Memo Pad: Not For ABC... Not Quite The Pulitzers, But…

Bob Iger, president and chief executive officer of the Walt Disney Co., acknowledges that ABC is at a disadvantage because it isn't linked with a 24-hour...

NOT FOR ABC: Bob Iger, president and chief executive officer of the Walt Disney Co., acknowledges that ABC is at a disadvantage because it isn't linked with a 24-hour news cable network — but that doesn't mean he's interested in pursuing a future cable partnership à la the reported talks between CBS and CNN. As operations such as CNN or MSNBC drive more traffic to their respective Web sites, Iger said that fact just "puts more pressure online" (with to meet the challenge. "People at ABC News control their own destiny," he said.

As for those CBS-CNN discussions reported Tuesday in The New York Times, Iger claimed ABC News passed on a deal with the Time Warner-owned news channel, in part because he doesn't want to farm out its news.

Iger's comments came during an interview with Ken Auletta at the Plaza, for Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications breakfast, held in conjunction with The New Yorker and Condé Nast.

Turning from news to entertainment, Auletta asked Iger whether ABC could pick up Jay Leno after his contract with NBC expires next year (ABC was interested in David Letterman years ago). Iger declined to comment and deflected the question to Anne Sweeney, president of Disney-ABC Television, who didn't respond.

Iger addressed the economy and its impact on Disney. So far, he said advertising "is pretty robust," although only 20 percent of revenue comes from advertising. And the theme parks have had the benefit of more international tourists, in addition to the U.S. middle class, which is traveling more domestically than overseas.

More than 300 attended the breakfast, including the Carlyle Group's Norman Pearlstine; Wenda Millard, president of media at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc.; Sony Corp.'s Howard Stringer; John Sykes, who is leaving MTV, and several affiliated with Iger, including George Bodenheimer, president of ESPN, and David Westin, president of ABC News.

— Amy Wicks

NOT QUITE THE PULITZERS, BUT...: The New York Times lost out to The Washington Post in terms of winning the most Pulitzers on Monday, but when it comes to New Media, the Times clearly has the edge. The Webby Award nominees were unveiled Tuesday, and the Times led all Web sites with 16 nominations for categories ranging from best news to best visual design. (The Post's site, meanwhile, got none). Nominees span more than 100 categories, including fashion and beauty. In the category for best fashion site, the nominees were;; the Louis Vuitton Core Values Web site; the site for Bean Pole: "One Fine Day in London," and Refinery29's site.
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