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Business Briefs

Aug 12, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Disney to consider buying Vivendi assets
The Walt Disney Co. Chief Financial Officer Tom Staggs tried to counter the latest tide of bad news that has included more stock price and earnings declines and a possible credit rating downgrade. Mr. Staggs said Disney would consider acquiring content-related businesses Vivendi Universal might sell, and that he sees improvement later this year in its theme park, resort and ABC TV Network businesses, whose declines have depressed overall earnings enough that Disney expects to miss its fiscal fourth-quarter targets.
Disney stock hit a new eight-year low Aug. 5 when Moody’s Investors Service said it may cut its long-term credit rating on the company after Standard & Poor’s said it may take similar action.
Disney had no comment on reports it is in discussions to sell its Mighty Ducks ice hockey team and Anaheim Angels baseball team.
Charter hires advisers, defends its practices
Charter Communications confirmed it has hired advisers to sell some of its unclustered systems and is seeking more than $3,000 per cable subscriber.
The company defended two of its accounting practices recently questioned by Merrill Lynch analyst Jessica Reif Cohen. During an analyst call, Charter CEO Carl Vogel declined comment on speculation that co-owner Paul Allen may buy back public debt or seek to take Charter private-a move that would cost about $1 billion with its stock trading under $3 a share.
Charter reported a narrower second-quarter net loss of $202 million, or 69 cents a share, on a 25 percent rise in revenues to $11.6 billion.
NBC group names VP, business development
The NBC Television Stations Group has named Mike Chico senior VP of business development. Mr. Chico, who will report to Peter Dunn, the station group’s executive VP for sales, comes from ABC, where he was VP of business development, sports sales and station Web operations.