CBS announced second-quarter earnings that disappointed on the top line, beat expectations on the bottom line, and landed flat with growth-hungry Wall Street. Revenue disappointed--down 3% to $3.37 billion on a loss of TV revenue from shutting down UPN and the timing of the NCAA basketball tournament.
So Star Jones finally admits she had gastric bypass surgery. Really? People, it's like denying you had a facelift, collagen, or breast augmentation. WE KNOW. 177,000 people had gastric bypass last year, nearly double from 2003, making it one of the fastest growing plastic surgery procedures. So is PhotoShop. Check out Kelly Osbourne--I'll have what she's having.
When I sat down to talk with GM CEO Rick Wagoner this morning on "Squawk Box," I was expecting to see a man, beaming over the better than expected second quarter earnings. Instead, I saw the Chairman of a company who looked cautious. Why? Well, maybe it's because General Motors' glass is half full, and filling it up even more will be a challenge. Certainly the second half of this year will be tougher than the first half.
This past weekend, I attended the annual SuperSaturday event in Water Mill, New York. Well-known in the fashion world and to vacationers in the Hamptons, this is essentially a high-end tag sale/sample sale of designer goods to raise money for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.
This job really does beat working for a living. I've just had the opportunity to drive a car worth, gulp, $435,000. That's about twice the price of your average home in the U.S. these days. The car is a new Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe (pronounced coup-AY). Drophead is a fancy name for convertible. The car will start selling in September, and the first year is pretty much sold out. Yeah. Sold out.
It sounds like a Hollywood script. Futuristic looking car generates the type of buzz needed to become a star: but it never shines as predicted, flames out amid scandal, and years later its devoted fans pine and plan for the icon's revival. It's only fitting I see this story in the Los Angeles Time this weekend. The star car in question is the DeLorean. The famed sports car that has achieved greater popularity since its limited production finished in 1982.
I'm here thanks to a long plane ride, during which I watched "Blades of Glory" twice and read two books on the history of China. You thought the Boston Celtics were a dynasty? Imagine being dominant for 300 years! Anyway, I've come all this way so that I can bring you all the important business stories of the '08 games on the year-out anniversary on Wednesday, August 8 and actually throughout next week on CNBC.
It's not a word I think of often or use much: impresario. But it is the word that came to mind about 1 minute into my conversation with Bob Sillerman. Sillerman is the CEO and Chairman of CKX, the NASDAQ-traded--for now--company that owns "American Idol." Next time you watch it, even if you say you don't, hang around to the very end. You'll see the little logo 'CKX'. Of course you also saw it, if you were able to make it to the end, on the Victoria Beckham (Posh Spice) 'special' on NBC recently.
As many of you know, yesterday I called for Nike to dump Michael Vick. They sort of did that minutes ago, when they suspended his contract. My prediction? They'll never reactivate it. It's a really good move. They were never going to use Vick again, so there was no reason to stand by him. I'm not ignorant enough to think that they my writing did anything.
The buzz about Fox's "The Simpsons Movie" has been so hot--and tracking of knowledge of the film so broad--that Fox is expanding the film's debut to 3,922 theaters and about 5,700 screens. Fox is cautiously expecting to hit the mid $30 million dollar range, but the average prediction for the $70 million budget film's opening weekend is over $57 million dollars, and it's sure to take the top spot.
I wandered on to NFLShop.com to do my daily check on everything Michael Vick and I noticed something strange. I couldn't find Michael Vick No. 7 jerseys anywhere. So I called the NFL and asked them why they had made this decision. "We have suspended sales of Vick-related merchandise on our official league e-commerce site, NFLShop.com," said NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy. "This includes Vick jerseys and collectible items such as autographed balls and other memorabilia."
At the end of June, I announced my worst athlete ad contest. I received many entries of athletes in all sorts of ads from my readers, but I really didn't have any trouble picking a winner. Congratulations to reader Joe Gudema who sent me Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon doing ads for 125 Auto. Thankfully, it's on YouTube for your viewing pleasure.
There's a new sheriff at Dodge, and for that matter Chrysler as well. But the new boss is actually one of the old bosses. Either way you look at it, the return of Wolfgang Bernhard to be chairman of Chrysler is important for a few reasons. First, he brings the kind of urgency Chrysler needs.
There is likely no better example of American business acumen and showmanship than what I'm standing on right now. 'Rock City', on top of Lookout Mountain, Georgia. I call it made by God, enchanced by man. Actually it could be Lookout Mountain Tennessee, or Lookout Mountain, Alabama as well. The mountain itself runs 90 miles through three states and you can see seven, yes seven states, from Lover's Leap point. Or at least that's what Garnet Carter claimed. We'll come back to that.
Microsoft's top brass are hosting the company's Financial Analysts Meeting at company headquarters in Redmond, Washington today. I was going to be there as well, but at the last minute, changed plans for several reasons. And it was probably a good idea, at least for Microsoft.
Most mind-numbing PR stunt of the summer (so far): Here's the headline: "100 cows face-off against world-class surfers during Honda U.S. Open of Surfing at the Huntington Beach Pier." Where's the beef? Against the backdrop of the world's largest professional surfing competition, 100 cows will be herded into the Honda U.S. Open of Surfing by 40 cowboys on Thursday, July 26. The first-ever beach cattle drive at the Huntington Beach Pier takes place at 7:00 a.m., even as professional surfing's "elite athletes take to the waves."
When activist organizations ask for a shoe and apparel company to drop athletes before the legal process has seen them through, I usually don't agree. The main reason I stand up for these companies is that it's good for business to ride it out. People forget and if you have an athlete who is acquitted of charges who is a big star, they will prove they can sell again.
No, your eyes aren't deceiving you--Ford DID post a profit of $750 million. That's right, the automaker that was sucking fumes earlier this year is now back in the black. Which brings up the question: Is this real? The answer is yes, but don't take this to mean Ford is out of the woods.
It’s lunch time. The food has been prepared by the Executive Chef (that’s what you call him by the way, ‘Chef’). The horizonless pool is gurgling. The sun is shining and now it’s time for the boat ride around the lagoon. This is a business trip gang. A business trip for Exclusive Resorts. Exclusive Resorts is a division of Steve Case’s Washington DC based Revolution.
As many of you know, I started boycotting my watching of the Tour de France this year because of all the drug scandals. Of course, the scandals have continued. German cyclist Patrik Sinkewitz tested positive for testosterone and was suspended, Alexandre Vinokourov and his team withdrew after he tested positive for blood doping and we're waiting for the suspension one more rider that tested positive.