Posts tagged with "CNBC"

NBCUniversal ad honcho Linda Yaccarino resigns, as sources say she’s in talks to be Twitter CEO

May 15, 2023

NBCUniversal Global Advertising Chief Linda Yaccarino has resigned, the company said on Friday, May 12. The announcement comes a day after Elon Musk said via Twitter there would be a new CEO of the social media website, although he didn’t name the new person. Musk said in his tweet that the person would start in about six weeks, reports CNBC.

Yaccarino has been in advanced talks for the role, CNBC’s Julia Boorstin detailed, citing sources.

Yaccarino joined NBCUniversal in 2011 and had risen to the top of the company’s global advertising business. Today, the ad chief had been slated to take part in NBCUniversal’s Upfront event at Radio City Music Hall—the sales presentation that the company, along with its media peers, makes to the advertising industry every year in May. That obviously won’t happen now.

According to CNBC, the longtime ad executive brings a wealth of relationships with top chief marketing officers and other advertising executives to Twitter at a time when the platform has seen advertisers fleelosing billions of dollars—after Musk’s takeover last year.

Musk completed his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter in October 2022. Soon after, he fired the company’s top brass and laid off thousands of employees.

Many companies halted their ad spending on the platform after seeing a marked increase in offensive speech and rhetoric, as several advocacy groups have documented. In an attempt to make up for the loss of ad revenue, Musk created a new subscription service, Twitter Blue, which offers features such as the ability to compose longer tweets.

Yaccarino and Musk sat together in a keynote interview at a marketing conference in Florida in mid-April. During the conversation, the two discussed the role marketers would play in the future of Twitter, as well as its position in the cultural conversation.

During the conference, Musk reportedly tried to reassure advertisers that Twitter was a respectable place for their brands.

Yaccarino’s exit from NBCUniversal comes weeks after Jeff Shell was ousted as the company’s CEO after admitting to an inappropriate relationship with an employee. Rather than replacing Shell, NBCUniversal’s top executives will report to parent company Comcast President Mike Cavanagh.\

On Friday, NBCUniversal said Yaccarino would leave the company, effective immediately, and Mark Marshall, the current president of advertising sales and client partnerships would become interim chairman of the company’s advertising and partnerships group.

Marshall will report to Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. Lazarus and Marshall are likely to take part in NBCUniversal’s Upfront presentation today, CNBC’s David Faber and Julia Boorstin reported on Friday.

Research contact: @CNBC

FDA approves over-the-counter sales of lifesaving opioid overdose treatment Narcan nasal spray

March 30, 2023

On Wednesday, March 29, the Food and Drug Administration approved sales without a prescription of the nasal spray Narcan to reverse opioid overdoses—a decision that promises to significantly expand access to the life-saving treatment, reports CNBC.

The FDA’s decision means people will be able to buy the 4 milligram nasal spray in supermarkets, convenience stores, gas stations, vending machines, and online. Emergent BioSolutions, the manufacturer, has said Narcan should be available without a prescription by late summer.

In a formal statement, FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf, noted that the agency is encouraging the company to make the nasal spray available as soon as possible at an affordable price.

Narcan reverses fatal overdoses by blocking the effect that opioids have on the nervous system. The nasal spray must be administered as soon as an overdose is suspected.

Two nasal spray devices typically come in a single package. The first dose should be administered in one nostril of the person suffering an overdose and then 911 should be called, according to the instructions. If the person is still unresponsive after two to three minutes, the second dose should be administered.

After the FDA’s decision, Walgreens said it will offer over-the-counter Narcan later this year in-store and online nationwide.

“Delivering access to this lifesaving medication that can reverse the effects of an overdose if administered in time is imperative and Walgreens is already working with suppliers to bring this OTC medication to shelves,” said Zoe Krey, a Walgreens spokesperson.

The FDA said in November that it was considering approving naloxone products, the generic name for medications that reverse opioid overdoses, for use without a prescription. The push to make naloxone easier to access is part of the agency’s efforts to fight the opioid crisis.

