When Daniel Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins and noted spokesman for Short Man’s Disease, installed Mark Shapiro, former ESPN executive VP of programming, as the CEO of Six Flags in 2005 at a rumored cost of $10m in guaranteed salary and bonuses, he certainly hoped for better than cockroach eating contests and finding exciting new lows for the stock price.
Thankfully, 2008 will finally be the year that hire pays off for Snyder. They’re hired away their CFO from Euro Disney, agreed to terms to build Six Flags Over Dubai, and only posted a $253m loss last year. Also, Shapiro has finally figured out how to lure the key teen demographic back to the parks. (No, not Guitar Hero contests. That would be ridiculous.)
(Six Flags Marketing meeting)