George Marshall and Disney, Pentagon and Deep Fakes, Cleaning YouTube, Heartbreak, Wealth Detective, Best High School Movies...
Jason Hirschhorn, curator May 24, 2019
quote of the day
Go right straight down the road, to do what is best, and to do it frankly and without evasion.
rant n' rave

One of the greatest figures in American history was GENERAL GEORGE C. MARSHALL. The brilliant mind and leader behind the armed forces build up, strategy, and mobilization logistics that played an enormous role in propelling the allies to victory in WWII. Evil was defeated. PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT once said to him, "I couldn't sleep nights, George, if you were out of Washington." ORSON WELLES was in awe too. A great documentary about the man here. Before Marshall's leadership, the U.S. armed forces were in sad shape. Low numbers. Old weapons and gear. Outdated training and tactics. He understood that you don't go to war until you're ready for war and ready to win. I think about this now as I watch the great media battle unfold. "The Streaming Wars," as some have dubbed it. When I was at VIACOM from 2000-2006, NEWS CORP from 2009-2011 and basically every week here at REDEF, I've warned that media companies have moved too slow and allowed major players like NETFLIX to emerge using their content weapons. No, before you start, I am not comparing Netflix to the Axis powers. I admit that this ranting can get tiresome for me (even though I'm right) and those on the other side of the conversation. Mea culpa. But most incumbents are not ready for war. A few weeks out from DISNEY's investor day I can look back and say that this is a media company that has mobilized and is ready for war. They've taken a look at businesses that are in decline and thought about what the company's growth engines will be in the future. Imagine Disney CEO BOB IGER and his generals like KEVIN MAYER, PETER RICE, JIMMY PITARO, and other division heads sitting in front of the world map media ecosystem and plotting where to go next and what structure would be best to facilitate future success. An astonishing programming/IP engine. The current and forthcoming streaming services are under centralized management. Looking at the audience as a whole and what services will "liberate" them. Content sales also. This gives them a world view of which programming assets should go where and how that will maximize revenue and growth. Ad sales too. You can buy an audience and reach across a breathtaking number of brands and platforms. HULU, now that operational control is in their hands, will likely join this alliance. Tech infrastructure like BAMTECH, yep. Data culled from all Disney touch points. They are arming up and ready to rock. One of the major decisions of WWII was whether D-DAY would happen at NORMANDY or PAS-DE-CALAIS. The secret was kept until the last moment. That deception was a major turning point in history. They landed at Normandy. While this may seem obvious, what is Disney's Normandy? The parks. I went to ORLANDO a few weeks ago. When I checked into my hotel I got a Disney bracelet and linked my credit card to it. It made for easy going inside the park through rides and commerce. "With an average annual attendance of over 52 million visitors, WALT DISNEY WORLD is the most visited vacation resort in the world." Imagine if every family that walks through those gates gets a free trial of DISNEY+, ESPN+, and HULU. That's a subscription funnel to victory. War and strategy are never linear. There will be SNAFUs. And course corrections. But if you had to bet, they will be one of THE winners. WALT DISNEY would be excited about the future... I love hamburgers. But since heart surgery, they are not a frequent occurrence. Maybe 1/month. For those who live in LOS ANGELES, I have a good FACEBOOK thread going about the best burgers in LA. Chime in... I was at dinner with my pal YOUTUBE's Chief Business Officer ROBERT KYNCL where we discussed the herculean task of monitoring the massive platform. It's an awesome undertaking. I don't think these issues will ever fully be solved but headway is being made. There's lots more to learn and to do but they don't get enough credit for it. PETER KAFKA talks to Chief Product Officer NEAL MOHAN about what it takes to clean it up... Friends doing well: HEATHER HARTNETT and JOE MARCHESE arm up and hire up at HUMAN VENTURES with an impressive list of names... JAGGER and RICHARDS do right by RICHARD ASHCROFT... Happy Birthday to CHRIS MOORE, GREG MAFFEI, DASH MIHOK, DOUG COHN, KANYI MAQUBELA, DAVID FRENCH, MITCH JOEL, ERIC SCHUMACHER-RASMUSSEN, DAVID SAMUEL, LESLIE DICKSTEIN, CAROLYN CANTOR, and ROB BARNETT.

Jason Hirschhorn, curator

May 24, 2019