Articles of the Day


Yahoo Confirms Appointment Of Biondi And Chapple To Board — As expected, Yahoo is filling its final two board seats with Frank J. Biondi and John H. Chapple. The appointments were part of the company’s settlement with Icahn that give him and his allies three seats on the company’s 11-member board. Earlier this week, multiple reports identified Biondi and Chapple as the likely names to emerge. From the prepared statement of Chairman Roy Bostock: “Frank’s extensive experience in the entertainment and media industries, combined with John’s deep management experience in telecommunications, will provide valuable perspectives to our already diverse board. We look forward to working with them as our board continues its ongoing efforts to enhance stockholder value.”

Facebook Tests Ads Packaging Video, Comments — In its latest experiment with social advertising, Facebook has launched new ads combining in-banner video with the ability for members to post comments visible to friends on the social network. The video ads occupy the new “sponsor” placement on the right side of the home page that Facebook introduced as part of the site’s recent redesign. Facebook declined to say what advertisers are testing the new ads, which are being shown only to a portion of users in the new site design. It also isn’t saying when, if at all, ads with the new user-generated functionality will be offered to advertisers widely. The social network has unveiled a variety of ad initiatives in the last year as it seeks the right formula for monetizing the myriad conversations and interactions among its 132 million members worldwide.

EMarketer Dramatically Lowers U.S. Ad Spend Forecast — EMarketer now expects domestic online ad spending to reach just $505 million this year–a dramatic downturn from the research firm’s $1.4 billion estimate in February. The revised spending projections are the result of changes in methodology, based on historical data from the Interactive Advertising Bureau, eMarketer’s benchmark source. eMarketer’s revised estimates are also much closer to those released by Interpublic’s Magna unit in July. Magna Director of Industry Analysis Brian Wieser projected online video advertising in the U.S. would reach $555 million in 2008, up 54% from 2007, and forecast it would grow another 45% to $805 million in 2009.

Gannett Laying Off 600 Staffers; 1,000 Posts Being Eliminated — In the latest round of newspaper job cuts, Gannett is laying off 600 employees and eliminating 1,000 positions, writes former Gannett editor Jim Hopkins on his Gannett Blog (via Romenesko). According to a memo attributed to Daily Times’ Publisher Rick Jensen that one of Hopkins’ readers sent him, the 1,000 staff positions will be taken from Gannett’s Community Publishing division, amounting to 3 percent of its workforce. The division has 84 papers and does not include Gannett flagship USA Today. A Gannett rep told paidContent that the memo had gone out across the division on Wednesday, saying that all papers need to rein in costs.

Cablevision Tells Investors ‘No More Acquisitions’; Harbinger Takes 4.9 Percent Stake — Cablevision management has been meeting with key investors as it explores various strategies for lifting its share price. The Long Island-based cable operator said earlier this month that it would consider a variety of options to this effect, including asset sales. While it hasn’t done anything definitive yet, it has promised investors that it would cool down on acquisitions, according to WSJ. This makes sense, as the company’s perceived fr*eespending ways contributed to its declining share price throughout much of the year. The company also claimed that the acquisitions of the Sundance Channel and Newsday arose from “special situations”, though it’s not clear what they meant by that. Either way, the new message is clearly getting across. Cablevision shares have been up over 50 percent just since July 14, when they hit a low below $20 per share. They closed yesterday at $30.96. Now the company just has to make good on the changes the market is now expecting.

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