More than 564,000 people died from opioid overdoses between 1999 and 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The first wave of the epidemic began in the 1990s with prescription opioids, followed by an increase in deaths from heroin starting in 2010.

Deaths from synthetic opioids such as fentanyl have increased significantly since 2013. More than 71,000 people died from synthetic opioids in 2021—an 18% increase over the year prior, according to CDC estimates.

Research contact: @CNBC

Girl Scout Cookies crumble under supply chain woes, labor shortage

March 14, 2023

For some Girl Scouts and their baked goods’ fans, it’s shaping up to be another tough cookie season, reports The Washington Post.

Blame the COVID pandemic for the wildly vacillating supply and demand over the past two years: a surplus of unsold cookies in 2021 and supply chain issues in 2022.

And 2023 looks as if it will not be less problematic. Last month, the Girl Scouts’ hotly anticipated new cookie sold out faster than Beyoncé tickets, and wound up on eBay for four times the price.

Louisville-based Little Brownie Bakers this week blamed the familiar forces of supply chain and labor shortages, with extreme weather thrown into the mix, for production delays that have disrupted this season’s cookie fulfillment efforts. Little Brownie Bakers is one of only two companies licensed to make the cookies—and it bakes for the vast majority of Girl Scout needs.

“We share the frustration that some Girl Scout troops feel this cookie season,” Little Brownie Bakers said in a statement on Thursday, March 9, assuring Girl Scouts and their customers that “the teams in our bakery have been working overtime to make sure troops get their initial orders.”

In an email to The Washington Post on Saturday, a spokesperson for Little Brownie Bakers said that while a host of issues have affected the selling season, the bakery is “on track to fulfill initial orders.”

“Still, LBB has produced more Girl Scout cookies at this time than last year, and our teams at the bakery are working hard to ensure initial orders are filled,” the spokesperson said.

Leadership for the Teamsters Local 783, which represents an array of jobs at the facility—including bakers, mixers, forklift drivers, caramel mixers, and mechanics—did not respond to requests for comment Saturday.

Across the United States, Girl Scout councils—the broader geographic body that comprises local troops—contract with Little Brownie Bakers or ABC Bakers, the only two facilities licensed to make the cookies. According to CNBC, Little Brownie Bakers supplies 75% of all local troops, which have struggled this season to meet sales goals amid the delays.

Annual revenue from the cookie program is a key funding source for local councils, which take the larger share of the sales; and for the individual troops, which use the proceeds to pay for activities, travel and other supplies.

“We know this was another unexpected setback to councils supplied by Little Brownie Bakers during an already challenging cookie season,” Girl Scouts USA said in a statement addressing the delays. The national organization pledged to “soften the impact of these ongoing issues” but did not immediately respond Saturday when asked to elaborate.

As the 2023 cookie season winds down, it’s unclear how the Girl Scouts might mitigate the persistent supply issues—but they aren’t alone in facing these challenges or scrambling for answers, said Jonathon Swart, who manages perishable food transportation strategies for BlueGrace Logistics.

The interconnectedness of the food supply chain means it can be easily shaken by local or global disruptions, ranging from extreme weather in Kentucky, which shuts downs ground transit; to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has hindered two of the world’s biggest grain exporters, Swart said.

“When you’re a manufacturer used to being able to source ingredients with consistency, even a three-week delay can totally throw off the schedule of these facilities that are running 24-hour production,” Swart said.

The Girl Scouts, which lack a diverse manufacturing base, face even more limited options. “Maybe they bring in another supplier, another bakery that could help them be more diverse,” Swart said of the production side. “But this is a problem faced across all food manufacturing over the past several years.”

Research contact: @washingtonpost

United says it will make it easier for families to book seats with their children for free

February 22, 2023

United Airlines announced on Monday, February 20, that new technology will open up more seats on its flights so children can sit with an adult in their party without paying a fee—a type of charge that’s drawn scrutiny from the Biden Administration in recent months, reports NBC News.

