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Posts Tagged ‘Consumer Reports’

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DreamWorks Animation in Sale Talks With Japan’s SoftBank (THR)
Japanese conglomerate SoftBank is in talks to acquire DreamWorks Animation in a deal that would value the company at $3.4 billion, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. NYT SoftBank reportedly offered $32 a share for the boutique studio DreamWorks Animation, a 45 percent premium over the share price. That would value it at $3.4 billion. A DreamWorks Animation spokeswoman, Allison Rawlings, on Saturday night said, “We don’t comment on rumor and speculation.” Re/code / Reuters An acquisition of DreamWorks by SoftBank would make the Hollywood studio that created Shrek part of a the communications and media company that, under founder and CEO Masayoshi Son, has shown a willingness to take big bets on combining seemingly unrelated businesses. Two weeks ago, SoftBank booked a $4.6 billion gain on the share listing of Alibaba Group in New York. SoftBank retains a 32 percent stake in the Chinese e-commerce company, making it Alibaba’s biggest shareholder. Deadline Hollywood DreamWorks’ balance sheet had weakened in Q2 with $400 million in debt and $32 million in cash vs. Q2 2011, when it had no debt and $116 million in cash. DreamWorks also disclosed in July that its next two films – The Penguins Of Madagascar and Home – were costing them approximately $10 million more than planned: $135 million not including incentive-based compensation. Variety However, DreamWorks has scored considerably with its fruitful acquisition of AwesomenessTV, a digital network targeting a young online audience — that and its relationship with Netflix likely helped attract the attention of SoftBank. DreamWorks Animation has operated as a publicly traded company since 2004.

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Consumer Reports Gets an Overhaul

Consumer Reports will debut a new look — both outside and inside — with its November issue. Gone are the cluttered covers of the past. The revamped Reports features a clean cover that tackles a singular topic, and it’s a big improvement.

Inside the magazine, editor-in-chief Ellen Kampinsky and VP/general manager Brent Diamond have added some interesting features. Your Advocate, found in the front of the book, features a Q&A with an exec from a major brand (GM’s Mary Barra kicks things off); a section that answers a reader’s specific question; a feature that dispenses insider tips from various industry experts; and plenty more.

The updated Reports was based on more than a year of research, but Kampinksy cautions that it’s not a finished product. She also eases readers’ concerns about the glossy changing too much.

“The November issue is the start of a new conversation with our readers. Based on the feedback we get from them, we’ll be making more changes in the coming months,” said Kampinsky. “We’ll remain unbiased and unbought. And we promise never, ever to put the Kardashians on the cover.”

Consumer Reports Hires Mark Rechtin, Bloomberg News Adds Reporter

A couple Revolving Door items for you today, involving Consumer Reports and Bloomberg News. Details are below.

  • Consumer Reports has named Mark Rechtin its cars content development team leader. Rechtin comes to the magazine from Automotive News, where he served as west coast editor and Los Angeles bureau chief for the past 20 years. He’ll report to Diane Salvatore, Consumer Reports’ senior director, content strategy and development.
  • Lucas Shaw is joining Bloomberg News as a TV and music industry reporter. He comes to the company from TheWrap.com.

Ellen Kampinsky Named Editor-in-Chief of Consumer Reports

consumer reports logo GEllen Kampinsky has been named the new editor-in-chief of Consumer Reports. Kampinsky most recently served as a senior editor at Newsweek and The Daily Beast. She also spent a decade at Glamour.

“Ellen’s impressive track record across multiple formats of media and her commitment to upholding the highest standards of journalistic integrity make her a welcome addition to the Consumer Reports team,” Brent Diamond, VP and general manager of the company’s magazine and newsletter products, said in a statement. “Her experience will be invaluable as we strive to provide readers with a broad range of information and work together for a fair, just and safe marketplace for all consumers.”

Kampinsky’s appointment is effective immediately.

