VT Media Frenzy, Nike Hits Imus & Redstone Donation

Virginia Tech Media Frenzy

This week the media was dominated by the Virginia Tech killings, and Web traffic reflected the

public's obsession. Facebook, the social networking site that's refusing to sell -- even as its valuation nears $1 billion -- got a boost. Traffic to the Virginia Tech Facebook website increased 555% on Monday, April 16 over the previous day. Online traffic to news and media Web sites was up 27% over the previous Monday. The TV network Web sites saw big gains as well: ABCNews.com visits increased 245%, MSNBC.com increased 161%, FOXNews.com increased 64% and CNN was up 59%.

Nike Hits Imus

Nike weighs in on Imus and builds an ad campaign on the controversy, promoting its own support of the team. Earlier this week the "Swoosh" took out a full-page ad in the APril 15 edition of The New York Times, and many banner ads on Web sites, indirectly thanking Imus for bringing race relations issues and sexism into the public dialog. Imus isn't named, but he's overtly implicated. The ad reads: "Thank you, ignorance. Thank you for starting the conversation. Thank you for making an entire nation listen to the Rutgers' team story...." Nike is pointing out its own affiliation to the team. Rutgers is sponsored by Nike -- Nike pays the school's basketball teams to wear its clothes and you'll find the Swoosh on uniforms. Even when the rest of the country has moved on to the Virginia Tech scandal, Nike isn't forgetting that it came out on the right side of this one...

Media Mogul Donation

Sumner Redstone announced today he's committing $105 million to fund cancer research and burn recovery research at three major non-profit organizations: Mass General Hospital in Boston, Cedars-Sinai Prostate Cancer Center in LA and Faster Cures/The Center for Accelerating Medical Solutions in Washington DC. Redstone himself narrowly escaped from a Boston hotel fire in 1979 and had a painful recovery, so the issue is close to home for him.

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