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ABC Revenues Drop Due To Writers Strike

Higher advertising rates and lower programming costs helped offset drops in ad revenues in the broadcasting division due to the Hollywood writers strike, The Walt Disney Co. said in releasing its second quarter financial statements. Revenue dropped 2 percent in the second quarter for the Burbank-based media conglomerate’s ABC Network when compared with the same period the year before. The difference, of course, was the three-month television and film writers strike that limited airing of original scripted programming on ABC resulting in lower ratings and advertising revenues. The writers began their walkout over a failure to reach a new contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The strike ended in February after the two sides reached a new deal, primarily through the intervention of Disney President and CEO Robert Iger and Fox Group Chairman and CEO Peter Chernin. For the second quarter ending March 31, Disney reported a net income of $1.1 billion, or $0.58 per diluted share, on revenues of $8.7 billion. That is an 18 percent increase over the net income of $931 million, or $0.44 per diluted share, on revenues of $8 billion for the same period in 2007.

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