Disney pulled some funky tricks to make Disney Plus look like it's losing less money

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Disney continues to tremble - for an "unkillable multi-billion dollar Leviathan" definition of tremors, at least - after the recent big surprise Bob Swap, when former CEO Bob Iger stepped in to regain control of the company from his successor, Bob Chapek after the company's board of directors asked Chapek to step down from his managerial position last Sunday night.
Disney's grievances with Chapek -- who, among other things, angered its vaunted animation division with statements suggesting their production was consumed only by children -- were quite varied, but many of them aimed at the company's heavy focus on the Disney+ streaming service , who continues to work at a (planned and expected) loss. However, a recent conference call showed that Disney was underperforming company-wide -- including signs that Disney+ would not become profitable by the hoped-for late 2024 window -- and that appears to have been one of the last straws, according to reports, the chief financial officer of the company, Christine McCarthy, very dissatisfied with Chapek's behavior, both during the call and in general.
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Which brings us to this interesting little tidbit, courtesy of The Wall Street Journal's coverage of the Re-Bob effort: According to "people familiar with the matter," one of the tricks Chapek's Disney appears to have been pulling in recent months was, Having certain shows originally billed as Disney+ originals (including The Mysterious Benedict Society and Doogie Kameāloha, M.D.) instead debuts on The Disney Channel before moving to streaming — specifically so the costs of those series don't going into Disney+'s ledger and thus creating the service looks more profitable than it actually is. Which is all a bit of a shell game, especially for a company so big and supposedly successful; McCarthy was apparently "concerned" about the strategy.
The irony of all this is that Disney+ was actually Iger's baby, not Chapek's: the one-time CEO reportedly delayed his departure from the company until 2020 to get the streaming service off the ground. As a result, Iger conveniently missed the last two years when media giants had to grapple with how profitable any of these services can and must be, seemingly leaving Chapek the bag in his efforts to make the company's massive investment in Disney+ worthwhile.
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Bob Chapek
American businessman, CEO of The Walt Disney Company
Bob Iger
American businessman and former CEO

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