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'Eisner' E-Mail Rocks L.A.

Why on earth would the Disney chief oppose media consolidation? Or does he?

May 20, 2003|Edmund Sanders | Times Staff Writer

What's Michael Eisner doing opposing media consolidation and blasting major TV networks for failing to cover the Federal Communications Commission's review of broadcast-ownership restrictions?

Walt Disney Co. -- which owns ABC -- is one of the nation's biggest media companies and has lobbied the FCC to lift ownership rules. But an e-mail making the rounds in Hollywood claims the Disney chairman expressed an opposing view in comments filed with the FCC and also lodged this complaint: "The major networks have done very little to inform the public of this extremely important issue."

Has Eisner broken ranks? Hardly.

It turns out that the Michael Eisner who opposes consolidation isn't the chairman of the Burbank entertainment giant but a geologist from Maryland who was one of several thousand citizens to submit their views to the FCC.

"It's not Michael Eisner of Disney," said a Disney spokeswoman, noting that the company has received several calls about the confusion.

Eisner, the geologist, couldn't be reached for comment.

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