Bob Iger isn't) would have said to stay far away from this horribly overpriced mess of fragmented film rights that have very little resale / remake value left in them.  I suppose that's why Bob Iger is the current toast of the town and Harvey and Bob are just toast.  (Texas Toast if you believe this blog.)  Karma's a bitch.

If the new post-Disney Miramax is run as efficiently as The Weinstein Company, Ron Burkle's $3.5 billion net worth should be exhausted within 10 or 15 years (though I'm sure he'll pull the plug once $1 billion is gone and save the rest to solve the growing hooker unemployment problem that has ravaged this country.  (At this point, Ron could probably just trade sex for food - which he probably could arrange to get from his former Ralph's and Food4Less stores.  I would hope he would offer food from Ralph's so the poor girls don't have to bag their own groceries at Food4Less).

But enough about Ron Burkle's (alleged) shenanigans mentioned above, this is about the Harvey and Bob Weinstein - two guys who changed the film distribution industry by taking on the big guys with small movies (and many times winning).  But the greedy bastards sold off the dream for $80 million to Disney and now, the even greedier bastards, want it back for $600 million.

The classic example of throwing good money (well, Ron Burkle's money) after bad.

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea

bob_iger_richard_ross.jpgApparently, Rich Ross has had an epiphany:  Women like movies. 

According to the Los Angeles Times (and I'm paraphrasing/ reading between-the-lines), Rich Ross has told (male) literary agents at (male) literary agencies (who represent [male] literary writers), that (Walt) Disney Studios would like to produce more films that appeal to women. 

It must have been one of those 'flux capacitor' moments for Rich Ross and got me wondering about how genius manifests itself.  I mean, thoughts this brilliant don't just come along every day. 

So in my own inferior mind, I began to wonder how the scene must have played out in Bob Iger's office (or wherever it occurred) and believe it happened like this:

robert_iger.jpgBob Iger, in sweaty shorts and a T-shirt is slamming racquetballs against the giant windows of his office (the one with the Seven Dwarfs outside).

Intercom:  Mr. Iger, your nephew, Richard Ross, is here to see you.

Bob Iger:  He's not my nephew.  Send him in.

Richard Ross enters.

Rich:  Uncle Bob, I want to run something by you.

Bob:   Rich, I'm not your uncle.

Rich:  We can play it that way.  I'm hip to that.

Bob:  What's on your mind?

Rich:  Women.

Bob:  Really?  You?  Explain.

rich_ross.jpgRich:  I think we need to make movies that appeal to women.  Kagan recently did a study that came to the conclusion that women actually go to movies.  That they actually... enjoy movies.

Bob:  You mean like Pirates of the Caribbean and Walt Disney's A Christmas Carol?

Rich:  I mean like Twilight and Sandra Bullock movies.

Bob:  Jesus Christ.  What the fuck are you saying to me? 

Rich:  I'm saying we need to get together with some of the top male screenwriters and producers in Hollywood and come up with the next generation of "Twilights" and "Sandra Bullock" movies.  In order to survive, we need to tap more women.

Bob:  Then do it.  You have my full support.

Rich:  Thanks, Bob.

Bob:  Uncle... Bob.

Rich smiles and leaves.

That may not have been exactly the way it played out - but the end result will be films manufactured by men that attempt to appeal to women that do nothing but turn women off.

My advice to DisneyPirates of the Caribbean 4.  Appeal to women when you have a good story to tell, not by turning a "John Travolta" script into a "Sandra Bullock" script.

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea
disney_buys_marvel.jpgMy spidey senses nailed this one.  Friday I said it would happen - and now it is so!

My colleage Nikki Finke loves to say "TOLDJA" - but she didn't get this one!

In a deal that shocked everyone in the industry except me, Disney today announced it will purchase Marvel Entertainment - the total value about $50/share or $4 billion for company.

Here's the press release:


Worldwide leader in family entertainment agrees to acquire Marvel and its portfolio of over 5,000 characters

Acquisition highlights Disney's strategic focus on quality branded content, technological innovation and international expansion to build long-term shareholder value

Burbank, CA and New York, NY, August 31, 2009 --Building on its strategy of delivering quality branded content to people around the world, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) has agreed to acquire Marvel Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:MVL) in a stock and cash transaction, the companies announced today.

Under the terms of the agreement and based on the closing price of Disney on August 28, 2009, Marvel shareholders would receive a total of $30 per share in cash plus approximately 0.745 Disney shares for each Marvel share they own. At closing, the amount of cash and stock will be adjusted if necessary so that the total value of the Disney stock issued as merger consideration based on its trading value at that time is not less than 40% of the total merger consideration.

