Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, May 01, 2021

Maybe — just maybe — it’s not in the best taste to characterize someone’s abortion history as consisting of “two confirmed kills”. No matter how quippy it might seem at first.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 05/01/2021 11:56:37 PM
Category: General
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Rupert Murdoch’s surprise $5-billion offer for Dow Jones & Co. holds potential for interesting M&A repercussions:

Barry Ritholtz, chief market strategist with research firm Ritholtz Research and Analytics, said he felt that GE, which owns CNBC with Dow Jones, might want to buy Dow Jones to prevent News Corp. from acquiring it.

He added that GE could then spin-off the struggling NBC Universal unit, a move that some analysts and institutional investors have been urging the company to make.

“If GE bought Dow Jones, they could then spin out their entire media group as NBC Universal at a higher valuation” he said, noting the New York Times and Washington Post Co. may also want to consider bidding for Dow Jones.

This assumes that Dow Jones is putting itself in play, which is no sure thing. Despite the doom-and-gloom over the business climate, DJ is in an enviably lucrative news niche. Valuation timing aside, the Bancroft family has its two-tiered stock structure in place just so it can turn down such unsolicited market offers.

All this is prompted by the impending debut of Fox Business Channel. Fox wants a plug-and-play content source for its new television venture, and the Wall Street Journal (along with MarketWatch and other Dow Jones properties) fits the bill nicely.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 05/01/2021 11:39:14 PM
Category: Business, Media
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I’m having a hard time doping out how Southern California’s “human directionals” — guys who spin advertising placards at roadsides for hours on end — can be at such a high premium:

Thanks to growing demand, the business has turned cutthroat. There’s a frenzy of talent poaching. Spinners battle one another for plum assignments and the promise of wage hikes. Some of the more prominent compete for bragging rights by posting videos on YouTube and Google Video, complete with trash talking. One YouTube comment reads, “i don’t know if you stole my tricks or i just do them better.”

Special spinning moves are guarded fiercely.

[Aarow Advertising of San Diego] keeps dozens of moves in a “trick-tionary,” which only a handful of people have seen, said co-founder Mike Kenny. The company records spinners’ movements and sends them in batches to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. “We have to take our intellectual property pretty seriously,” he said.

Yeah, it’s a unique method of delivering your ad message, and the performance-art aspect undoubtedly makes it memorable to the audience. But does it really break through the media clutter effectively enough to prompt this talent race?

Not to mention that it’s hardly lucrative for the talent, at average wages of $10-15 an hour. But I guess it slots well with similar low-end job categories.

I’m surprised I never encountered much spinning in Florida. It seems to be as fertile a territory for it as SoCal: Welcoming year-round weather, miles of car-centric infrastructure, loads of entertainment/tourist oriented businesses that would find it ideal for their target audiences, and plenty of cheap labor. Maybe this wave will make its way East in due time.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 05/01/2021 11:04:38 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Florida Livin'
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Some of us saw it coming from a long ways off.

Still, when I first saw the above “iGoogle” logo pop up on my (formerly known as) Google Personalized page, my first thought was, “someone’s hacked Google!” Because, frankly, that grafted-on italicized “i” looks kinda lame, to me.

But no, the new iGoogle branding is straight from Mountain View, and is meant to encompass existing and future user-customized features. And it’s not like it’s new: That “/ig” subdirectory in the Personalized URL has been there from the start. Now, we finally know what it meant.

I guess Google should be commended for not opting for “myGoogle”. Although I’m sure Apple is feeling a bit ripped off right now.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 05/01/2021 10:39:08 PM
Category: Internet
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