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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
The U.S. Justice Department is investigating General Motors' subprime lending practices. It is "seeking documents on underwriting criteria, origination, warranties and securitization of subprime loans since 2007, GM Financial said in a filing yesterday," Bloomberg News' Tim Higgins and Sarah Mulholland reported in breaking the news yesterday.
All Hollywood really needed to get out of the summer doldrums, it turns out, was to switch up the bing-bang-boom action-adventure formula a bit more to create a boffo box-office knockout. Director James Gunn's "Guardians of the Galaxy" - "more space adventure than superhero movie," writes the Los Angeles Times' Mark Olsen - is earning plaudits for its humor and originality and, not coincidentally, it seems to have set an all-time record for an August opening.
With cereal sales for the quarter declining more than the industry average and profit for the company down 16% for the quarter, Kellogg's is promising new marketing efforts and is looking for new blood to revitalize its mainstay business.