Articles of the Day

Microsoft Announces Search Deal With Facebook; Expands on Ad Deal — Google-MySpace Part II? WSJ reports that Microsoft will unveil a search deal with Facebook at today’s analyst meeting…. Update: The news was just announced by Microsoft’s Satya Nadella on stage at the company’s analyst meeting, after first reciting a long list of technical accomplishments that the company had achieved in search. Here’s the exact announcement based on the transcript (so it’s a little sloppy): “One last thing I want to talk about is an extension of our Facebook relationship where we are extending it to search and page search. We will be providing an API to Facebook where they will create a rich search experience for the Facebook users and that is something that they will launch in the fall working with us. And it will carry both our web results, as well as our page search advertising. We are excited (transcription error here) as an opportunity to further expand the Live Search reach. That is what I have in terms of anteing up and focus (sic) our invention and reinvent the business model. Let me flip back to Steve.”

AOL Trimming Up For Sale; Sun Sets On XDrive, AOL Pictures, Mobile And Others — Some belt tightening has started at AOL,, as it prepares and dresses itself up for a sale: It is discontinuing some of its tech projects, and also trimming some of its content blogs under the Weblogs Inc network. According to an internal memo sent by Kevin Conroy, AOL’s EVP of Products and Marketing, products Bluestring, Xdrive and AOL Pictures “will be sunset,” meaning closed down after a transition period. “These consumer storage products haven’t gained sufficient traction in the marketplace or the monetization levels necessary to offset the high cost of their operation,” according to the memo posted here by TC.

McClatchy Q2 Revenues, Profits Plummet, As Online Ad Sales Grow 12.5 Percent — The McClatchy Company’s financial struggles only seemed to deepen in Q2, as Gary Pruitt, the publisher’s chairman and CEO, pinned the weakening economy and the shift from print to digital on its revenue and income decreases. Revenues were down 15.6 percent to $489.7 million in Q2 compared to last year’s $580 million. And while online ad sales grew 12.5 percent in the quarter, since they made up only 11.8 percent of total ad dollars—compared to an 8.6 percent share for all of 2007—it was not enough to offset wider declines. In all, McClatchy’s ad revenue fell 16.8 percent to come in at $406.3 million. Meanwhile, Q2 net income from continuing operations was $20.1 million, or 24 cents per share, down by roughly 50 percent from last year’s $40 million.

Vivendi’s H1 Revs up; Universal Music’s Digital Revs Up 33 Percent — Vivendi, the France-based media giant and parent of Universal Music Group, has reported its first half 2008 and Q208 earnings, and its revenues totaled $17.7 billion, compared to $16 billion for the first half 2007. For Q2, Vivendi’s revenues totaled $9.4 billion compared to $8.15 billion a year earlier. Out of the units: Universal Music Group saw a 2.4 percent decline in revenues, while Vivendi Games saw the largest revenue drop, at 11.2 percent.

Blockbuster’s Digital Kiosks and Movielink Plans; August Launch — Blockbuster, which recently abandoned its foolish quest to buy Circuit City, is now on to the next thing, which it has been talking about for the last year: its digital re-invention. The company has a strong presence at Comic-Con going on this week in San Diego, and is also demo-ing its digital kiosks, reports Home Media magazine. It has talked about these kiosks before…they are being tested in select Blockbuster stores in the Dallas area, and plans are to roll it out country-wide in the next three years. These kiosks allow consumers to download movies to portable devices in less than two minutes, though for now, it only works on Archos portable media devices.

Moneysupermarket Rebuffs Ontario Teachers —, a publicly-traded price comparison website based in Britain, has rejected a preliminary buyout approach from Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Moneysupermarket shares rose 22% yesterday, to increase the company’s market cap to £419 million.

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