The media is hungry for corporate excess

March 13, 2009

Guess where the paparazzi are training their lenses these days? For those of you who missed it, The New York Times writes that gossip rags have all but abandoned Britney Spears for the thrill of capturing corporate excesses on camera. From the paper:

Googler jumps ship

March 13, 2009

It’s been less than a week since Google reset the price of employee stock options in order to provide “better incentives for employees to remain at Google.”

Who’s ready for a little dealmaking?

March 2, 2009

******Current valuations for media companies must have opened up some opportunities for dealmaking, right? It’s hard to argue that things aren’t getting cheap.******Well, two of the industry’s top dogs, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman and Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, seem to have differing views on whether the media meltdown makes for a good time to wheel and deal. Both were asked about it during presentations at the Deutsche Bank Annual Media & Telecommunications Conference.******Dauman said Viacom, owner of MTV and Paramount, wants to focus on internal growth, mentioning Nickelodeon’s international expansion and the Colors television channel in India. “I continue to believe that we are better off investing in growing our own brands than spending significant money on acquisitions,” he said “I don’t see our using huge dollars to make an acquisition anytime soon.”******Bewkes left the door slightly more ajar. He said a lot of the assets or companies out there — “you can fill in the usual suspects” — have previously been way overpriced. “Up ’til now, those things have been around at prices that just don’t provide a return,” he said.******Deals may now make more sense. “We have room for acquisitions if there are real opportunities out there that don’t represent stupid prices or acquisitions risks,” he said when asked if they were on the prowl.******Time Warner, of course, knows a thing of two about stupid prices and acquisition risks.******Speaking of which… Not surprisingly, Bewkes was asked about AOL. He provided fairly stock answers, saying he was disappointed in ad sales and would still consider a deal for the troubled web business. “We always remain open for scale combinations that put any of our businesses in a better position,” he said. “We remain open to that.”******(Photo: Reuters)

The worst vacation ever

January 16, 2009

It’s just like vacation — except that you don’t get paid and really don’t have any choice in the matter and will likely spend the days worrying this could be a hint of (bad) things to come.

Google-Yahoo vs. Department of Justice

October 31, 2008

The odds of a Google-Yahoo Web advertising deal are looking increasingly bad. The Wall Street Journal says that both sides may just drop the deal as early as next week. The reason: The Justice Department wants too many darn compromises.

More talks between Yahoo and AOL? Why not?

September 24, 2008

yahoo2.jpgHere we go again… It seems that Yahoo’s new board has given the thumbs up to a new round of talks about Time Warner’s AOL, according to a report in the Financial Times

AOL changes look, opens email, gets more social

September 10, 2008

aol_sept_mock_v5.jpgAOL has relaunched with a redesigned page. It has also unveiled a new ‘every email’ feature that allows consumers to access multiple email services and integrates access to social networking sites.

Google’s investment in AOL heading down

August 8, 2008

toilet.jpgFive percent of AOL may not be what it used to be.

Many thought that was the case, but now even Google says so, conceding in a filing that its stake in Time Warner Inc’s AOL unit may be worth less than the $1 billion the Web company paid for it in 2006. “We believe our investment in AOL may be impaired,” Google said in its quarterly financial filing.

AOL trims for sale?

July 25, 2008

randyfalco.jpgTechCrunch‘s report on AOL’s “sunsetting” of Xdrive, AOL Pictures, MyMobile and Bluestring spread like wildfire yesterday, at a time when the future of its ownership hangs in the balance.