Disney CFO says ad sales didn't recover after Olympics; announces $50 million movie write-off

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The Walt Disney Co.’s TV advertising revenue did not rebound as expected after last month’s conclusion of the hugely popular London Olympics that were aired on rival NBC, the company’s chief financial officer said Thursday.

“We did not see the kind of rebound after the Olympics that we thought we would see,” Jay Rasulo told an investors conference in New York. However, he said that Disney, which owns networks ABC and ESPN, does not expect the weakness to persist in the October-December quarter.

Disney also expects to book a $50 million charge for discontinuing a movie that was in the works, Rasulo said. The film write-down will trim profits by 2 cents per share in the three-month period that ends this month, Disney’s final quarter of its fiscal year.

The write-down was for an untitled stop-motion animation movie directed by Henry Selick, the director of the spooky 2009 hit “Coraline.” The movie had been slated for release in October 2013. Its cancellation marks one of the first big decisions by Disney’s new studio chairman, Alan Horn, who was hired in May.

Despite the bad news, the Burbank, Calif.-based company’s stock rose 90 cents, or 1.7 per cent, to close at $52.60. Markets rallied Thursday following the Federal Reserve’s announcement that it will take further steps to help boost the economy.