Following today’s resignation of Mel Karmazin as president of Viacom, Roy Disney and Shamrock Holdings partner Stanley Gold have issued a statement suggesting that Karmazin be considered as a successor for embattled Disney CEO Michael Eisner.
The statement refers to comments made by newly appointed Disney Chariman George Mitchell, who noted that the Board would be talking to both inside and outside candidates for the Disney CEO position as part of the company’s succession planning. "We would assume he has or will be contacting Mel Karmazin, among other obvious candidates," say Disney and Gold. "If he was not planning to contact Mr. Karmazin, we would strongly encourage him to do so. Mel is a world-class executive who has both the right credentials and experience. He should definitely be on the Disney Board’s short list.”
Eisner, who has been called on the carpet for lackluster amusement park attendance, recent high-profile animated and live-action flops and the departure of animation partner Pixar, may have another mess on his hands. More brow beating from the likes of Roy Disney and Stanley Gold can be expected if the much-talked-about Michael Moore documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 becomes the box office hit most pundits expect it to be. The Walt Disney Co. recently pulled the plug on plans to release the politically charged film through Miramax. The doc, which won the top award at the Cannes Film Festival, has been bought from Miramax and Disney by Miramax toppers Bob and Harvey Weinstein, through a new special-purpose company. Lions Gate is the frontrunner for U.S theatrical distribution. The film is slated to make its home video debut just in time for election day.