• Uber Hires Ex-Obama Campaign Strategist Plouffe To Be Its Lead Storyteller
    With the taxi industry set up as "the incumbent candidate," former Obama campaign architect and presidential adviser David Plouffe yesterday joined the four-year-old riding-sharing app company Uber as senior vice president of policy and strategy. Starting in late September, he will oversee all political activities, communications and branding efforts at the San Francisco-based start-up he asserted "has the chance to be a once-in-a-decade, if not a once-in-a generation company."
  • Dollar General Makes Bid For Family Dollars' Share Of Market
    Dollar General yesterday threw an all-cash bid in the ring to acquire Family Dollar Stores that is $4-a-share higher that the $74.50-a-share offer from Dollar Tree that Family Dollar accepted three weeks ago. Anticipating a bidding war to erupt for the retail turf serving the working-poor market, traders sent Family Dollar stock to a close of $79.71 yesterday.
  • Lassie Makes The Rounds Sniffing Out Merchandising Deals
    It's the sort of junket you might imagine a politician-turning-senior-statesman might take: drop in on the editors of The New Yorker and pose with a couple of well-maned editors, read the weather on a Fox affiliate in Los Angeles, do a meet-and-greet with Ryan Seacrest on his populist radio show and, eventually, spill the beans as to what's going on in a piece in the New York Times. It's yet another comeback for Lassie, who first made a splash on the silver screen in "Lassie, Come Home" (1943) and was one of the first TV stars.
  • Admitting It Has A Problem, SeaWorld Set To Take Action
    SeaWorld took the first steps in recovering from the triple symptoms of dropping revenue, falling attendance and plummeting stock price this week by admitting that "yes, we have a image problem." Today, according to a story by Tom Gara in the Wall Street Journal, it will announce a multi-year program to expand the habitats of its orca "killer" whales.
  • Pabst Bringing Back Blast From The Past: Ballantine Ale
    Yankee fans of a certain vintage will remember the jingle as if they heard it yesterday: "Baseball and Ballantine/Baseball and Ballantine/What a combination/All across the nation...." The two B words seemed so inextricably linked in the mind of a Little Leaguer that when Ballantine faded in '70s and disappeared by the '90s, it was if the national pastime itself might be less that we thought it was.
  • BK Accedes To Demand For Chicken Fries (For Limited Time)
    The social media masses - or at least a vocal slice of them crying "fowl" -appear to have gained a victory against the forces of corporate bean-counting this week. Burger King brought back Chicken Fries Monday, at least for a while in selected locations, in response to ongoing pressure from, as the company puts it in a press release, "an overwhelming number of enthusiastic tweets, Change.org petitions, dedicated Tumblr and Facebook pages and phone calls from devoted fans."
  • Payday Loan Industry Gets Its Due
    The payroll loan business is having a tough week - and it's only Tuesday. First, HBO host John Oliver, who last week caused a viral kerfuffle with his takedown of "native advertising," chose the predatory loans for his main story on Sunday's "Last Week Tonight" and - spoiler alert - companies issuing loans with interest rates as high as 1,900% did not come off as models of business acumen.
  • Barnes & Noble Reads Tea Leaves, Goes With Google
    Google yesterday added Barnes & Noble to its Google Shopping Express lineup of retailers that already includes bricks-and-mortar legacies such as Walgreens, Staples, Toys "R" Us and Costco. The move allows consumers in three tony neighborhoods to, say, purchase the latest Preston & Childs' thriller on the Barnes & Noble website this morning and have it delivered in time to pack for the beach house in the Hamptons or Malibu.
  • T-Mobile's Legere Jibes Sprint's New CEO
    Sprint did indeed confirm that it had dropped its bid for T-Mobile and was replacing longtime CEO Dan Hesse with Marcelo Claure yesterday, as anticipated, providing grist for analysts' observations and material for T-Mobile' CEO John Legere's jibes at his erstwhile frenemy. Now they are clear rivals once again in the battle for the No. 3 position in the domestic mobile market.
  • Sprint Said To Drop T-Mobile Bid; Will Name Claure CEO
    At a board meeting yesterday, Sprint decided to give up on its plans to acquire T-Mobile and this morning will announce that Marcelo Claure, founder of wireless distributor Brightstar and a member of its board since January, will be taking the reins from CEO Dan Hesse, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal's Ryan Knutson and Dana Mattoili that was quickly blind-sourced and analyzed by other news organizations.
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