Based on the closing price of Disney stock on Friday, August 28, the transaction value is $50 per Marvel share or approximately $4 billion.

"This transaction combines Marvel's strong global brand and world-renowned library of characters including Iron Man, Spider-Man, X-Men, Captain America, Fantastic Four and Thor with Disney's creative skills, unparalleled global portfolio of entertainment properties, and a business structure that maximizes the value of creative properties across multiple platforms and territories," said Robert A. Iger, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. "Ike Perlmutter and his team have done an impressive job of nurturing these properties and have created significant value. We are pleased to bring this talent and these great assets to Disney."

"We believe that adding Marvel to Disney's unique portfolio of brands provides significant opportunities for long-term growth and value creation," Iger said.

"Disney is the perfect home for Marvel's fantastic library of characters given its proven ability to expand content creation and licensing businesses," said Ike Perlmutter, Marvel's Chief Executive Officer. "This is an unparalleled opportunity for Marvel to build upon its vibrant brand and character properties by accessing Disney's tremendous global organization and infrastructure around the world."

Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Marvel including its more than 5,000 Marvel characters. Mr. Perlmutter will oversee the Marvel properties, and will work directly with Disney's global lines of business to build and further integrate Marvel's properties.

The Boards of Directors of Disney and Marvel have each approved the transaction, which is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, certain non-United States merger control regulations, effectiveness of a registration statement with respect to Disney shares issued in the transaction and other customary closing conditions. The agreement will require the approval of Marvel shareholders. Marvel was advised on the transaction by BofA Merrill Lynch.

Investor Conference Call:

An investor conference call will take place at approximately 10:15 a.m. EDT / 7:15 a.m. PDT today, August 31, 2009. To listen to the Webcast, turn your browser to or dial in domestically at 800-260-8140 or internationally at 617-614-3672. For both dial-in numbers, the participant pass code is 51214527.

The discussion will be available via replay on the Disney investors website through September 14, 2009 at 7:00 PM EDT/4:00 PM PDT.

About The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, interactive media and consumer products. Disney is a Dow 30 company with revenues of nearly $38 billion in its most recent fiscal year.

About Marvel Entertainment, Inc.
Marvel Entertainment, Inc. is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a library of over 5,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in licensing, entertainment (via Marvel Studios and Marvel Animation) and publishing (via Marvel Comics).


I think it's a great deal for Disney.  Great for owners of IP in general.  It puts a premium on content creation and content ownership.  Bully for you, Bob Iger!  Electronic Arts is next and then you guys are all set.

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea

disney_buys_marvel.jpgMARK MY WORDS - ONMEDEA-PHILES!  It's going to happen. 

Send me an email on Monday morning that says:

You were right!"

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea
disney_pixar_stickers.jpgHere's a simple request for all the lawyers and senior executives at the Happiest Place On Earth.  Can you please keep your meathooks and your legalese off of my kid's Disney/Pixar sticker book?  It's a freakin' STICKER BOOK for Christ's sake! 

Do we really need "Copyright Disney/Pixar" on every single fucking sticker?  There are about 200 stickers to a page and every tiny little sticker has "Copyright Disney/Pixar" on it. 

For the good of the planet, save a few million gallons of ink! 

Do you think the pirates out there making counterfeit stickers aren't able to replicate your brilliant attempt at control of your intellectual property? 

It's not necessary.  Nobody gives a shit. 

Viacom doesn't plaster a copyright notice all over Dora the Explorer and they're selling a hell of a lot more stickers.

I know it may seem like a stupid request - but I know there were way too many corporate and lawyer meetings about that copyright notice - and it's an unbelievable waste of time.

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea
Copyright Manka Bros. Studios

About Jill Kennedy

Jill Kennedy - Blogger - OnMedea Jill Kennedy is an Ivy League MBA / refugee from Lehman Brothers.

Manka Bros. (and the Manka Business Channel) hired her (for a very low sum) to cover the world of media (not the world of Medea) in her own words without corporate interference.

Manka Bros Studios - OnMedea - Follow On Twitter


About Medea

Medea Medea was a real bitch from classical mythology - as most famously dramatized by Euripides.

She was a sorceress and wife of Jason, whom she assisted in obtaining the Golden Fleece. When Jason deserted her, she chopped up their children. One could say, Medea acted as rationally as a major media company.


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