|Search and Not Destroy |
Microsoft soft-pedals challenge to Google
1. Reyes of SunshineGoogle's ( GOOG) stumble this week had everyone walking on eggshells.
Finance chief George Reyes
Though it only stands to reason that Google can't post 86% quarterly revenue gains forever, Reyes' comments still
|Howard Sees a Bad Moonves Rising |
CBS has eye on payback from satellite star
2. Stern WordsCBS ( CBS) pulled a real shocker this week.
CBS sued Sirius (SIRI) star Howard Stern Tuesday, claiming he
Though Stern's move was no secret -- it was announced in a press release titled "Howard Stern and Sirius Announce the Most Important Deal in Radio History" -- CBS claims to have been blindsided. The Black Rock contends that Stern "fraudulently concealed his interest in hundreds of millions of dollars of Sirius stock while promoting it on the air."It's well established that Stern spent his last 14 months at CBS Radio, then called Infinity, hyping one particular satellite radio company and mocking CBS. But according to the suit, no one could have imagined that Stern was putting his money where his substantial mouth was. "By engaging in continuous promotion of Sirius on CBS Radio airtime without any payment by Sirius to CBS for these advertisements and by pocketing over $200 million for his personal benefit, Stern misappropriated millions of dollars worth of CBS Radio airtime for his own financial benefit and the financial benefit of Don Buchwald, his agent, and Sirius in contravention of repeated directives by CBS Radio," CBS claims. Howard Stern doing things for his personal benefit does seem unprecedented. Of course, cynics might suggest that CBS benefited too, by keeping Stern on the air when it couldn't find other talent to match his ratings. "I don't think anyone from Infinity's going to walk away from the advertising revenue," Sirius Chairman Joe Clayton said in 2004, explaining why CBS wasn't likely to let Stern go until his contract ended. For his part, Stern held a Tuesday afternoon press conference decrying the suit even before it was filed. He called the action as "personal vendetta" on the part of CBS chief Les Moonves, whom Stern has described as "a stooge" and "a fraud." Sounds like some people are looking at the dark side of the Moonves. Dumb-o-Meter score: 90. Maybe Moonves is hoping to upstage the Martha Stewart-Donald Trump spat.
|Fun With Cisco Stock |
Chambers cashes in
3. Vigorous ExerciserCisco ( CSCO) chief John Chambers has got a healthy glow about him lately.
Shares in the San Jose, Calif., networking gearmaker are up 21% for 2006 after stalling in the mid-teens for the better part of two years. They still fetch less than a quarter of their bubble-era peak, but a strong earnings report has rekindled investors' growth hopes.
The revival has given the voluble Chambers an even loftier perch from which to preach to media outfits big and small."I am having fun again," Chambers tells trade magazine VAR Business this month. "I think we're really hitting the next generation of the Internet on the effect that it can have on business and society. ... I believe the network will go from being a transport mechanism to being a platform, with all of the implications that go with that." One implication of Cisco's rally is that Chambers'
4. Nose JobNastech Pharmaceutical ( NSTK) got a bloody nose this week. The Bothell, Wash., biotech saw its stock plunge 36% Thursday after partner Merck ( MRK) gave up on a project to make a nasal-spray weight loss drug. Nastech vowed to keep working on the drug, known as PYY3-36, even though Merck said preliminary results of early studies showed the compound isn't effective. That isn't stopping Nastech. "Based on our review, Nastech believes that clinical trial results to date support the continued development of this important investigational product for the treatment of obesity, and we remain committed to the further advancement of the PYY clinical program this year," said CEO Dr. Steven C. Quay. Nastech said it believes the drug can be delivered "with an acceptable nasal safety profile" and that further tests may identify "an appropriate dose or dosage regimen for intra-nasal PYY." Sounds compelling. And if that's not enough, Nastech made clear there are no hard feelings. "Merck noted that the 'interaction between Merck and Nastech has been positive and professional,' and that they 'would welcome the opportunity to collaborate with Nastech again should the appropriate opportunity arise,'" Nastech said in its Thursday morning press release. "Nastech as well would welcome the opportunity to work with Merck in the future." Yes, if these two get together again we'll be in fat city. Dumb-o-Meter score: 79. After all that work, Merck turned up its nose at the project.