The Billionaire Matador

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To anyone who knows something about soccer or Formula One racing, it will not come as a surprise that Red Bull is getitng into the media industry. Red Bull is an international energy drink company, but the billionaire owner, Dietrich Mateschitz is not interested in being painted into a corner. He is a man who wants to have fun and make profits. Thus far, he’s proven he is adept at doing both. This article paints a picture of a man who wants to have fun and build a profitable empire–with two soccer teams, a Formula One racing team, TV shows, and many other enterprises.

Now he’s set his sights on media. On May 15, subscribers to the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald, Houston Chronicle, and New York Daily News found a magazine called Red Bulletin inserted in their Sunday papers. The 98-page glossy features a cover story on San Francisco Giants ace Tim Lincecum, as well as pieces on Bob Dylan, graffiti art, and Russian BASE jumper Valery Rozov. Billed as “an almost independent monthly,” the magazine is a product of Red Bull Media House, a subsidiary media company launched in Austria in 2007 that expanded with a Los Angeles outpost this January.

The way Mateschitz comes across in the article, he sounds like the kind of guy you want to be friends with–and not just because of his exorbitant fortune. He thinks outside the box, he likes to have fun, he’s a seemingly funny guy. Red Bull now has employees in 161 countries and is still an incredibly profitable business, with the energy drink being consumed by millions.


Dunkin’ the Times

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Something about reading the newspaper and eating donuts just goes together, doesn’t it? Well, the people at the New York Times marketing department agree and have acted on that idea. The New York Times has struck a deal with Dunkin’ Donuts to have video news clips from the NYT streamed into 850 Dunkin’ Donuts locations. The televisions in those stores will broadcast NYT coverage, which the NYT marketing department hopes will result in more customer interest in the NYT.

Times Co. has been seeking new sources of revenue as circulation and advertising sales continue to slide. The New York-based publisher will begin charging for some Web content next year.

The screens will rotate business, movie, technology and health news, among other New York Times content, he said. About 20 percent of the advertisements will be for New York Times subscriptions or other products, Gaylord said.

We’ll see if this deal pays off for the New York Times.


High on Economics

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Medical Marijuana has long been discussed in the public sphere, first as a property or civil rights issue and then as a revenue raising scheme for state and local governments. However, for the first time it is being really considered because of the recession. If more local or state governments make moves to legalize recreational use of marijuana, you can count on seeing a boom in the economy. Regardless of the moral arguments, it is widely accepted that many businesses would sprout up in response to legalization.

Some people certainly don’t agree with the assessment that legalization would improve thing economically.

“There’s no upside to it in any manner other than for those people who want to smoke pot,” said Travis Kuykendall, head of the West Texas High Intensity Drug-Trafficking Area office in El Paso, Texas. “There’s nothing for society in it, there’s nothing good for the country in it, there’s nothing for the good of the economy in it.”

More here.


The Big Bad Wolf

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If you have spent more than fifteen minutes on the Internet, you know that Google is the big bad wolf that everyone either loves to love, or loves to hate. Google is blamed for the loss of revenue for many newspapers and online media sources. NewsCorp, the company that owns Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, amongst others, is considering withdrawing it’s articles and webpages from Google, a process known as de-indexing.

So why is NewsCorp threatening this potentially harmful move? They derive no revenue from being listed in Google, or any of the other search engines. In a time when newspapers’ circulation are daily dropping, there is a major concern for revenue. Bing, a search engine created and backed by Microsoft, is thinking of offering NewsCorp money in order to index their articles exclusively. This would serve a major purpose–bringing in revenue to their media outlets, which are in desperate need of a new revenue stream. It would also serve to decrease NewsCorp’s possible readership, though, since Google is the dominant search engine on the Internet.