Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

Media Navel Gaze The Week Unpeeled

An ISIS video over the weekend – following President Obama’s calls for a military campaign earlier in the week – showed the third beheading of a hostage, a British aid worker, severely increasing threat levels and talk of even more severe action in Syria against the militant group as well as discussions on how much should these videos be shown as part of any media coverage because of its pure evil and because of the potential consequences in dealing with the issue.

Elsewhere

  • Clean House: The NFL suspended Ray Rice after a video surfaced showing him beating his now wife and Vikings’ Adrian Peterson was indicted for child abuse;
  • Off to Big House: Former SAC manager Mathew Martoma was sentenced to nine years in prison;
  • Headlines focused on the vote this week on whether Scotland splits from the UK;
  • US stocks retreated a bit last week, with the Dow closing down 0.87 percent to end at 16,987;
  • GE sold its appliance business to Electrolux of Sweden;
  • Apple unveiled its new bigger sapphire-screen phone, a mobile payment system and a smartwatch (kinda a la Dick Tracy’s watch);
  • Nicki Minaj is denied appearance at her high school alma mater and Twitter revolts; and
  • Biggie Smalls’ “Ready to Die” turned 20 this weekend. Word! End of Story
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onmnicom-publicis-break

Earlier this month, Omnicom and Publicis revealed that they were walking away from their proposed $35 billion “merger of equals” that they had originally announced to great fan-fare last summer as they claimed that greater scale would allow them to better face a changing media landscape and the likes of Google. The news of the cancelled deal (which was a “cancellation of equals” if you will in that neither will pay the $500M breakup fee) was a major story in the worlds of finance and media, as the combination would have toppled WPP as the world’s largest advertising agency holding company.

However, this result did not come as a complete surprise, given that the deal had faced an onslaught of regulatory hurdles and that the companies’ most recent earnings calls did little to reassure investors, with one analyst saying the two CEOs were “not singing from the same song book.” Indeed, it was ultimately a lack of agreement and consensus at the highest levels that proved a bridge too far for this transatlantic deal to cross.

Some of the aforementioned regulatory hurdles were certainly posing problems, with anti-trust clearance in China and tax approvals in Europe being two of major government blessings that had yet to be secured. There were also technical elements that were proving sticking points, such as which firm would be the acquirer from an accounting standpoint.

The real stumbling block here though came on a human level. The two CEOs, Omincom’s John Wren and Publicis’ Marcus Levy (who were slated to share power for the first 30 months with Wren taking the reins thereafter) could not agree on who would fill key roles, such as those of CFO and General Counsel. Both wanted their respective firms’ executives in those positions, and Levy feeling that Omnicom was in fact, if not in name, taking over Publicis – an outcome he felt obligated to prevent.

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Media Navel Gaze

The Week Unpeeled

Crimea formally became part of Russia last week as US sanctions (especially those aimed at  a big Russian bank) started to take a toll on some business and its stock market, while the search continued for any clues to the missing Malaysian airliner, a story that was actually getting much less front-page coverage as any big clues started to fade.

Elsewhere:

  • The First Lady and entourage travel to China, making for countless ping pong photo ops;  Obama is off to Europe;
  • Fed Chief Yellen speaks and markets shake in what was called by many as overreaction to the central bank’s outlook on short-term rates (which are expected to remain n ear zero this year);
  • The Fed also announced it would cut its monthly bond purchases by $10 billion to $55 billion (no surprise), citing ongoing signs of a recovery;
  • The Dow, meanwhile, rose 1.48 percent for the week to close Friday at 16,302, down 1.65 percent for the year;
  • Score one for the sharing economy as Airbnb, in talks to raise money, sees its  valuation estimated at near $10 billion;
  • The White House may dump Blackberry, one of the last high-profile bastion for the device as its tests other devices;
  • Turkey moves to ban Twitter, with everyone from Mia Farrow to Richard Branson tweeting outrage and encouragement support/use of the social-media channel; and

Of course, March Madness. End of Story

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Media Navel Gaze

The Week Unpeeled

The US employment report last week shed some positive light on the economy with non-farm payroll adding 175,000 jobs in February, helping the markets continue what is now an official five-year bull run (marked by several stories over the weekend). The slightly bullish jobs report eases concerns about a spring meltdown and the negative impact of cold weather this winter.  The Dow, meanwhile, for the week rose about 0.8 percent to end at 16,452.

Elsewhere:

  • The Ukraine remained under pressure from Russia, with the Crimea in play, while the West looked for solutions;
  • A Malaysia Airlines jet disappeared over the Gulf of Thailand over the weekend amid reports of stolen passports by two passengers, adding mystery to an already mysterious situation;
  • President Obama forgets how to spell R-E-S-P-E-C-T before Aretha performed at the White House;
  • Bill Weir, a former Nightline co-anchor, is reported to be the replacement for Piers Morgan’s nighttime slot;
  • Newsweek magazine relaunches in print amid big-time controversy as its cover story unmasking the founder of the currency bitcoin was called inaccurate by the man – and countless others -- himself, a claim the magazine has defended saying, “We are absolutely standing by this”;
  • The biggest newspaper publisher in The Netherlands has launched a new service called “Blendle,” which is the iTunes of journalism, where consumers can buy individual stories (for a song) at just 0.10 euros;
  • The Twitter-er behind @GSElevator lost his book contract, shortly after his identify was revealed and his resume showed he never worked at Goldman Sachs; and
  • Just in time for Lent, Christians take to their cellphone cameras on Ash Wednesday to launch the craze of Ashtags, selfies for the soul.
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