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Showing posts from May, 2009

The Business: May 27th

The Business keeps chugging along this week with a brand-new show, and a brand-new guest star - Seattle's Andy Haynes, from "Last Comic Standing" and the Bridgetown Comedy Festival.

You can call The Business "butter", because these shows are on a roll! (If you're a vegan, you can call The Business "organic hummus" for the same reason.) Even in the face of rave reviews and ever-increasing audiences, The Business still costs just five dollars. Because we care.

UPDATE:
Haynes and Garcia are OUT, Janine Brito and Mike Spiegelman are IN!

The Challenges of Online News Micropayments and Subscriptions

The impetus toward subscriptions for access and micropayments for single use of online news is growing because online advertising alone cannot sustain the news organizations necessary to provide high quality and broad coverage.

In recent weeks Rupert Murdoch announced News Corp. will begin shifting its newspapers to an online paid model in the next 12 months, starting with Wall Street Journal and then progressively shifting papers such as the New York Post, The Times of London, the Sun and The Australian to a paid model. Dean Singleton followed by indicating MediaNews Group will begin doing the same for its papers, including Denver Post, San Jose Mercury News, Detroit News, St. Paul Pioneer Press, and Salt Lake city Tribune.

Clearly charging for online news is likely to reduce online consumption because of elasticity of demand, but—setting aside the extent to which demand for online news will fall if a price is imposed—moving to a paid model will also creates two common, industrywide ch…

The Business: May 20th

This week on The Business: Chris, Bucky, Sean and Alex welcome back comedian Hari Kondabolu. Along with a full dose of our regular titters and tee-ha-ha's, Hari and his brother Ashok will present a special session with The Kondabolu Brothers.

ALSO JUST ADDED:
We have comedian Eric Andre, and a cameo appearance by Nato Green, asking the questions we've all wanted to know about Cubans. Still just five bucks, still BYOB, still waters run deep.

The Business: May 13th

The Business has a very special show this week, May 13th. It's Chris Garcia's birthday, so he made a wish to have two hilarious friends join the lineup this week. And it came true! Hari Kondabolu ("Live at Gotham", "Jimmy Kimmel Live") and Sheng Wang ("Live at Gotham", "Just For Laughs" festival) join us this week for SF's best underground comedy showcase. Still just five bucks, still BYOB.

Churchill's First Quarter - Racing Down, Gaming & Online Up

Churchill Downs Inc. has just released its financial results for the first quarter of 2009.  No real surprises: Churchill lost a total of $4.8 million for the quarter, compared to a modest profit of $742,000 for the same quarter last year.  But in fact, Churchill's overall performance this year was substantially better than last, since the 2008 results were inflated by the inclusion of a $17.2 million insurance payment with respect to the damage inflicted by Hurricane Katrina on the Fair Grounds in New Orleans. Without that one-time payment, Churchill would have lost $16.5 million in last year's first quarter, a much bigger loss than the company reported for the current year. This year's one-time payments, by contrast, were much smaller, principally a $4.3 million settlement with respect to source-market fees owed to Arlington Park by TVG.
As we should expect by now, income from live racing continues to stagnate, if not decline, while revenue from gaming -- notably, the new…

Seeing through the Haze Surrounding Websites, Blogs and Social Media

Communicating regularly is hard work. It takes skill; it takes a voice; it takes having something to say; it takes time. Making money from it is even harder.

The functions provided by websites, blogs, and social media clearly make it possible for people to express themselves in ways never before imagined, to share their opinions, to express their hopes and dreams, and to share the details of their lives. Media companies are watching these developments and many are rushing to provide content on any communication technology or application the public uses.

Although large numbers of people are trying the new technologies, they are reacting to them in different ways. Some find them highly useful and satisfying; some find them worthless and disappointing; some find them a worthy pastime; others find them a waste of time. What this means is that—like all technologies—they are more important to some people than to others. Consequently, managers need to be realistic in assessing their potential,…

The Business: May 6th

This week, Sean Keane and Alex Koll will be off somewhere, tumbling through ointment as the say. In lieu of this, The Business welcomes Joe Tobin and Kevin Camia to the fold.