Earlier this year, it was rumored that Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs had been brought back into the fold of Disney to act as advisors to CEO Bob Iger. Byron Allen, who is hoping to buy ABC and other Disney-owned channels, has confirmed the pair are advising Iger on his sale options.
In July, Disney CEO Bob Iger appeared on MSNBC’s “Squawk Box.” He agreed with David Faber that ABC “may not be core” to The Walt Disney Company” and that he was “open-minded” to potentially selling TV assets. The comment essentially put ABC and other networks on the market. Allen, CEO of Entertainment Studios, made a $10 billion offer.
When speaking with CNBC’s Julia Boorstin at the Code Conference, Allen said Iger is consulting Mayer and Staggs about his options (via Deadline).
The Disney board reportedly reached out to Mayer and Staggs about taking over when Bob Chapek’s contract was up. They didn’t follow through, however, because such a deal would have required Disney to buy their start-up, Candle Media, and Chapek wouldn’t have agreed to those terms.
Instead, Disney brought back Iger and fired Chapek in late 2022. Iger originally signed a two-year contract but the Disney board has since extended his contract by two more years into 2026. Iger and the board have said they are committed to finding a replacement CEO, and many are hoping Mayer or Staggs could finally get their day in the sun.
Industry executives predicted Mayer and Staggs could return to the company. Their return may not be official yet, but the same executives predicted Iger extending his contract and Christine McCarthy leaving Disney.