Posts Tagged ‘Media Navel Gaze’


Media Navel Gaze

The Week Unpeeled

The year got off to a pretty bearish, cold start, with the markets turning in one of the worst performances since May 2012—and much worse than many expected—with the Dow down 5.2 percent for January as the Fed “less easy” stance on money shifted perceptions and also hit emerging markets hard (look at Turkey, Argentina, South Africa).  In fact, attention has now turned from BRICs to the “Fragile Five,” which includes Turkey, Brazil, India, South Africa and Indonesia.

Elsewhere:

  • Even so, GDP numbers showed that the US grew at its strongest pace in the last six months since 2003;
  • Obama’s State of the Union address focused on the use of executive powers to help America improve on wages, savings and jobs, fueling calls of “overreaching” and “imperialism”;
  • Facebook posted big profits, with more than half of its ad revenues now coming from mobile devices;
  • The Washington Post, now under the ownership of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has announced expansion plans with new politics reporters and data visualization specialists and web designers;
  • Chinese New Year celebrated the Year of the Horse;
  • Folk-music legend Pete Seeger died; and
  • Scarlett Johansson’s decision to stump for SodaStream became big media fodder because of the geopolitical issues of where the product is made (one of Israel’s settlements); the ad is airing during the SuperBowl (and it contains a grammar error!!!);  Fox decision to edit the ad not to offend Coke and Pepsi; and, well, it’s Scarlett who has dumped Oxfam, where she was global ambassador, for fizzy water; #anotherreasontowatchtheads End of Story

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Media Navel Gaze

The Week Unpeeled

The closely watched US jobs report because more closely watched and picked apart with sluggish numbers raising speculation and coverage of whether the tapering will taper. (Most say all still on track.)  American businesses added only 74,000 jobs in December, a considerably slower pace than recent months and the overall unemployment rate fell to 6.7 percent from 7.0 percent, reflecting, unfortunately, job seekers saying uncle.

Elsewhere:

  • The Dow ended little changed on Friday after the jobs report, closing at 16,437;
  • The Polar Vortex paid an unwelcome visit to much of the country, no doubt putting a chill on some economic indicators for January;
  • Bridgegate went from a local to national story as Governor Christie staged a two-hour TV apologia, fired staff members, distanced himself from advisors and all debated his fate as Republican presidential hopeful while copy editors made hay with “bridge of sighs” and “jam” jabs;
  • Target revised stolen data numbers drastically higher, saying the breach could have affected more than 100 million customers, or approximately one-third of adult Americans, making this a serious assignment for the retailer in regaining trust;
  • Alex Rodriguez was suspended from the Yankees for the 2014 year and playoffs for doping, which was followed (as pointed out “loudly” by The New York Times) with a one-sentence statement: “The New York Yankees respect Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug and Treatment Program, the arbitration process, as well as the decision released today by the arbitration panel”; and
  • Ariel Sharon, the former prime minister of Israel, died following an eight-year coma. End of Story

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Media Navel Gaze

The Week Unpeeled

Global headlines paid tribute to Nelson Mandela last week, who died at 96 years old after a storied life as an anti-apartheid activist, whom President Obama called a leader who “achieved more than could be expected of any man.”  Interesting to read about his early life as a lawyer of noble birth in South Africa who loved jazz and nightlife, a profile rarely covered.

Elsewhere:

  • The US unemployment rate fell to 7.0 percent in November from 7.3 percent in October and non-farm payroll added a higher-than-expected 203,000 positions, raising taper talk again;
  • The jobs news rallied stocks with the Dow Jones rising nearly 200 points to end a five-day losing streak to close on Friday at 16,020;
  • Also on the jobs front, Obama pushed for an increase in the federal minimum wage, amid expectations that the income equality story will continue to get ink in the weeks ahead;
  • Newsweek plans to launch a weekly edition sometime early next week, after halting presses more than a year ago, based on a subscription model instead of an advertising model, a possible good sign for print;
  • However, New York magazine made it official last week and announced that it will become a biweekly starting in the first quarter of 2014;
  • Tyco’s former CEO Kozlowski, will be released on parole in January, one of the big bold-faced greed stories that played out in top-tier and tabloids for months before his conviction 2005; and
  • Get in the Pink: Radiant Orchid is the new black, as Pantone announced the new “it” color for 2014. End of Story

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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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