This reporting appears as one of several scoops featured in this week’s edition of Confider, the newsletter pulling back the curtain on the media. Subscribe here and send your questions, tips, and complaints here.
ABC News staffers at all levels were just as surprised as everyone else to learn that Bob Iger is returning to run The Walt Disney Company.
News boss Kim Godwin addressed the shock development during ABC’s 9 a.m. editorial call, telling staffers there was “no warning” and imploring them to focus on their work, according to people who were on the call.
Speculation within ABC News has turned to who else could return now that Iger is once again running the show.
A Confider spy-witness recently saw Iger dining in L.A. with Peter Rice, the former Disney TV exec who was unceremoniously fired by Bob Chapek just five months ago. However, ABC News staffers who spoke with Confider doubt he will make a return to overseeing the news network.
Like what you’re reading? Subscribe to the Confider newsletter here and have The Daily Beast media team’s stellar reporting sent straight to your inbox every Monday night.
One person that our insiders do expect back in some capacity, however, is the much-feared Disney flack Zenia Mucha, who Confider learned has been quietly advising Iger and handling press calls for him even after he stepped down from Disney and after she “retired” last winter after nearly 20 years at the company. Mucha’s initial successor, Geoff Morrell, only lasted a few months in the job, as Confider previously reported.
For ABC staffers there was one silver lining to a wild 24 hours at their Mouse House: “My stock is up,” one journalist quipped.
A rep for ABC News declined to comment and a rep for Disney didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Subscribe to the Confider newsletter here and have The Daily Beast media team’s stellar reporting sent straight to your inbox every Monday night.