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Media Navel Gaze: March 30, 2015

Mark Kollar  Follow

The Week Unpeeled

The Germanwings tragedy was front-page news and lead broadcast story for much of last week, with more and more creepy details emerging swiftly each day, focusing recently on the state of depression of the co-pilot who reportedly intentionally crashed the airliner into a French mountainside. The event unfortunately made it clear that the media and public are becoming very expert at these stories now.

Elsewhere:

  • Kraft will merge with Heinz in an approximately $50 billion deal, a story that put the spotlight on the food industry and the Brazilian PE firm, 3G, which owns Heinz and is known for its cost-cutting strategies;
  • Jurors in San Francisco found that VC firm Kleiner Perkins did not sexually discriminate against a former partner in a very closely watched case;
  • Amanda Knox's murder conviction in Italy was overturned;
  • Facebook said it is considering hosting news content directly on its site—linkfree—so that readers will not have to visit, for example, Buzzfeed or The New York Times web sites for articles;
  • The NFL is experimenting with totally digital strategy when it announced last week that it would "broadcast" a game on a national platform (not TV), which will open the door to a wonderful scrimmage of digital rights, viewership, advertising, etc.;
  • The Dow fell 2.3 percent for the week to end Friday at 17,712; and
  • Never Too Late: Richard III got a proper funeral last week, five centuries later in Leicester after his bones had been discovered under a parking lot.

LatAm Gaze:

Investments

  • BlackRock and First Reserve Corp. are buying a stake in two natural gas pipelines owned by Pemex
  • The Stockholders General Assembly at Colombian oil giant Ecopetrol approved a dividend issuance worth 70% of 2014 net income.

Economics

  • Mexico's central bank last week decided to keep its key interest rate unchanged at 3%
  • Uruguay, at debt levels representing 22% of GDP, reported its lowest debt levels a percentage of GDP since June 2013

Corporate

  • Mexican oil titan Pemex made significant structural changes to its senior leadership team and consolidated its four major business units into two, Exploration & Petroleum and Industrial Development

Politics

  • Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa was named by Latin Finance as 2015 Person of the Year. The media outlet, known for its expertise on Latin American intelligence, cited Mr. Correa's ability to bring financial stability to the nation while still combatting poverty as reasons for his recognition End of Story

 

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