United will give parents or other adult travelers accompanying a child younger than 12 access to “preferred” seats as well as regular economy seats, if needed, at the time of booking so they can sit together.

The change applies to travelers with standard and basic economy tickets and will be fully in effect next month, although United has already increased some of the seat availability.

The airline also won’t charge customers a fare difference if they switch to a flight to the same destination that has adjacent seats.

Airlines in recent years have been charging travelers to book “preferred” location seats on flights. They don’t come with extra legroom or other perks but are often in front of the plane, though they can cover a significant number of seats of an aircraft.

President Joe Biden has called on lawmakers to “fast-track the ban on family seating fees,” the White House said earlier this month. In July, the Transportation Department told U.S. airlines to “do everything in their power” to ensure that travelers under age 13 are seated next to an accompanying adult without additional charges.

“Baggage fees are bad enough,” Biden said during his State of the Union address earlier this month. “Airlines can’t treat your child like a piece of baggage.”

Such seats usually vary in price. On a roundtrip between Newark, New Jersey, and Los Angeles in August, preferred seats on a United flight showed as $37 each way for one person.

Delta Air Lines said it blocks certain rows of seats so families can sit together. “Delta does not charge family seating fees and, regardless of the ticket class purchased, will always work with customers on a case-by-case basis to ensure their family seating needs are met,” a spokesperson said in a statement on Monday.

American Airlines’ booking platform will automatically search for available seats together at the time of booking for main cabin and basic economy passengers. Preferred seats and its extra legroom section, Main Cabin Extra, open up the day of departure if they’re needed, a spokesperson told CNBC.

Research contact: @NBCNews

Showtime to combine with Paramount+, rebrand with new name

Febraury 1, 2023

Paramount Global is further joining its streaming and cable TV business by combining its Showtime TV network and streaming service, Paramount+.

On Monday, January 30, the company announced that it plans to integrate Showtime’s streaming service fully into Paramount+, its marquee standalone streaming platform, reports CNBC.

But the union doesn’t stop there. As part of this integration, the premium cable TV network, known for shows like “Yellowjackets,” “Billions,” and “Dexter,” will be rebranded as Paramount+ with Showtime. The TV channel will also feature content from Paramount+, which has produced original series that spun off from the popular “Yellowstone” and “Criminal Minds” franchises.

People can subscribe to Showtime for an extra fee on their pay-TV bundle. Pricing for the combined streaming platform and other details will be announced in coming weeks, a Paramount spokesperson said Monday. Paramount+ starts at $4.99 a month, and Showtime’s streaming service is $10.99 a month. A bundled offering of the two already exists, beginning at $11.99 a month.

In November, Paramount reported that Paramount+ had 46 million customers. The company reports fourth quarter earnings February 16.

“This new combined offering demonstrates how we can leverage our entire collection of content to drive deeper connections with consumers and greater value for our distribution partners,” Paramount CEO Bob Bakish said in a memo to employees on Monday.

Research contact: @CNBC

Chameleon cars: BMW’s first ‘color-changing’ concept vehicle has arrived

January 10, 2023

What if the color of your car could change based on your mood or the weather? That’s the idea —or, at least, one of the ideas—behind BMW’s new “i Vision Dee” concept car, a midsize electric sports sedan covered in futuristic panels that can change color on demand, reports CNBC.

BMW describes it as the world’s first “color-changing” car. The Dee, which stands for “Digital Emotional Experience,” can cycle between 32 different colorsthe company said in a press release on Thursday, January 5, while unveiling the car at the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The car can cycle between 32 different solid exterior colors, with mix-and-match capabilities due to its 240 different panel segments. That’s a significant leap past BMW’s earlier iteration—showcased last year—which could only alternate between black, white, and gray.

As with any concept vehicle, the technology behind the Dee’s color-changing capabilities is likely years away from consumer availability. Exposure to the elements in day-to-day driving—from car washes to flying insects—keeps the high-tech panels from performing in the real worldThe Verge noted Thursday.

