Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Big news snowball, both local and internationally--where to begin?

How about I begin by revisiting an old topic involving both local and national levels in the form of the Viacom audience and the debut of Trevor Noah as Daily Show host, an event that was denied to the customers of cable provider Suddenlink when they got into a fight with Viacom over a rate hike and Suddenlink just dropped Viacom altogether without even so much as a thought that any of their customers might actually own portfolios in which could be found Viacom stock.

Don't read into this statement that I'm laying blame solely at Suddenlink's doorstep, because in my comments about this situation much earlier, I opined that Viacom's reliance on rate hike revenue being more desirable compared to raising advertising dollars would raise eyebrows among the investor class, big time.  Well, I just checked, post Trevor Martin launch, the value of Viacom stock, and here's a screenshot of not just today's returns but also a value chart reflecting the stock's performance of the last 52 weeks to date.

That's starting to look like the old Motorola Nosedive.  Almost.  But note that the 52 week high on record is $78.08 per share, and the graph indicates that looks like what might have been stock average in the previous 52 week period, and when we're talking about Viacom, we're talking about a publicly traded company that isn't confined to just Suddenlink.

Here's a bit of a primer for this blog's audience originating in Enid Oklahoma, about things that are used as standard measuring sticks for productivity performance: for stocks, you'd be looking at P/E (price of the stock compared to earnings) and it's typically over the period of 52 weeks--to you, that's a year.  Also a standard measuring stick of commercial bricks-and-mortar is how many square feet you have of active retail space compared to square feet of inactive retail space (closed stores compared to open stores, basically) because if you take just a straight headcount of how many businesses you've got, you're making your itty bitty bait shops equal to the same productivity size as your big box stores, and that's just cock-eyed.  And so yes, you DO have to count the square feet of retail space on each of the floors of your multi-level retail buildings.

Seriously, people. You know who you are, and you know you haven't been doing this kind of measurement--you've been engaging in non-standard thumb-on-the-scale overestimation of how well you're doing.

Overestimated expectations of audience draw, aka ratings, is the pit that CBS fell into when it canned Robin Williams' show, "The Crazy Ones" now we've segued back to the Viacom matter, and all the pre-Noah interviews in which it was revealed that Trevor got the gig because other comedians to which the Daily Show was offered all turned it down.  I'm not going to say that Viacom's overblown self importance might have been a factor in the timing of both Stewart and Colbert leaving its stables at the same time--I'm just finding the timing rather fortuitously coincidental, that's all.  They both picked a good time to do it.

I've said it before and I'll say it again--a performer is only as valuable as his ability to draw an audience. Now you get to see this statement in financial chart form.

As for the rest of the news, I'll append this entry after I take a break.  I'll be back after these messages. :P

Nah. An update looks more like a MaƱana Project, here on the west side of midnight.

October 1 UPDATE: Well, I'm sure y'all are aware of the wall-to-wall coverage of the Oregon campus shooting, so add that to the growing list of news items in the news snowball I'm getting snowed under by over here.  That, and Edward Snowden getting on Twitter and following only one entity on Twitter: the NSA.  And yeah, I'm following him, too, what the hey.

I'm still going to address the matter of Putin in Syria next, though---I'm impressed by the chesslike moves he's been making despite the fact that he's been under heavy sanctions, as has been Iran.  And despite all that, Iran and Putin bolster up Assad unashamedly.  You have to admit that what he told Charlie Rose was the principle behind his actions are solidly legal: Russia, Iran, and even the U.N. is supposed to deal with the regime currently in power--not rebels, not anybody else EXCEPT the regime currently in power.  And the regime currently in power wanted Homs bombed, because in the eyes of the current regime, there is no distinction between rebels of any sort, be they from ISIS or anything/anyone else, ergo the U.S. supported rebels are just as illegitimate as ISIS.  Regardless of whatever talks that Russians and the Americans may engage in at the U.N. the Russian view has more legal basis than that of the U.S. and that's just that.

It's also no surprise that Russia says "don't listen to the Pentagon", but what Americans might find surprising is the level of credibility that Russia can make that statement with--and you can thank Dubya's mission to the U.N. in the form of Colin Powell regarding yellow cake in Iraq for the greater degree of credibility the Kremlin now enjoys.  That, and the very fact of the U.S. support of Syrian rebels at all.  Added to that the talks involving the EU, Russia, and Iran over the #IranDeal even before the U.S. Congress deigned to vote on the matter and you've got the world moving on without holding its breath for what the gridlocked U.S. Congress deigns to decide or not decide--they've rendered the U.S. position on significant matters immaterial.

You can thank the entirety of the GOP for that.  Sure, I know--I'm a registered Republican apparently looking disloyal, but I'm with the GOP faction that says the crazies have taken over...and by that I mean people who refuse to look at the cold hard facts of this and any other case.  I like my facts straight up, no icing, thank you very much. I like facts, which is why I am a Republican that won't watch a particular cable channel that has an ongoing record of demonstrable issues with basic facts.  Remember Microsoft, the computer wunderkind the GOP has a love affair with?  That's the MS part of MSNBC, people, and it's now owned by Comcast.  Next you're going to tell me that the GOP has a problem with big corporations, right?

I know that the Tea Party does, because now they're about the business of making all the old arguments against large corporations that used to be made by the liberals, all the way down to their anti-agribusiness position on immigrants.  Get real already.


All the high level weeping/teeth gnashing over big-dealing Syria pushes Iraq and Afghanistan off to the obscure sidelines, and all through the big-dealing of Benghazi by the GOP, the GOP just lets Libya drop into free-fall into the clutches of the same gang that killed Ambassador Stevens as if outside of Clinton, Libya's really just so much chopped liver as far as they're concerned.  This is the party I've registered with and I'm supposed to be proud of this. Like hell I am.  Meanwhile in Libya, it's Libyan women who are running rings around the U.S. chickenshit GOPers in Congress: Lybian Women's Platform for Peace is on the case.

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