Posts Tagged ‘Corporate’

Prince has his Radiohead cake and eats too!

June 1, 2008

Radiohead was pleased Prince had covered From CNN updated 1:23 p.m. EDT, Fri May 30, 2008     Radiohead to Prince: Hey, that’s OUR song>>read more.          WASHINGTON (AP) — After word spread that Prince covered Radiohead’s “Creep” at Coachella, the tens of thousands who couldn’t be there ran to YouTube for a peek. Everyone was quickly denied — even Radiohead.     Radiohead was pleased Prince had covered “Creep.” But who has the right to put online?       All videos of Prince’s unique rendition of Radiohead’s early hit were quickly taken down, leaving only a message that his label, NPG Records, had removed the clips, claiming a copyright violation. But the posted videos were shot by fans and, obviously, the song isn’t Prince’s.     In a recent interview, Thom Yorke said he heard about Prince’s performance from a text message and thought it was “hilarious.” Yorke laughed when his bandmate, guitarist Ed O’Brien, said the blocking had prevented him from seeing Richard Drew / AP file photo Prince's frustration with his label led him to adopt an unpronounceable symbol as a name and write Prince’s version of their song.      “Really? He’s blocked it?” asked Yorke, who figured it was their song to block or not. “Surely we should block it. Hang on a moment.”     Yorke added: “Well, tell him to unblock it. It’s our … song.”
Prince>>read more.: As the result of a complicated dispute with Warner over a six-album deal signed in 1992, he announced that he was changing his name to a symbol and took to wearing a scarf over his face in public. When he ditched the scarf he started writing ‘slave’ on his right cheek, just in case anyone had failed to get the point.

 

Freshens Dallas-Fort Worth Sucks

May 18, 2008

I Asked the young lady at the Freshens counter for change yesterday while waiting for my flight at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, and she said no.

Starbucks Profits Drop 28%

May 4, 2008

Starbucks CoffeeFrom AdAge By Emily Bryson York Published: May 01, 2008>>read more.     see related post      Retailer, Amid Back-to-Roots Plan, to Roll Out Array of Non-Coffee Beverages     CHICAGO (AdAge.com) — Amid disappointing earnings yesterday, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz sought to quell fears about the company’s future by offering guidance on earnings and store openings through 2011. He also announced an array of new beverage platforms, which some experts say are at odds with Starbucks recent back-to-roots theme.     “While we are not going to use the economy as an excuse, it is important to keep in mind that our second-quarter results do reflect the sharp weakening U.S. consumer environment,” Mr. Schultz said. “Like most other retailers and restaurants, we are experiencing a downturn in customer traffic demonstrated in reduced frequency of customer visits that we believe tie to a real reduction in consumers’ discretionary spending habits.”     Emphasis on economy     Second-quarter net income plummeted 28% compared the year-ago quarter, and same-store sales suffered what the company described as a “mid-single digit” decline. Starbucks warned of lower-than-expected earnings last week. Mr. Schultz repeatedly emphasized that there were “no immediate signs” of an economic recovery.     Not everyone agrees with his economic thesis on the company’s woes.     David Palmer, an analyst with UBS, wrote, “We believe that Starbucks is the worst under-earning company in our coverage. Mismanagement & macroeconomics have led to declining [same store sales]. The questions now are: will the company be able to drive meaningful innovation, and create cost savings?”      Starbucks is hoping that a raft of new offerings will help drive traffic. Starbucks DoubleShot is an energy-drink platform that will be offered in stores as well as bottled and sold through the company’s partnership with Pepsi.     “Entering this category offers us a significant opportunity for us to complement our customers lifestyles and engage in important and relatively untapped demographic for Starbucks,” Mr. Schultz said, citing other energy drinks that have included caffeine.      Fruit smoothies     Starbucks will also begin making fruit smoothies at its locations nationwide this summer. Mr. Schultz called the “protein and fruit-blended beverage” Starbucks’ first meaningful step into the health-and-wellness category. At launch, the beverages will come in two flavors, have no artificial sweeteners, contain 15 grams of protein and no more than 270 calories. He added that Starbucks has been discreetly testing the drinks in certain stores, and received responses that surpassed expectations.      “In our research, more than 60% of customers surveyed said they would come to Starbucks to buy healthy, nutritious beverages, and we are confident we have found the perfect answer to their needs,” he said.     Finally, Starbucks will introduce an Italian beverage platform that Mr. Schultz heralded as his company’s next Frappuccino. “We searched the world over and over and have found something finally that took us back to our heritage.”     The new, low-calorie beverage, which will launch in parts of California this summer but won’t be available nationwide until 2009, will have a “smooth, frozen texture,” and offer a range of options including fruit, dairy and yogurt.     John Moore, a former Starbucks marketer who blogs at BrandAutopsy.com, said the slate of launches reads like a TV network with a show in the pipeline that they’re being forced to air.      In the pipeline for months     “Keep in mind these beverages have been in the pipeline for months,” he said, indicating that R&D likely preceded Mr. Schultz’ return as CEO. “And it wasn’t until the end of January is when we became knowledgeable the about the company was getting back to its roots.”

