'Zorro' Prepping for Discovery Sale?
May 18, 2007 3:27 PM
Consider myself among the folks who are asking that question as “Zorro,” my new name for Discovery Communications’ chieftan David Zaslav continues to swashbuckle his way through the company, this time announcing that come fall, it will close down its 103 retail units, leaving another 1,000 employees out of work. That’s long overdue because the stores are more like mini-museums rather than true retail outlets, and are money losers, located in high-end malls and pricey locales like New York City’s Grand Central Station.
The news about walking away from retail, however, does come on the heals of earlier cost cutting at Discovery, as “Zorro” laid off 200 employees, and insiders and outsiders alike, say they expect to see more “Marks of the Z,” if you will, sometime in June.
On top of that Discovery had just sold its 25 percent stake in The Travel Channel to Cox Communications, suggesting the company is trying to make the bottom line more attractive to would-be-buyers. To Wall Street, all of that activity signals that Discovery might be for sale in the not too distant future.
So what media biggie would make for a good fit? Let’s hear from the oddsmakers out there. Disney could be a nice fit, given its family-friendly orientation.