Consumer Reports Adds to Executive Team

Consumer Reports has added three executives to its roster. Diane Salvatore has been named senior director, content strategy and delivery; Brent Diamond has been appointed vice president, magazine and newsletter products; and Christian Nimsky has joined as vice president, digital interactive products and services.

Salvatore joins Consumer Reports boasting experience with Prevention, Ladies’ Home Journal and YM magazines. Nimsky has over a decade of work in the digital realm. He has worked with companies such as Edmunds.com and Kelley Blue Book. Diamond has served as president and CEO of both Primedia and Action Pursuit Group.

“Diane, Christian and Brent’s arrivals position us to build the new Consumer Reports,” said Laurence Bunin, COO of Consumer Reports, in a statement. “Their breadth of experience combined with a capacity for fresh ideas – along with what has always made Consumer Reports a trusted resource for consumers – will be essential in making our products, content and services even more compelling in a complex, information-intensive marketplace.”

Most Popular FishbowlNY Stories for the Week

Consumer Reports to Make Dozens of Layoffs

Consumer Reports is falling on hard times.

A tipster tells FishbowlNY that CR is facing a $7 million shortfall. We’re told that Consumer Reports needs to make 70 layoffs to make budget.

We told you earlier today that Yonkers-based Consumer Reports had announced plans for a major structuring. Among the initial changes, editorial director Kevin McKean, with the company since 2005, is out. His position was eliminated.

Consumer Reports has published a monthly magazine since 1936, aimed at helping the public make the best decisions about new products on the market. The magazine uses an in-house testing laboratory and survey research center.

Consumer Reports keeps its objectivity by not permitting advertising within the magazine.

 

Consumer Reports Restructures, Drops Editorial Director

Consumer Reports has announced a wide-sweeping reorganization, and with that — of course — comes layoffs. Folio reports that the magazine is combining its editorial, testing and survey groups. The first person to feel the resulting squeeze is Kevin McKean, who had been with CR since 2005. His position was eliminated.

Despite the circumstances, McKean had nothing but good things to say about the magazine. “I think for their next chapter, so to speak, it’s actually better that I’m out of there and it’s a good thing for me and a good thing for them — it’s an amicable and mutual decision,” McKean told Folio.

A CR spokesperson acknowledged that there would most likely be more layoffs coming.

Consumer Reports Unveils Naughty and Nice Holiday List

‘Tis the season for companies to take advantage of eager shoppers.

Yonkers-based Consumer Reports has unveiled its 2nd Annual Naughty and Nice Holiday List, compiling the best and worst shopping policies and companies behind them.

Consumer Reports selected three companies from each category.

Naughty

  • AirTran:   Consumer Reports says discounted coach and sale-fare tickets don’t include the price of a seat, which costs an extra $6- $20 each way at the time of booking.
  • American Apparel: They offer two different return policies with no explanation – online customers get full refunds while store shoppers only receive merchandise credit.
  • RadioShack: Sometimes the electronics retailer, Consumer Reports contends, charges different prices for some items depending on whether it was bought online or at the store, including one instance where the cost of an HDMI cable in-store was nearly twice the cost of the online price.

A look at the “nice” after the jump.

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Consumer Reports Celebrates Diamond Anniversary in Grand Style

The New York Times may be considered the “paper of record,” but throughout the last 75 years Consumer Reports has become the magazine that the buying public has relied upon.  

To mark the diamond anniversary, Consumer Reports’ year-long celebration ramps up at the historic Grand Central Terminal today and tomorrow. The two-day, public event will include interactive, hands-on, testing exhibits, an expert panel discussion on food safety and demonstrations.

While Consumer Reports is celebrating its glorious past, the magazine, based in Yonkers, is always looking toward the future for its readers.

The organization yesterday released a new poll that shows that 87 percent of Americans are highly concerned about distracted driving and patient safety, especially hospital infections (69 percent).

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