Friday, January 12, 2007


Kodak Video is Back (kind of), XRX-EK?, H'berg, Scripps Out of Newspapers?, HVP RIP?

The Kodak video is back
Not really, but it's new video about consumer photography, and this one does not insult the people let go in their various downsizings. It's the same ranting old man blabbering about how they're not the same anymore. If he jumps around anymore his Depends will get tied up in a knot. But do we really want someone saying "freakin' " in a Kodak video, especially an "old man"? I know that part of the reason they're doing this is to appear more hip to a younger audience, but it will take a lot more than this to do it. You still want the brand, you don't want the baggage. This doesn't do it. How about compelling products and applications instead? No one will take Kodak seriously until they start making money consistently.

There were rumors last week that Kodak could take over Xerox
If they took over XRX and installed Ann Mulcahy, a woman ranked by Forbes as more powerful than "The Oprah," that might make sense. It can't happen. XRX is more likely to buy EK, but that would make us question Ann Mulcahy's judgment. The rumors of HP buying XRX still persist, and regularly ebb and flow. XRX is still not where it was, but at least there's honest accounting and a legitimate upside potential to it.

Speaking of takeovers, Heidelberg's stock buybacks has not done anything to help their situation.
The stock can't keep up with the DAX index since the buyback was announced.
Morgan Stanley recently sold its shares, and as an investment banker, if they suspected something was up with a takeover or a potential deal that they could be part of, they would have stuck with it. (reference is at the bottom of the article)
Another article characterizes the buybacks as a defensive measure against takeover
Buybacks rarely work... if you have the money, give it to the shareholders if you can't figure out what to do with it. These buybacks are being implemented to protect the vested interests of big shareholders and executive jobs. Shareholders should have the opportunity to have bidders come forward. This does not appear to be playing out the way it was intended.

Publishers are improving their web sites

Publishers are still fighting over postal reform
Small publishers are claiming that large publishers have rigged the system in their favor when it comes to discounts. This is, essentially, B2B publishers claiming that the big consumer publishers are not playing fair. The two trade associations are duking it out.

Scripps may sell its newspaper properties to focus on cable, Internet

The industry grapevine says that High Volume Printing magazine is no more. That's sad... the magazine had the perfect demographic for the long-term future of the traditional printing business. Over the years, its bimonthly schedule worked against it, as it did not have the frequency needed to really build its brand when the "the big 3" were all monthlies, and it had no Internet strategy in the least. Remember, 70% of all capital investment in the printing business is made in the top 2500 establishments... and that's probably less than 500 firms.

Good graduate student paper on the adoption of Linux by governments... and that it seems to be coming to a tipping point. I'm still using Ubuntu on my notebook and will soon be making my transition on my desktop.

Hi Dr Joe, i´m an spanish reader of your blog, blogger too, and I would like to know which enterprise EK, when you wrote "is XRX is more likely to buy EK"
I will apreciate your explanation.
EK is the stock exchange symbol for Eastman Kodak on the New York Stock Exchange. XRX is the stock symbol for Xerox on the same exchange.
Old man, huh? Do you own a mirror, sir?
What makes you think I don't know I'm "old"? From the time I get up and the knees creak, and when I try to keep up with those 25- and 30-year olds in karate class, I'm constantly reminded. The bald head and the gray hair certainly make it clear. All the more reason why Kodak wouldn't want to use a man who might go into cardiac arrest at any moment to make their case.
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