MediaFile

Picture gets darker for 8,000 Sprint workers

Employees of embattled wireless service Sprint had yet another reason to complain on Monday after the company, which has been losing customers for years, announced 8,000 job cuts.

However, even after they’ve been booted out in the cold, these workers will likely still be reminded of their previous job by the sight of their old boss Dan Hesse, when he moonlights as lead actor in Sprint’s sepia-toned TV commercials on top of his day job as CEO of a struggling wireless company. 
    While Hesse’s dual lead man/CEO role may be saving the company some money, a few experts have wondered whether the commercials are doing more harm than good to Sprint, which has been roundly criticized for its marketing message. 
    Or perhaps it’s just a coincidence that the company has continued to report steep customer losses since the ads started to run soon after Hesse took on the job just over a year ago.

(Photo: Still shot of Dan Hesse in Sprint ad)

from Summit Notebook:

Zelnick: Welcome to the emergency room

Strauss Zelnick, chairman of Take Two Interactive, has a bone to pick with the media: He doesn't like the two words "Financial" and "Crisis." At least not when they are used to describe the current state of economic affairs.

"I don't think we're in a financial crisis," Zelnick said at the Reuters Media Summit. "The use of the word crisis -- I'm loathe to be critical of the media since I'm every bit a part of the media -- but I don't think the word has been especially helpful. We're obviously in a recession and these are very very trying times."

If not a financial crisis, then what? Well, Zelnick offers up a hospital metaphor. 

The media, the economy and you

tv-reporter.jpgMedia coverage of economic troubles in the past 18 months has shifted repeatedly in the last year from a narrative about mortgages to one about recession, a banking crisis and now largely gas prices, according to a new report from the Project for Excellence in Journalism in Washington, D.C.

All this is good to know, but the bigger question is why it has progressed the way it has. Fortunately for us, PEJ digs right into it.(And before the meat, here’s the methodology: The PEJ study is based on an analysis of more than 5,000 economic stories from January 1, 2007, through June 30, 2008, drawn from 1,950 hours of programming on the three major cable news cable channels, 390 on network morning and evening TV, 910 on radio, and 468 days’ editions of 21 different newspapers, and the five leading news websites, some 48 different news outlets in all.)Here’s an excerpt:

[The] connection between media coverage and economic events has often been uneven. Sometimes, coverage has lagged months behind economic activity, when the storyline was dependent on government data. Other times, coverage has tracked events erratically, as with housing and inflation. … But when the story is easier to tell, as in the case of gas prices, coverage has been closely tied to what is actually occurring in the marketplace.