The Newspaper Death Watch

May 4, 2008

John Kuczala>>read more.From AdAge by Nat Ives Published: April 28, 2008     Photo illustration: John Kuczala>>read more.
Newspapers’ overall ad revenue has been falling, down to $42.2 billion last year from $48.7 billion at the millennium.     Tumultuous Week Highlights Industry’s Many Challenges     NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — By now you know the story: The business of newspapers is in decline.     It’s a terminal decline, if you believe experts such as Jeffrey Cole, director of the Center for the Digital Future at the University of Southern California at Annenberg. His research suggests traditional media in general must learn to shrink but newspapers in particular are a special case. “When an offline reader of a paper dies, he or she is not being replaced by a new reader,” he said. “How much time do they have? We think they have 20 to 25 years.”     Of course, newspaper owners aren’t going to just give up and wait — and that’s why Ad Age is launching this series about the 1,437 dailies still working hard in the U.S. It’ll look at the thought leaders in the industry, their attempts to leave the past — and even formats — behind and their strategies for finding new business models.     But let’s start with the industry’s travails, because the news last week was full of them.     Tough Times     The New York Times Co. elected its first outside directors since going public in 1967, capitulating to a pair of hedgefund shareholders demanding divestitures and a quicker turn toward digital. The first mass newsroom layoffs for its flagship paper bore down after buyouts found too few takers. And Moody’s Investors Service cut its ratings on the company two notches — to its lowest investment grade.     Meanwhile, Rupert Murdoch neared a deal to buy Long Island’s Newsday from Tribune Co., a company that CEO and maybe-savior Sam Zell had said he could at least hold together.     And Mr. Murdoch’s New York Post reduced its height by an inch and a half, following the Times and The Wall Street Journal and newspapers across the country in literally shrinking from costs.     These were just the concrete results of trends that are gradually but relentlessly weakening newspapers as we know them. Trends such as the migration of classifieds, worth 40% of newspapers’ ad revenue as recently as 2000, to the internet, which better organizes and offers them to consumers.      Last year classifieds mustered $14.2 billion for newspapers — which sounds like a lot until you see that’s 16.5% less than the year before. That’s according to statistics from an industry trade group, the Newspaper Association of America.     Revenue down     Newspapers’ overall ad revenue has been falling too, of course, to $42.2 billion last year from $48.7 billion at the millennium.

