Morning Coffee Feb 22 2012

New Black and Hispanic Channels in the Works

By damian ghigliotty

Marketing and media folks are getting several new minority-focused channels to explore.

Comcast is following through on its promise to carry new independently owned networks. The majority of them will offer programming targeted to black and Hispanic viewers.

The largest U.S. cable operator, Comcast this week agreed to run new networks from basketball legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson and hip-hop mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs, in addition to two other minority-owned channels, Bloomberg reported.

The first of those channels, BabyFirst Americas, will begin airing on April 1, while the other three will roll out between the middle of 2012 and the beginning of 2014, according to Media Decoder.

Minority groups voiced concerns about media consolidation when Comcast acquired NBCUniversal last year. In turn, Comcast agreed to add 10 independently owned channels over the course of several years, with eight of them being owned by Hispanic or black individuals.

Sales Buzz

New Leadership (Retailing Today)

National outdoor-equipment chain Recreational Equipment Inc. has named two new merchandising and marketing leaders, Angela Owen and Lee Fromson. REI was ranked the top retailer to work for in 2011 by

Macy's Hiring Plans (Bloomberg)

Macy's fourth-quarter profit rose 12% to $745 million, beating analyst expectations. The retailer's chief executive, Terry Lundgren, recently told a group of fashion-industry students that the company may hire about 4,000 people this year.

Home Depot Growth (Bloomberg)

Home Depot's fourth-quarter profit rose 32% to $774 million, driven by the warmer weather this year. The Home Depot is hiring 70,000 seasonal workers for the spring and summer.

Job Swapping (WSJ)

Some U.S. employees are getting the chance to temporarily work in a different department or swap places with a colleague overseas.

Marketing Buzz

Website Branding (Sales Machine)

Sales Machine offers six tips on how to improve the impact of your website, including the application of retail psychology and taking ideas from IKEA.

The Right Combo (Ad Age)

Today's best recipe for marketing success is to pair creative thinkers with technology developers, says Ad Age.

Signs of Growth (NYT)

As several big-name brands expand their advertising budgets this year, marketers are finding a reason to be optimistic. Jon Steinlauf, a sales and marketing executive at Scripps Networks Interactive, which owns the Food Network and the Travel Channel, told the New York Times that "the television business is incredibly healthy."

Buzz Around the Office

Blind Boxing (YouTube)

These guys could use a little help from Obi-Wan Kenobi.

List of the Day: Juggling Jobs

Balancing more than one job takes careful consideration.

1. Read all employee handbooks and pay attention to the rules about outside activities.

2. Consider any ethical or professional dilemmas in wearing more than one hat.

3. Assuming everything is clear, find a business card that encapsulates all of your roles.


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