Disney To Expand ABC.com

Posted on May 4, 2001

Walt Disney Internet Group (WDIG) and ABC will expand their online entertainment and news content, offering a more robust ABC.com website beginning this September. Walt Disney Internet Group, which currently operates the Mr.Showbiz and Wall of Sound entertainment sites, plans to incorporate those sites' entertainment content under the new ABC site. The websites for Mr. Showbiz and Wall of Sound will be shut down. The WDIG also intends to use its recent 50 percent purchase of US Weekly Magazine by including entertainment news from the magazine online.

``Our objective with the new site is to take full advantage of all the resources of ABC, the Walt Disney Internet Group and Disney's new relationship with US Weekly,'' said Dick Glover, executive vice president, Internet Media, Walt Disney Internet Group. ``We will now be able to operate more efficiently while offering consumers and our advertising and marketing partners more of the quality content they have come to expect. We'll be creating fresh, new content on a daily basis that deploys the full resources of ABC and, as a result, we expect to attract new Web users to the site every day, including a younger demographic.''

Walt Disney Internet Group expects to realize a cost savings with the new site, since most of the entertainment content and site operations will be consolidated in Los Angeles (Mr. Showbiz and Wall of Sound are currently based in Seattle). Layoffs are also expected as part of the consolidation. A few positions will be relocated from Seattle to Los Angeles. ABCNews.com and Enhanced TV will continue to base their operations in New York. In January, Walt Disney Internet Group announced its plans to focus its Internet operations on its core brands of Disney, ABC and ESPN. The new ABC.com site is part of this strategic step to focus more closely on its core brands.