Mouse Board 'Family' Feud - New York Post, 2/11/05
Disney's board may be on the brink of an internal battle over the much-criticized purchase of the Fox Family Channel in light of revelations from a new book.
Some directors were outraged to read in "DisneyWar," by James B. Stewart, that top executives failed to disclose information to the board that could have allowed the company to recoup millions on the acquisition, sources told The Post.
According to the book, Disney executives chose to forego huge potential tax savings rather than write down the value of the channel on its books - an admission that the company had vastly overpaid. Fox Family was owned by News Corp., the parent company of The Post.
The channel — now renamed ABC Family — has failed to live up to the expectations of Disney executives, who predicted the purchase would boost ad revenue for its media networks division by 50 percent within two years. Disney Chief Executive Michael Eisner also has conceded the company overpaid for the assets.
Critics have said Disney — which laid out $3 billion in cash and assumed $2.3 billion in debt for Fox Family Channel — overpaid by as much as $2 billion, making the buy a prime example of Eisner's mismanagement.