Two months after Disney CEO Bob Iger raised eyebrows by saying that the linear TV business “may not be core” to the company’s future, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing sources, that there have been “exploratory talks” about selling ABC and ABC stations to Nexstar Media Group.
Nexstar of course bought The CW last October, and has in the months since made sweeping programming changes.
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But in a statement cited by our sister site Deadline, a Disney spokesperson said of the ABC/Nexstar rumor, “While we are open to considering a variety of strategic options for our linear businesses, at this time The Walt Disney Company has made no decision with respect to the divestiture of ABC or any other property and any report to that effect is unfounded.”
Other outlets such as Reuters and the Los Angeles Times have echoed Bloomberg’s reporting.
Disney CEO Iger appeared to slap an expiration date on both ABC and ESPN, when on July 13 he said at an industry bigwigs shindig, “We have to be open-minded and strategic about the future of those businesses. They may not be core to Disney.
“The creativity and content they create is core to Disney,” he stressed, “but the distribution model, the business model that forms the underpinning of that business, and that has delivered great profits over the years, is definitely broken.”
Bloomberg’s report on the alleged ABC/Nexstar talks said that, according to people familiar with the situation, the discussions were “preliminary,” and that Nexstar would only be interested if “at the right price.”
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