Posts Tagged ‘Media Navel Gaze’

Media Navel Gaze

The Week Unpeeled

Black Friday (which was more like Black Thursday) gave holiday shopping a black eye and sometimes literally as media coverage seemed to focus more on stun-gun antics (not kidding!) at malls between consumers, estimated at 140 million over the weekend, than actual sales figures, which weren’t too great (maybe Bleak Friday?)  Big box stores appeared to do the best but this year an undertone of shopping rebellion was building as some op-eds (The Wall Street Journal, Saturday, Nov 30, 2013, Peggy Noonan, “Next Year Stay Home, America,” for example) asked for more thanks from Americans and less “nonessential commerce.” (A good op ed on the importance of dirty jobs, as well, by the way.)

Elsewhere:

  • Cyber Monday also seemed less relevant this year and not so much of a novelty but heavy coverage and probably heavy sales expected no doubt;
  • Stocks ended the month strong with the Dow up 3.5 percent in November and a strong 22.8 percent for the year so far;
  • Bitcoins may be getting a bit more real the Channel island of Alderney in the UK planning to become the first “jurisdiction” to actually mint the coins in partnership with the UK’s Royal Mint;
  • In The New York Times’ long profile on Bloomberg last week, the company said it would add around 100 newsroom positions in 2014 in a division called First Word, a service will produce short-form market-moving news, something that probably could also be called Fast-Market Twitter; and
  • Wal-Mart announced that Douglas McMillon will become its next chief executive, who at 47 years old is the youngest CEO since Sam Walton. End of Story
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Media Navel Gaze

The Week Unpeeled

Crosshairs Week: The Obama administration continued to take heat amid “hold-me-accountable” apologies from HHS secretary for the botched launch of the federal health-care system, and SAC Capital is expected to plead guilty to securities fraud amid a settlement that will prohibit the fund from managing any outside money.

Elsewhere:

  • Brazilian entrepreneur Eike Batista, once worth more than $30 billion, filed for bankruptcy in one of the biggest riches to rags stories ever in the business world (and with great stories seemingly everywhere about bravado claims to investors);
  • Beloved and beleaguered Blackberry is finding suitors ahead of its auction deadline, suggesting a return to life may still exist for the smartphone;
  • CBS, it was reported, is developing a 24-hour online news service, repurposing CBS News video and content;
  • A gunman killed one TSA officer and wounded others at LAX airport;
  • Airplane mode may be almost history with new regulations expected next year to put an end to that annoying “anything-with-an-on-off-switch” announcement;
  • What Chinese Wall?  Time Inc. said that editors of its magazines would report to the business side and not the editor in chief of Time AND that it is making Norman Pearlstine the former editor in chief of Time but now at Bloomberg as exec vice president and chief of content;
  • The proverbial cowboys of the financial markets, forex traders, are at the center of a probe into market manipulation, revealed in a chat rooms, with six Barclays trader suspended in London and others from as many as five banks either suspected and/or reportedly part of the investigation; and
  • The Dow ended up 0.3 percent to finish the week at 15,615. End of Story
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Media Navel Gaze

The Week Unpeeled

Egypt erupted and markets tumbled (unrelated though) taking the sizzle out of summer as bloodshed increased between the ousted party in Cairo and the militants (it’s not a “coup,” though, for technical reasons as we learned this week) and stocks fell on concerns that the Fed will ease its easing program. The Dow ended the week down 2.2 percent to close Friday at 15,081.

Elsewhere:

  • The Euro recession officially “ended” with economic data in France and Germany suggesting modest recovery;
  • US Justice Department grounded the American Airlines/USAirways merger, at least for now;
  • Carl Icahn took a $1.5 billion stake in Apple;
  • John Paulson, billionaire hedge funder, bought Steinway Pianos for $512 million, the first actual purpose of a company for Paulson and Co., with a nice business/feature story on the transaction from Will Alden in The New York Times, himself once a competitive pianist whose passion for the ivories is evident in his coverage;
  • The US charged two JP Morgan traders tied to the London Whale case (but not the whale himself); and
  • The media spotlight continued to shine on the upcoming appointment of the next Fed chairman in what seems to be a particularly bright light (and not always flattering) on Larry Summers, the former top economic advisor to Obama,  with even Better Midler joining in on Twitter questioning the choice (“Larry Summers, Mr. De-Regulation, has never stepped forward to say… Oops! My bad!” -- which was picked up by The Washington Post and then Maureen Dowd in The New York Times (showing social can actually go traditional viral). End of Story
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Media Navel Gaze

The Week Unpeeled

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post last week for $250 million, a surprise to many including The New York Times, which had just published a big feature on the paper’s publisher, Katharine Weymouth, who remains as publisher and whose family has owned the paper for eight decades.  The Post had served as advisor to Amazon on designing the Kindle so Bezos was no stranger to management (and now being called a press baron – FT). No surprise though for all the media-covering-the-media coverage and stories of storied publishing families who have relinquished control:  Chandlers of the LA Times  and Bancrofts of The Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, The New York Times was quick to announce that it is not for sale, even though it did sell The Boston Globe to the owner of the Red Sox, highlighting newspaper ownership today is really a who’s-on-first game.  Interesting graphic in The Times over the weekend showing the value of recent sales with Tumblr dwarfing others at $1.1 billion.

Elsewhere:

  • On the online news front, AOL announced that it was closing or finding partners for 400 out of its 900 Patch news sites, following in the footsteps of many major news outlets in saying the local online news model does not work;
  • The London whale, the ex JP Morgan trader who was tied to billions of losses for the bank, resurfaced amid reports that he will likely not face charges;
  • The bank also found itself as a target of  Justice Department probe;
  • Amid expectations for big withdrawals, SAC Capital reportedly may also be announcing layoffs sometime soon; and
  • The Dow ended its six-week winning streak to close down 1.5 percent for the week at 15,425 (although still up 18 percent for the year). End of Story
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Media Navel Gaze

The Week Unpeeled

Heavy news week for the summer (no dog days just yet) from international events to Wall Street to the economy, with the US jobs report kicking off July reports showing that the unemployment rate fell to 7.4 percent for the month from 7.6 percent, but that only 162,000 jobs were added to the payrolls, below expectations and a sign that the recovery is slowing a bit. So no clear picture has emerged on the jobs front, which only means that the Fed tapering talk will likely not taper anytime soon.

Elsewhere:

  • The US issued traveling warnings worldwide for August because of increased “chatter” (not to mention but it wasn’t several prison breaks in Iraq, Pakistan and Libya);
  • President Obama opened the discussion of corporate tax overhaul for domestic spending, perhaps easing path to a budget deal;
  • Former Goldman banker Tourre found liable on six counts of fraud tied to mortgage deals;
  • Bloomberg fires an editor for misfiring on Tourre headline saying he was not liable;
  • The Dow ended on another record note for a sixth straight week of gains, closing Friday at 15,658;
  • Russia grants Snowden temporary (one year) asylum;
  • The New York Times sells The Boston Globe to the owner of the Red Sox and Newsweek resold to digital media company IBT; and Facebook recoups post-IPO losses amid new apparent likes tied to ad prospects. End of Story
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