Facebook’s Very Bad Day; Warner Bros. CEO Steps Down
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SUCKS TO ZUCK
It be like that sometimes. Facebook’s stock had its worst day of 2019, falling more than 3.3% following a laundry list of terrible news: investors are still reeling from PTSD associated with The Social Network’s bombshell pivot to a “private” (LOL) messaging platform, the departure of Chief Product Officer Chris Cox, and a downgrade from Needham.
And it probably didn’t help that Facebook came up short this weekend when it came to removing videos of the New Zealand shooting. No bueno.
How about that local sports team?
“It’s a rare condition, this day and age, to read any good news on the newspaper page.” Zuck knows what I’m talking about, amirite?
Unless you live in East Bumf*ck (sup, Middle America) you may have noticed a new feature on Facebook dubbed “Today In” which features local news. Currently available in some 400 cities, the local news feed is running into a major issue: there isn’t enough of it.
You see, the ‘Books algorithms need at least 5 news sources per day to aggregate a feed worth a damn. This reporting relies on the “Daily Planets” of the world to churn out police blotters and blood drive stories for said local townspeople. But the lack of local reporting has proven to be a roadblock.
Ironically enough, Facebook did its part in killing the local-newspaper star. Nearly 1,800 local papers have shuttered their doors in the past decade and a half. On its way to hoovering nearly 60% of all digital ad revenue (along with Google), Zuck and Co. have all but vanquished the small town newspaper.
NOT COOL, BRO.
Define quid pro quo.
Warner Bros. Studio and Kevin Tsujihara are breaking up after news broke that Mr. Tsujihara was carrying on an extramarital (yet consensual) relationship with actress Charlotte Kirk. The former chief executive of Warner Bros. made promises of preferential treatment (think: Harvey Weinstein) in return for the relationship, all-the-while acknowledging that doing so may be damaging for his career (spoiler alert: it was).
Tsujihara, who had been with the studio for the past 25 years, isn’t the only legacy WarnerMedia exec to lose his seat at the table. He’ll join former head of HBO Richard Plepler and former head of Turner channel TV networks Tim Levy on the job market. Of course, the difference is that Plepler and Levy were the victims of circumstance (i.e. restructuring) and Tsujihara was just, well, a complete and utter scumbag.
In the interim, it appears that senior execs will carry the rock while WarnerBros searches for a replacement. The importance of who’s at the top will only increase later this year as AT&T plans to launch a streaming service to rival Netflix.
TRUST THE PROCESS
Electronic payments are rapidly becoming one of the world’s hottest industries. Turns out taking advantage of drunk people shopping online generates massive profits … in addition to buyer’s remorse.
In what appears to be the payment processing industry’s biggest deal to date, Fidelity National Information Services has agreed to buy payment processor Worldpay for $35B. Including debt, the deal is expected to total closer to $43B.
Fidelity is a fintech which provides software for payment processing services (among other things) to banks while WP provides the actual services that allow merchants to process payments. The goal here is to create a “one-stop shop,” appealing to e-commerce payment companies as well as to provide better fintech solutions to Worldpay’s customers.
The dominoes are starting to fall in the fintech/payment industry. Earlier this year Fiserv bought First Data Corporation for $22B and bank credential validation company Plaid paid $200M for wealth management and brokerage data aggregation company Quovo.
The point is, it’s safe to assume we can expect a lot more consolidation in the space as firms jockey for the right to process billions in online payments.
IN OTHER NEWS
- ESPN and UFC have orchestrated a knockout deal allowing the world-wide-leader to stream (on the ESPN+ app) 12 UFC fights per year for the next 7 years. ESPN and the UFC are going to need more than a little luck when pitting a dying medium (cable) and a second tier sport against millennials attention spans and wallets.
- Need a lyft? It’s no secret that the ride-hailing Uber-fighting pink-mustachioed company is looking to go public this year. The only question was how much would the company be worth? Lyft is looking to IPO at a valuation of $21B to $23B, or $62 to $68 per share. *Cue Gandalf gif* And so it begins. Lyft’s IPO kicks off a year that expects to see massive public offerings from other “unicorn” startups like Uber, Pinterest, and Slack.
- More Vacancy. Marriott sees you Airbnb. And it’s fighting back. The global hotel chain announced a plan to open 1,700 new hotels over the next 3 years. Things have been a little iffy after purchasing Starwood hotels in 2016. Of the new openings, 56% will be outside the US, in Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.
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