For BMW, the car is meant as a glimpse of what could eventually be a much more colorful future. “This allows an almost infinite variety of patterns to be generated and varied within seconds,” the company said in its press release, which described the light show as a “magical display of color.”

The Dee’s outer skin is a film made of electronic paper built by a startup called E Ink, which also makes display tech for e-readers and mobile phones. The coating segments contain millions of tiny microcapsules with different color pigments that change shades when electricity is applied.

The electronic coating is “ultra-low power,” so changing the car’s colors won’t drain the electric vehicle’s battery, E Ink said in its own press release on Thursday.

E Ink also said it’s able to manufacture its panels in any shape imaginable—potentially leading to applications like e-reader screens that mimic the look of actual paper, or more energy-efficient digital signs and smartwatch displays.

BMW hasn’t released specs for the Dee’s engine or battery, but says the concept car is additionally loaded with futuristic hardware and software that’ll be available in cars on the road by 2025.

That includes BMW’s Head-Up display, a digital dashboard that spans the entire width of the windshield. It also features a Mixed Reality Slider, a touchscreen that allows you to control how much digital content is displayed on that dashboard, from driving speed and battery range to music controls and text messages.

The company’s “Neue Klasse” line of cars, set to debut in two years, will feature both pieces of technology. But don’t expect to see the color-changing tech in your garage anytime soon. Eventually, BMW hopes to develop a spray coating that would help the color-changing panels stand up to the elements, auto website SlashGear noted last Wednesday.

Research contact: @CNBC

How much Trump has paid—or hasn’t paid—in taxes since 2015

December 22, 2022

The amount of income, deductions, and taxes paid by or refunded to former President Donald Trump while serving in the White House has  been detailed in a new report released Tuesday night, December 20, by the Joint Committee on Taxation, reports CNBC.

The report reveals that Trump on his federal tax returns declared negative income in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2020—and that he paid a total of $1,500 in income taxes for the years 2016 and 2017.

On their 2020 income tax returns, Trump and his wife Melania paid no federal income taxes and claimed a refund of $5.47 million, according to the report by the staff of the Joint Committee.

The report was posted online shortly after the Ways and Means Committee voted to make public redacted versions of Trump’s full income tax returns, and those of eight related business entities for the tax years 2015 through 2020. Those full returns are expected to be released in the coming days.

A separate report released by the Ways and Means Committee has revealed that the IRS started—and then stopped—an audit of just one of Trump’s tax returns while he was serving as president. This, despite an internal policy mandating that sitting presidents have their returns audited annually.

The 39-page report by the Joint Committee on Taxation staff gives a breakdown of the highlights of Trump’s joint tax filings with Melania during his time in office, and the two years he first ran for president.

The report identifies different areas that the staff thought warranted further examination, such as documentation of nearly $506,000 in charitable donations claimed by the Trumps in 2019.

Highlights of the report include:

  • On their 2015 federal return, Trump and his wife declared negative income of $31.7 million, with taxable income of $0. The couple paid federal income taxes of $641,931.
  • The 2016 return declared negative income of $31.2 million, with zero dollars of taxable income. The Trumps paid $750 in taxes.
  • The 2017 return declared negative income $12.8 million, with $0 in taxable income. The couple paid $750 in taxes.
  • The 2018 return declared total income of $24.4 million, with taxable income of $22.9 million. The Trumps paid $999,466 in federal income taxes.
  • In 2019, the Trumps declared $4.44 million in total income, and $2.97 million in taxable income. They paid $133,445 in taxes.
  • The 2020 return shows negative income of $4.69 million, with zero dollars in taxable income. The tax paid by the Trumps was $0 and they claimed a refund of $5.47 million.

Read the report on Trump’s annual tax returns here.

Research contact: @CNBC

New York City wants to hire a ‘rat czar’—and could pay him or her $170,000 annually

December 7, 2022

New York City is hiring a leader to fight against residents’ common enemy: rats.