1970’s Oil Embargo: We Didn’t Learn a fuckin thing

May 2, 2008

After the huge response we experienced with the DC Design three-door Cayenne, we thought it’d be a good idea to put up some new images of one of the design company’s previous “masterpieces”, a Rolls Royce inspired coupe. Official details are scarce, but we believe the car is based on the original RR Silver Spirit saloon and created for an owner whose design brief was to build a Rolls Royce that would shock anyone who looked at it. The exterior has obviously been heavily modified with an eye to Nissan’s 350z, but it also looks like the interior has undergone cosmetic surgery. As Gas Costs Soar, Buyers Are Flocking to Small Cars
From The New York Times By BILL VLASIC Published: May 2, 2008>>read moreImage.
DETROIT — Soaring gas prices have turned the steady migration by Americans to smaller cars into a stampede.     How the Industry Fared In what industry analysts are calling a first, about one in five vehicles sold in the United States was a compact or subcompact car during April, based on monthly sales data released Thursday. Almost a decade ago, when sport utility vehicles were at their peak of popularity, only one in every eight vehicles sold was a small car.     The switch to smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles has been building in recent years, but has accelerated recently with the advent of $3.50-a-gallon gas. At the same time, sales of pickup trucks and large sport utility vehicles have dropped sharply.     In another first, fuel-sipping four-cylinder engines surpassed six-cylinder models in popularity in April.     “It’s easily the most dramatic segment shift I have witnessed in the market in my 31 years here,” said George Pipas, chief sales analyst for the Ford Motor Company.     The trend toward smaller and lighter vehicles with better mileage is a blow to Detroit automakers, which offer fewer such models than Asian carmakers like Toyota and Honda. Moreover, the decline of S.U.V.’s and pickups has curtailed the biggest source of profits for General Motors, Ford and Chrysler.     Once considered an unattractive and cheap alternative to large cars and S.U.V.’s, compacts have become the new star of the showroom at a time when overall industry sales are falling.

Buffalo Bills getting $78 million for eight games in Toronto

May 1, 2008

Bills fans in Toronto will be able to cheer on their team close to home, while the Bills double their take from the game. Team’s take is double what it grosses at home
From The Buffalo News By Mark Gaughan Updated: 04/30/08 8:29 AM >>read more. The Buffalo Bills will be paid an average of $9.75 million a game from their new Toronto business partners, financial statements released in Canada revealed Tuesday.     The Bills’ eight games in Canada over the next five years will earn the National Football League team a total of $78 million, Rogers Communications stated in its quarterly report. It was the first time the cost of the deal was made public.     The gross revenue is roughly double what the Bills garner in gross revenues for a home game at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park.     The Bills essentially are leasing the game to Rogers Communications. The team is being paid a flat fee for the games, and Rogers is handling virtually all of the game operations. Rogers is one of Canada’s largest communications companies, with revenues of about $10 billion a year. —Curious how much of the money will make it to the local economy.

P&G Asks Customers to Weigh in on Gay Kiss

April 29, 2008

From AdAge BATAVIA, Ohio (AdAge.com) By Jack Neff Published: April 29, 2008 click to read moresee related post —P&G Lets Consumers Act as Media Planners Asks Customers to Weight in on Gay Kissing and Hip-Hop Programming     The nation’s largest advertiser is inviting consumers to weigh in on its controversial media decisions.     Last week, Procter & Gamble set up an option on its main consumer toll-free line in response to a drive from a coalition, dubbed Enough Is Enough, that was urging the company to stop sponsoring hip-hop programs on MTV and BET laced with profanity, liberal doses of the “N word,” and scenes the group believes degrade and objectify women.     This week, P&G set up a second toll-free option asking callers to register support or criticism of the “story line” on “As the World Turns,” from P&G Productions, which featured fairly passionate kisses between daytime TV’s only gay couple.     Not just one group weighing in While it’s natural to expect complaints to outnumber support on such lines, that may not necessarily be the case. The American Family Association, which asked people to call P&G to protest the gay kissing scene, isn’t the only one weighing in on Luke and Noah’s love life.

