updated 2/8/2005 3:31:31 PM ET 2005-02-08T20:31:31

Walt Disney Co. President Bob Iger on Wednesday compared his bid to replace Chief Executive Michael Eisner to being a contestant on a reality television show.

"It's a very interesting position to be in," Iger joked to Orlando community leaders at a breakfast presentation. "Sometimes I feel like I'm a contestant in a reality show that probably would be called 'The Apprentice Survivor Millionaire.'"

Iger, 53, the entertainment and media company's No. 2 executive, is the only internal Disney candidate in the running for Eisner's job. He has the backing of Eisner, who will retire in 2006. But Disney board members have promised a thorough replacement search by June.

At an investors conference Tuesday, Disney board Chairman George Mitchell said the search for Eisner's replacement is being conducted "in good faith" and that there were no favorites.

"There has been no prior determination; there are no preconditions," Mitchell said.

Other candidates believed to be in the running are News Corp. President Peter Chernin and eBay CEO Meg Whitman.

But given Disney's recent performance, observers believe the job is Iger's to lose.

"I'm in a fairly good mood about it by the way," said Iger as he held up an Orlando Sentinel newspaper with the headline, "CEO job within reach."

Iger spent the past two days at Walt Disney World in the spotlight as he led a two-day conference for investors and analysts.

When asked directly by an audience member how he is preparing for the job interview, Iger had an answer that would make any job hirer happy.

"I'm trying not to lose that focus," he said. "The only way to prepare is to show up for work every day."

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