Walt Disney Co., the second-largest U.S. media company, will change the name of its Buena Vista entertainment divisions to Disney within weeks, people involved in the plans said.
Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger is seeking to simplify the company's marketing and reduce costs by narrowing most brand names to Disney, ABC and ESPN. In February, Iger changed Touchstone Television production company to ABC Television Studio and Buena Vista Games became Disney Interactive Studios.
``They are trying to leverage the Disney brand as much as possible and not having all these disparate names,'' said Tuna Amobi, a New York-based analyst with Standard & Poor's. He rates Disney a ``strong buy.''
Buena Vista was the third-largest domestic film distributor in 2006 with $1.52 billion in box-office sales from Disney movies such as ``Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest'' and ``Cars.'' The name dates from 1953 when Walt Disney and his brother Roy O. Disney founded an in-house operation to sell the company's live-action and animated films to cinema owners.
Before Buena Vista, Disney's pictures were distributed by Columbia Pictures, United Artists and RKO Radio Pictures.
Named for the Burbank, California, street where the studios and corporate headquarters are located, Buena Vista became Disney's name for divisions such as its music group and software publisher.
The change affects Buena Vista Distribution and Buena Vista Home Entertainment, said the people, who declined to be named because the change hasn't been announced.