Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, February 18, 2021

While it’s not due to debut until late 2007, the new Fox Business Channel already is being positioned by News Corp. as the un-CNBC:

Roger Ailes, chairman and chief executive for Fox News, told The New York Times that he’d often seen things on CNBC where they aren’t as friendly to corporations and profits as they should be.

“We don’t get up every morning thinking business is bad,” Ailes said.

Substitute “America” for “business” in that quote and you’d swear it was 1996 again, and Ailes was needling CNN.

The tactic worked for Fox News Channel. Worked brilliantly. Many people doubted the network was even necessary yet it charged past the industry pioneer within six years and hasn’t been caught since. Now many are questioning whether Fox Business Channel can compete against CNBC.

It’s a smart way to maneuver for mindshare: Set up the raison d’etre early, so as to deflect the “why bother” arguments. As long as the message is delivered consistently, it doesn’t matter much if it’s true or not. By the time FBC comes on the air, it’ll be guaranteed a big initial audience just on curiosity value alone. Drawing eyeballs is the biggest part of the battle; from there, it’s relatively easy pickings to retain viewers.

The tactics are working great, since CNBC spokespeople are already characterizing Fox’s rhetoric as “propaganda” — a charged term that, in the American context, suggests a liberal-conservative divide. Of course Fox is engaging in propaganda, in that any advertising/marketing campaign is, by definition, a form of propaganda. But brandishing it like this only makes CNBC look like it’s on an irrational attack, and automatically elicits sympathy for the other side.

Despite the precedent with CNN, it seems that CNBC is already being drawn into an arena of argument where it’s not in control, and thus is already on the defensive. More broadly, this seems like a typical response from the General Electric/NBC hierarchy these days: Herky-jerky and reactive, almost consigned to play catchup.

Therefore, I give FBC a real good chance at, minimally, early success. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it usurp CNBC within a few years.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 02/18/2007 11:30:11 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Business, TV
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I just looked through my wallet, and noticed a five-dollar bill with a few random bits of scribbling and doodles on it. Most of the inked mini-graffiti is unremarkable, but the following phrase, found along the lower border of the backside of the bill, is cryptically intriguing:

Shan is a pirate… and the loudest cereal

I already tried a few Google searches on it, in whole and in fragments; no dice. The message’s meaning, if there really is any, remains with the author. But if s/he happens to come across this reproduction, I’d love to find out what’s what.

As for the five bucks itself: It’ll be spent soon enough. I’m not intrigued enough to make a memento out of this silly find.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 02/18/2007 10:28:31 PM
Category: Creative, New Yorkin'
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scarfed downOkay, so last year, I made a big deal out of the preponderance of The North Face garments I was seeing on the streets.

Even now, I look askance at those North Face jackets, caps and whatnot. But this winter, my field of vision has detected a new clothing item that seems to have overwhelmed New York City: The distinctively-patterned Burberry muffler.

Seriously, I’m seeing this scarf wrapped around many a neck in Manhattan, from Midtown to the Village. I can’t go a day of being out-and-about without seeing at least a dozen people sporting the same tan-plaid pattern pictured on this page. It’s epidemic-like!

As with last year’s winterwear mystery, I have no explanation for it. I guess New Yorkers just like the look. I’m not aware of any official or semi-official “in” list for Burberry. Maybe it’s just an unconscious herd mentality action.

If this turns out to be an annual occurrence, I really should do a sort of urban-tagging experiment, to get the lowdown. I’m sure the resulting empirical data would be of value to some sociological and/or fashion journal.

As for me? I’ve got nothing against the British look, but since so many others are already showing it off, I’ll just zig where other zag. I’ll stick with my Italian-style burgundy-and-black striped scarf, for that touch of Euro-trashiness. (Yes, Brits do Euro-trash too, but it’s more pronounced when it’s Italian.)

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 02/18/2007 08:18:26 PM
Category: Fashion, New Yorkin'
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I don’t know about you, but for me, it just ain’t Sunday without the National Hockey League Special Teams Index.

See the up-and-down action by peeking at last week’s rankings. As we get closer to the February 27th trading deadline, the teams jockeying for playoff position will start to address lingering deficiencies in their power-play and penalty-kill units. That could translate into dramatic shifts in STI number toward the end of the regular season.

STI Rank Team PP % (Rank) PK % (Rank) STI Number
1 San Jose Sharks 23.1 (1) 84.5 (8) 107.6
2 Vancouver Canucks 17.2 (16) 89.1 (1) 106.3
3 Anaheim Ducks 20.9 (3) 84.8 (5) 105.7
4 Montreal Canadiens 21.3 (2) 83.4 (11) 104.7
5 New Jersey Devils 18.4 (11) 84.7 (6) 103.1
6 Dallas Stars 18.4 (12) 84.2 (9) 102.6
7 Nashville Predators 16.5 (22) 86.0 (3) 102.5
8 Edmonton Oilers 15.4 (26) 86.6 (2) 102.0
9 Minnesota Wild 17.2 (15) 84.7 (7) 101.9
10 New York Rangers 19.2 (8) 82.2 (16) 101.4
11 Ottawa Senators 17.2 (18) 83.8 (10) 101.0
12 Philadelphia Flyers 15.8 (25) 85.1 (4) 100.9
13 Pittsburgh Penguins 20.4 (4) 80.4 (25) 100.8
14 Boston Bruins 19.2 (7) 81.6 (20) 100.8
15 Florida Panthers 18.5 (10) 82.3 (15) 100.8
16 Detroit Red Wings 17.1 (20) 83.3 (13) 100.4
17 Colorado Avalanche 19.6 (6) 80.5 (24) 100.1
18 Buffalo Sabres 17.5 (14) 81.9 (18) 99.4
19 Carolina Hurricanes 16.4 (23) 82.7 (14) 99.1
20 Calgary Flames 17.9 (13) 80.6 (23) 98.5
21 Washington Capitals 17.2 (17) 81.2 (21) 98.4
22 Toronto Maple Leafs 19.1 (9) 78.9 (26) 98.0
23 Columbus Blue Jackets 16.2 (24) 81.8 (19) 98.0
24 Tampa Bay Lightning 19.9 (5) 77.6 (29) 97.5
25 New York Islanders 15.4 (27) 80.7 (22) 96.1
26 Los Angeles Kings 17.1 (19) 78.5 (28) 95.6
27 St. Louis Blues 13.3 (29) 82.2 (17) 95.5
28 Chicago Blackhawks 11.6 (30) 83.4 (12) 95.0
29 Atlanta Thrashers 16.5 (21) 77.3 (30) 93.8
30 Phoenix Coyotes 14.3 (28) 78.6 (27) 92.9
by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 02/18/2007 06:54:14 PM
Category: Hockey
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