I'll be out most of today, plunged into the the warm, swirling hot tub of union-management negotiations.
But if you want to know one of the reasons why Disney artists are being asked to go "on call," being low-balled with salary offers and generally squeezed, look no further than this:
Walt Disney Co. said Thursday that earnings skidded 13% for its fiscal fourth quarter, and executives gave what they called a "sobering outlook" for its current year because of slowing television advertising sales and theme park resort bookings.
Net income dropped to $760 million, or 40 cents a share, for the quarter ended Sept. 27, compared with $877 million, or 44 cents, for the same period last year. Revenue increased 6% to $9.4 billion from $8.9 billion.
Excluding one-time charges, the Burbank entertainment giant's earnings were 43 cents a share, well short of analysts' estimates of 49 cents, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.
"The quarter was uglier than anyone anticipated," said Janna Sampson, co-chief investment officer at Oakbrook Investments. "Going forward, it becomes a question of how long and how deep this economic recession will last. And that's very, very difficult to predict ..."
This isn't just Disney going through a rough patch and passing the hard times on to its employees. In case you haven't noticed, every entertainment conglomerate is getting hammered in this financial downturn. Fox, Time-Warner, Viacom, News Corp., they are all eating it.
And all of them are going to cut, trim and squeeze wherever they can, because their brighter minds anticipate that the misery we are currently enduring will last a while. Which means that we eat it as well.
Offical unemployment is now at 6.5%. From the articles I read, actual, real-world unemployment is close to twice that ... and rising.
Good times, eh?