Our distinguished Ms. Kottmyer is becoming somewhat of a celebrity. She has completed her CBS MarketWatch interview and has granted permission to pass this along to the board.Aloha,I thought I'd send you an e-mail as to how the visitto CBS MarketWatch went yesterday -- and I don't mindif you pass this on to the gang in the galley or onMF. I got to Jon Friedman's "office" at the CBS BroadcastCenter at about 10am. It is a smallish room with lotsof low cubicles (low, as in all the journalists cansee each other over the tops of them -- the better to,as one of them put it, "throw things at each other"). Jon sat me down at a spare cubicle and asked me towait a few minutes -- he was due to conduct a short(3-minutes or so) interview with Michael Eisner andJamie Dimon (of Bank One), who were in town to openthe NYSE and talk about that Visa card deal. So I satthere for about 15 minutes, making my own phone callsback to DC. Then Jon came back in, obviously tickedoff -- and said, "I can't believe it, he blew me off." All the other journalists said, "Eisner blew youoff?" And Jon said, "Yeah." "That's pretty lowclass," they said.We got started talking; Friedman was still angry. Isaid, "Well, maybe he had something else to do." Hesaid, "No, he didn't. This was all set up. Dimon hadno problem talking to me -- Eisner just doesn't wantto answer the hard questions." I said, "Come on, how likely is that? My boss,Secretary Powell, has been on French and German andRussian TV recently, answering hard questions -- allhe has to do is repeat the Administration position. And that's all Eisner has to do. I'm sure he has aposition and he just has to stick to it. I don't knowwhy he would be scared of a journalist."Friedman answered, "Bad comparison. Colin Powell issmart. Eisner's not. And he knows I'm preparing thisseries on Disney. He doesn't want to face the music." I decided to let it drop, since he was prettyaggravated. (For the rest of the morning, variousother CBS folks would pop in and say, incredulously,"Eisner bailed out?" It seemed to be a very big dealaround there.)We chatted for about a half hour about my backgroundand Disney (from a shareholder perspective -- wedidn't touch on the Stores). Then he suddenly said,"Hey, would you like to go on camera?" Surprised, Iasked, "Me? Why me?" He said that it might beinteresting. I said, "Sure, why not?" So he ranaround getting the necessary approvals, and then wesat down in a little studio and he shot questions atme about how I felt as a small shareholder about whatwas going on at Disney, what has gone wrong withDisney, and what would be needed to fix it; and wealso talked about my shareholder proposal that wasshot down. In short, I said that I thought the acquisition of ABCput too many stresses on the company that it didn'tknow how to handle (chasing ratings, advertisingrevenue, and doubling of the size of the companyovernight). To fix Disney, I thought Disney reallyneeded to pour more resources back into the creativeside -- primarily Feature Animation. We have to tellgood stories. That's our core business; that's what"Walt Disney" does best, and I was concerned aboutmorale in WDFA and the fact that there weren't allthat many FA movies in the pipeline.We chatted some more after the on-camera interview wasdone, then I returned to DC.I don't know if Friedman is going going to use any ofwhat I gave him. I can't imagine that anybody elsewould find it even remotely interesting. He is nothimself going to the s/h meeting; Russ Britt, who isbased in L.A., will attend the Denver meeting forMarketWatch.Tell everybody hello. Alice
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