Criminal Corporate Media Consistent in Obstructing Justice

April 22, 2008

From Stealth Lesbian Monday, April 21, 2008 click to read more.
While our Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is supposedly a publicly owned body, one could easily argue that there are more corporate commercials than there are on American TV and the public is even more poorly represented with the exception of some remarkable shows like the Fifth Estate.     While our Canadian troops are used as cannon fodder for another American oil invasion (the Unocal Pipeline was being laid in Afghanistan with three months of the American invasion and occupation and the drug crop is the largest in the history of Afghanistan). Just like Columbia the CIA drug crop is thriving.     The coverage of the cash and carry conservatives and the Mulroney bribery by Thyssen Industries is covered with the minimal amount of data released to the public…and little made of the fact that our defense minister went to train at Thyssen while still a young man. Interesting choice a firm involved with the Bush Clan in selling to the Nazis THROUGHOUT WWII

Why the Public Can’t Think Straight

April 22, 2008

Emailed from a friend: From Strike The Root, The Paradise Perspective: Commentary from a Free and Compassionate Alternate Reality Random Thoughts by Glen Allport April 21, 2008 click to read more.     
We all know that the government lies to us, that it uses propaganda to support the lies, and that, for the most part, the corporate media is an integral part of the government/power elite propaganda machine. These things are obvious to any American with even a room-temperature IQ. For that matter, it’s hard to think of any nation that behaves otherwise.     Occasionally, the true nature of today’s corporatist media leaks out in a way that shocks. Two recent examples:   First, Glenn Greenwald’s Major revelation: U.S. media deceitfully disseminates government propaganda. Commenting on a recent NY Times article (registration required), Greenwald points out that as damning as the revelations in that article are, the bigger story is media complicity in ignoring and suppressing such material. He provides extensive and chilling details showing how the dishonesty and propaganda are routinely accomplished. Greenwald says plainly that “The single most significant factor in American political culture is the incestuous, extensive overlap between our media institutions and government officials.”   After watching the Sunday news shows, Greenwald added an update, writing that “it is striking — though unsurprising — that not a single one saw fit to mention this NYT story demonstrating that these news programs all fed government propaganda to their viewers. That they refuse to comment on this story and will now black it out says as much about what they really are, and what they really do, as the NYT story itself does.”   Anyone who still harbors the slightest thought that the corporate media is an honest and reliable source of information needs to read Greenwald’s article.    The second item is a short, excellent YouTube video (7 min 33 sec) put together by television producer Jerry Day that documents the blatant manipulation and dishonesty of media political coverage so well, you’ll be stunned. Ron Paul figures prominently in the discussion for obvious reasons: Paul (who is still in the GOP race) is the only pro-freedom, anti-war, anti-corporatist, anti-income tax, anti-Federal Reserve candidate in the race, and thus suppressing Paul’s candidacy has been the corporate media’s most important job these past several months.     This is a must-see video, and not only for Ron Paul supporters; the facts Mr. Day presents are important for anyone who wants to understand how the warfare-welfare police state is being pushed on the American public. I encourage you to send the link to everyone you know.—I dunno, what do you think? 

Austin plans: build 100’s of apartments and cut hiring plans

April 22, 2008

About 75 percent of the commercial space in the Triangle is spoken for and some say the new land is ripe for more retail or a hotel.From Austin Business Journal by A.J. Mistretta Staff Writer Friday, April 18, 2008 click to read more.     Land at Triangle up for grabs GLO seeks developer to build out tracts near blossoming Central Austin mixed-use project.     The Texas General Land Office is offering up for lease two remaining parcels within the 33-acre Triangle tract, a move that will likely lead to more retail and residential units and possibly other uses at the Central Austin development.     In particular, Burnham says Simmons Vedder is eyeing the 3.7-acre site that would likely allow for about 250 apartment units and roughly 15,000 square feet of ground-floor retail if a vertical mixed use zoning change is approved. He says the earliest his company could begin construction would be spring 2009.      Meanwhile, a nearby Hospitals cuts hiring plans by 400 jobs
From Austin Business Journal by by Kate Harrington ABJ Staff Monday, April 21, 2008 – 5:21 PM CDT click to read more.     The Seton Family of Hospitals has slowed growth plans for fiscal year 2009 — trimming its plan for 800 new jobs to 400, in order to deal with rocky economic times, according to a letter attributed to Seton CEO Charles Barnett.    The letter also says that the entire organization will need to look at cutbacks in growth for the next year. Barnett further mentions that two planned executive positions budgeted in 2009 – vice president of safety and vice president for organizational development – will be eliminated. Barnett writes that the system has also already made some reductions in overtime and premium pay.