This week, the New York City Mayor’s Office posted a job listing for a “citywide director of rodent mitigation,” or as a city hall spokesperson dubbed it, “a rat czar,” reports CNBC.

The director, who will receive an annual salary between $120,000 and $170,000, will be expected to develop strategies, manage projects and lead teams against the city’s rodents.

The role’s listed requirements include a “background in urban planning” and a “virulent vehemence for vermin.”

The job posting added, “The ideal candidate is highly motivated and somewhat bloodthirsty—determined to look at all solutions from various angles, including improving operational efficiency, data collection, technology innovation, trash management, and wholesale slaughter.”

It also said the chosen applicant will have a “swashbuckling attitude, crafty humor, and general aura of badassery.”

The role’s more serious qualifications include an ability to “self-manage and conduct rigorous research and outreach,” a “desire to be entrepreneurial with an interest in social impact” and either experience in local government or a background in a “relevant” field.

New York is the country’s “second-rattiest” city, according to pest control company Orkin’s most recent annual rankings. As of October, New York’s sanitation department has reported more than 21,600 rat complaints in 2022, a sharp increase over pre-pandemic times.

The city is topped by Chicago in Orkin’s rankings, which has held the “rattiest city” title for eight consecutive years now—but New York rodents have a special place in the cultural zeitgeist.

They frequently go viral on social media after dragging various item —most popularly, pizza—down streets and sidewalks.

That’s no reason to keep the rats around, according to the city’s new job posting.

“Despite their successful public engagement strategy and cheeky social media presence, rats are not our friends,” the listing reads. “They are enemies that must be vanquished by the combined forces of our city government. Rodents spread disease, damage homes and wiring, and even attempt to control the movements of kitchen staffers in an effort to take over human jobs.”

Mayor Eric Adams appears particularly motivated to find an effective rat czar. On Thursday, he tweeted an article about the position, writing: “If you have the drive, determination, and killer instinct needed to fight New York City’s relentless rat population—then your dream job awaits.”

This isn’t the city’s first rat extermination effort of 2022. In October, the New York Sanitation Department announced that New Yorkers will be fined for putting trash on the curb before 8 p.m. starting in April 2023. Currently, residents can be fined for putting their trash out before 4 p.m.

“I want to be clear: The rats are absolutely going to hate this announcement,” New York Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch said while announcing the new policy. “But the rats don’t run the city. We do.”

Applicants for the rat czar role must submit a resume, cover letter, and three references. They also must have a New York residency within 90 days of their appointment, and must be vaccinated against COVID-19—a policy for all city employees hired since August 2, 2021.

Research contact: @CNBC

Yahoo takes minority stake in digital ad network Taboola

November 29, 2022

Yahoo is deepening its push into digital advertising, even as its competitors warn that the market is faltering, reports The New York Times.

The Internet pioneer, which was taken private in a $5 billion deal last year, is taking a roughly 25% stake in Taboola, the company known for serving up attention-grabbing links on websites, the chief executives of the companies said in an interview.

The deal is part of a 30-year exclusive advertising partnership that allows Yahoo to use Taboola’s technology to manage its sizable business in native advertising—ads that have the characteristics of traditional news and entertainment content.

Shares of Taboola have fallen nearly 80% over the past year, amid broader doldrums in the public and advertising markets—giving it a market capitalization of $455 million. Last January, when Taboola struck a deal to merge with a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, it was valued at $2.6 billion.

Executives at companies like Meta and TikTok have warned that advertisers skittish about the economy have pulled back on their spending. But Jim Lanzone, the chief executive of Yahoo, said in an interview that the deal with Taboola puts both companies in a good position for when the ad market revives.

“I’m thinking, you know, five, ten, 30 years,” Lanzone said. “Digital advertising has huge wind at its back over the long term.” He added that while the company will continue to try to bring in money in other ways, such as expanding its subscription business or investing in e-commerce, “we have hundreds of millions of people consuming news and sports and finance on market-leading properties that are heavily monetized through advertising — and will continue to be.”

