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Media Navel Gaze: July 2, 2012

Mark Kollar  Follow

The Week Unpeeled

New and old media alike seemed to be in splitsville last week, with New Corp’s board unanimously approving a plan to split the company into two: one for entertainment and one for publishing; Facebook analysts who were heeding the 40-day ban on issuing research were split (not equally) on buys and neutrals, in essence giving a lukewarm reception with a higher number of holds than buys (“’Like’? Not So Much,” The Wall Street Journal headline Thursday) and Anne Curry called its splitsville for good (not voluntarily) as co-host on the “Today” show. (Now that was true media navel gazing.  Have you ever seen so much coverage -- much of it front page -- for a talking head’s departure for a show that is pretty irrelevant in today’s media market?)


  • The US Supreme Court upheld Obama’s health-care law;
  • EU leaders announced plans to reduce borrowing costs for Spain and Itlay and form a single supervisor to oversee banks;
  • Those headlines sent markets soaring with the Dow up 2.2 percent on Friday to end at 12,880; For the quarter, the Dow is down 2.5 percent, the first negative quarter in three quarters;
  • And just when we thought bankers could sink no lower, a scandal at Barclays and other banks hit the headlines. Namely:
    • More than £4bn was wiped from the value of Barclays’ shares following its £290m fine for trying to fix Libor rates; Chief Exec Bob Diamond rejected growing calls to resign as Barclays boss;
    • Court documents also revealed bankers at Lloyds and RBS have been accused of routinely distorting Libor data; Executives at HSBC are also among those being investigated
    • The scandal is estimated to have cost business, investors and consumers £30bn;
    • The New York Times reported that the JP Morgan trading loss could reach $9 billion from initial estimates from the bank of $2 billion;
    • Adding to negative headlines: Millions of customers were unable to move money or pay bills as UK accounts froze and wage payments failed to arrive when NatWest, which is owned by RBS, was struck by an IT glitch which sent the whole system into meltdown
  • Rupert Murdoch said he would prefer to invest News Corp's billions of dollars of cash in America than Britain as he formally distanced himself from his UK businesses - "There are billions and billions of dollars, and if Britain didn't want 'em, there are plenty of good places to put them here (in the US)";
  • Google launched its first tablet and other hardware;
  • London’s first cable car service opened, high across the river Thames near the Olympic Park the Emirates Air Line will help carry up to 2,500 people an hour in each direction;
  • Rafael Nadal lost (as No. 2) to Lukas Rosol (No. 100) in early Wimbledon rounds; and
  • David Beckham was left out of the Team GB football team, in a shock omission described by marketing experts as “commercial suicide.” CJP

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