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)

Verizon, Google nears deal

google-logo2.jpgMedia companies aren’t the only ones who needed Google’s help. The Wall Street Journal is reporting Verizon and Google are nearing a wide-ranging agreement that will see Google as the default search provider on Verizon handsets.

It’s not the first time the two have reportedly come close to landing a partnership. They were in discussions last year as well. 

At issue, according to the report, is Google’s desire to save information from user searches in order to enhance the relevancy of its ads. Verizon, like other carriers, have been unwilling to part with such valuable consumer data. Another hang-up is the revenue split from the ads.

Cable, Sprint up ante on rivals

cellphone-guy.jpgTwo sectors may be getting a new lease on life after the Wall Street Journal reported news that a handful of the top U.S. cable operators are exploring a joint venture with Sprint Nextel and Clearwire to create a national high-speed wireless network to fight off the telcos for subscribers.

Without a big infusion of cash, WiMax technology could be a non-starter in the U.S. So far, Sprint has planned to introduce the service in three markets.

Expanding beyond that may prove a tough sell for Sprint shareholders who had widely criticized its commitment last year to spend $5 billion on WiMax by 2010. Sprint is also struggling to keep its existing customers from leaving.