Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

from MediaFile:

GlobalMedia: EA nabs triple word Scrabble score from Oprah

oprah Forget sports tournaments or new movie releases as boosters for game demand. Electronic Arts' latest hero is America's most famous chat show host.

Chief Executive John Riccitiello,  at the Reuters Media summit, went out of his way to praise Oprah Winfrey, whose recent shout-out of Scrabble  gave a new lease of life to the not-so-new word game.

"We're very thankful to Oprah for mentioning Scrabble on iPad as one of her ultimate favorite gifts. There was a 400 percent pop ... on her word." He said. "I think there's different grades of favorite so we were happy to be among her ultimate favorites."

So did Riccitiello contact Oprah directly to say thanks? "My sense is that the number of people sending her flowers is too many for her to notice my petunias," he said.

from MediaFile:

GlobalMedia-ABC News in talks with Bloomberg

MEDIA-SUMMIT/DISNEYThe news divisions at the big networks have been in a world of hurt lately as advertisers seek out younger consumers and viewers. This has lead to big cutbacks in staffing and resources over the years as the networks strive to keep profit margins from deteroirating even further.

ABC is certainly no expectation and has experienced managment upheaval when ABC News president David Westin announced in September his departure partly due to the financial situation and the pressure to increase profit margins.  

from MediaFile:

GlobalMedia-3D? After some thought, News Corp COO likes its future

carey1To our surprise, News Corp President and Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey, whose studio released the highest grossing movie of all time in 3D, hesitated when asked about the future of that technology.

Carey, speaking at the Reuters Global Media Summit in New York, was asked whether he rated a series of technologies "long" or "short" and raced through most of the list without hesitating until faced with 3D.

from MacroScope:

APEC’s robots stealing the show

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A guide at the "Japanese Experience" exhibition talks to Miim, the Karaoke pal robot, on the sidelines of the APEC meetings in Yokohama, Japan on Nov. 10. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

    Miim is one of the more popular delegates at the APEC meetings in Yokohama Japan. She sings. She dances. She tosses her shoulder length hair. She may not be able to spout an alphabet soup of APEC acronyms like the other Asia-Pacific delegates. But she's still pretty lively. For a robot.

Cure for lending constipation needed

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DUBAI/ Yes, the market for IPOs is opening up, investors are regaining confidence and the worst seems to be over, but challenges are still looming and there’s a dire need for a change in regulation. Or so suggested Shuaa Capitals’ chief Sameer al-Ansari.

“With the balance sheet of banks, whatever is keeping them constipated, we need to give them something to start. Banks have to be more comfortable and confident that there are no more shocks on the horizon,” said Ansari at the Reuters Middle East Investment Summit in Dubai on Tuesday.

No bonds for Arabtec; not for now anyway

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MIDEAST-SUMMIT/ARABTEC Just to be clear, Arabtec is not considering a convertible bond issue.

The builder has no need for funds and has adequate access to capital if needed. But nonetheless its chief financial officer Ziad Makhzoumi is watching the region’s increasing capital raising activities with interest.

“I don’t think we need any funding whatsoever… As a CFO I have to look at all the options all the time,” he told the Reuters Middle East Investment Summit in Dubai on Monday.

Is investor confidence returning to the Middle East?

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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES/A recovery in the Middle East and the prospects for investment are on the agenda at the Reuters Middle East and Investment Summit, taking place in Dubai, Riyadh, Cairo, Kuwait, Beirut, Bagdad, Abu Dhabi and London.

In the wake of Dubai’s debt crisis, which rocked financial markets globally and dented confidence in the region, top executives and officials will discuss whether the investment climate in the region is improving and confidence returning. 2011 will be a year of more restructurings, but the region’s capital needs will lead to a surge in debt issues and even a possible revival of the IPO market.

from Environment Forum:

Could “putting the cow inside the plant” make a new biofuel?

SWITZERLAND/The Next Big Thing in biofuel might involve genetically engineered plants that digest themselves, making it cheaper to turn them into fuel. That's one of the new ideas that Arun Majumdar finds fascinating. As the head of the U.S. Energy Department's ARPA-E -- the path-breaking agency that aims come up with efficient, green energy solutions -- Majumdar said this concept is one of a few dozen that are in the development stage now.

Majumdar let his enthusiasm show as he described this project at the Reuters Global Climate and Alternative Energy Summit on Thursday. He was talking about a project in its early stages at Massachusetts-based Agrivida.

Will Bjorn Lomborg be compared to Al Gore?

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lomborgBjorn Lomborg (left) worries that people will conclude he’s becoming like Al Gore (right).gore

At first sight, that sounds unthinkable.

Lomborg, a Danish statistician who wrote the book “The Skeptical Environmentalist”, argues that the world should develop cheap new green technologies before taking radical steps to fight global warming (…echoes of the policies of former U.S. President George W. Bush).

Is emerging Europe out of the woods yet?

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A surge in portfolio inflows is flooding into emerging central Europe, although yield-hungry investors are picking solid HUNGARY IMF/MATOLCSYpolicy and higher growth over countries still struggling to put the crisis behind them.

After deep contractions across the region, a two-speed recovery is underway, with countries boasting better debt fundamentals like Poland and the Czech Republic for the moment ahead of those who depend on foreign lending.

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