Follow the Money (cont.)

Hard to believe that — all of a sudden — David Westin just decided at age 58 that it is time for him “to move on.” When a person in the public eye says that, it always means look for a real reason.

Could it be the reason the Times mentioned in the 7th paragraph? That is, that the parent company Disney is insisting that Westin’s delivery of 5 percent profit a year isn’t good enough and that he should come across with 15 percent. Unless there are a whole bunch of advertisers willing to pay a lot more to sell adult diapers and heart medicines to the viewers of ABC News, the higher profit goal can only be met one way: cut expenses. And in the news division, that means get rid of journalists, close bureaus, scale back coverage.

Why should that decision be made at Disney corporate headquarters in Burbank?

Here’s a hint, from the company’s “investor relations” page:

The company’s primary financial goals are to maximize earnings and cash flow, and to allocate capital toward growth initiatives that will drive long-term shareholder value.

Nothing in there about the news.

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