Morning Coffee Jan 30 2012

The New York Times In No-Man's Land

By damian ghigliotty

No more Robinson, no more Nisenholtz, no more regional newspapers, and no more dividends. Talk about tough times for the Times.

In February 2009, the Atlantic hypothesized that the New York Times Co. could go bankrupt that May and the Internet buzzed with interpretations that the iconic newspaper company was doomed. Don't worry… we're not forecasting any great media demises. But the Times could be at a new low point.

The company is facing a "leadership vacuum" and further financial troubles after losing its chief executive, Janet Robinson, who may have been pushed out, Bloomberg reported. To make matters worse, the Times has even managed to lose money in the process of cutting costs, the Atlantic noted in a far less speculative article.

"It's a disturbing trend, and it does call into question the long-term viability of the company," Robert Willens, an accounting specialist, told Bloomberg.

For those in marketing and sales: Now is not the Times.

Sales Buzz

Counting Penneys (WSJ)

J.C. Penney could be in for some job cuts at its home base in Plano, Texas, where 5,900 people are employed. The company's chief operating officer, Michael Kramer, recently mentioned "savings" in regards to simplifying J.C. Penney's management structure.

The Groupon Drama Continues (Bloomberg)

Michael Nolan and Brian Hanna, two former Groupon sales managers, have countersued the daily deals site after it sued them in October for taking trade secrets with them when they left for Google Offers.

Another Board (Retailing Today)

Richard Dreiling, chairman and chief executive of the discount retailer Dollar General, has joined Lowe's board of directors to serve on its audit and governance committees.

When it Rains… (Reuters)

News Corp. executive James Murdoch is stepping down as a director of drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline, while his promotion to deputy chief operating officer and head of News Corp.'s international operations has been delayed. News Corp. is the parent company of Dow Jones, which owns FINS.

Marketing Buzz

Changing Guards (MarketingWeek)

News Corp. is undergoing more big changes at the top. Matthew Anderson, the company's director of strategy and corporate affairs is stepping down.

Advertising Cuts (Ad Age)

Several ad agencies cut jobs in January. MDC Partners' CP&B and Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, both cut 5% of their staffs, while WPP Group's Ogilvy cut about 60 employees out of its staff of 2,000. The Saatchi cuts were linked to its loss of the J.C. Penney account.

Facebook Flops (Ad Age)

Marketers using Facebook to connect with consumers may need to find a new approach. According to a recent study, less than 2% of the people who "like" popular brands on Facebook are actually engaging with those brands.

Brand Repeats (NYT)

The reappearance of over a dozen brands running commercials during Super Bowl XLVI is a good sign for marketers who like to strategize in advance. Many of them can plan early for next year.

Buzz Around the Office

Fast Catch (YouTube)

Somebody send this kid to the Mets!

List of the Day: What You May Be Ignoring In Your Follow Up

Don't forget the little things that often get overlooked.

1. Do it soon.

2. Reiterate your qualifications.

3. Ditch the keyboard and write a letter.


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