Yahoo, a giant of the early internet, was eclipsed over the years by tech rivals like Alphabet’s Google and Meta’s Facebook. The company endured a messy power struggle and shaky leadership as it matured, leading to layoffs and shifts in strategy.

The company was taken private by the investment firm Apollo Global Management in the hopes that new leadership and a respite from the public markets would give it a chance to grow. Yahoo says it has about 900 million monthly users of its properties, which include AOL, TechCrunch, and Yahoo Sports, making it one of the largest destinations on the web.

oola, founded in 2007, specializes in native advertising, operating a sprawling advertising network over thousands of well-known websites, including CNBC, NBC News, and Insider.

The deal with Yahoo gives Taboola the exclusive license to sell native ads across Yahoo’s sites, and the companies will share revenue from those ad sales. The companies did not disclose the terms of the revenue split.

Yahoo, which will become Taboola’s largest shareholder, also will get a seat on the company’s board.

Research contact: @nytimes

Apple rolls out iPhone emergency SOS satellite alert service for when you’re off the grid

November 16, 2022

Apple is trying to give iPhone users a measure of safety—even when they find themselves in place without cell service, reports CNBC.

On Tuesday, November 15, the company launched emergency SOS via satellite, which enables users to text emergency services when they’re off the grid, whether camping in the mountains or driving in a remote area at night. The service is available for iPhone 14 customers and is free for the first two years.

Apple announced the emergency feature in September, when it debuted the iPhone 14 lineup. To enable the service, Apple said last week it would spend $450 million with U.S. companies, with the majority of the money going to Globalstar, a Louisiana-based satellite operator.

It will work for all iPhone 14 users. All a user has to do is point his or her phone at the sky in order to connect to one of 24 Globalstar satellites in low Earth orbit.

Apple doesn’t want users testing the service out for non-emergencies. The company offered me a demonstration last week so I could explain how to use it.

Here’s how it works:

  1. In the event of an emergency, try calling 911. If you don’t have cell service, your phone will try to connect to another carrier’s tower. If that doesn’t work, an option to “Emergency Text via Satellite” will pop up.
  2. You can also go to iMessage to text 911 or SOS; then tap Emergency Services.
  3. An option will populate, allowing you to tap to report an emergency.
  4. Emergency questions will populate to help you best describe your situation. The first prompt will say “What’s the emergency?” You’ll then be able to select from options like “Car or vehicle issue,” or “sickness or injury.” Next, you’ll be led through a series of more in-depth questions.
  5. You’ll be given the option to notify your emergency contacts to let them know you reached out to emergency services, along with your location and the nature of your emergency. You also can use the Find My app to share your location with friends and family via satellite.
  6. To connect to a satellite, your phone will ask you to point it towards the sky. As long as you have a clear view, you should be able to connect to a satellite, but it could take up to 15 seconds for your messages to go through. If you don’t have a clear view of the sky, because of trees or another obstruction, the texts may take a minute to go through. And because satellites orbit the earth quickly, you’ll have to move your phone slightly to stay connected throughout the conversation.
  7. Once you’ve connected to emergency services via satellite, they’ll immediately know your location and the nature of your emergency, but you’ll be asked a few more questions to help emergency personnel to locate you and to come prepared.
  8. If you have your medical ID set up through your iPhone’s health settings, emergency services will be able to see important personal information, like what medications you’re taking and the names of your emergency contacts.

To try out emergency SOS via satellite, Apple has a demo option:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap Emergency SOS.
  3. Tap Try Demo. You’ll then be led through the same prompts you would get in a real emergency. You’ll also be able to turn off your cell service and connect to a satellite so you can get a feel for it. You’ll get haptic feedback when you’re not pointing in the right direction.

For now, emergency SOS via satellite is only available in the United States and Canada.

Research contact: @CNBC