Friday’s Memo – Creative is Fundamental

Stress tests for American banks this week.  Out of 19 banks examined ten failed.  The banks  demonstrated how they would survive another economic slump.  The failing ten need $75-(b) billion reports USA Today.

A CNN chart of  the numbers is an interesting study of the 19 banks.  Market size places Bank of America in the worst situation and JPMorgan perhaps the best.   Needing to raise almost half of the 75-(b) billion is BAC and PNC Financial Services the least amount.  The likes of JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and American Express passed the test.

Despite criticism of the stress tests the Wall Street Journal reports the Obama administration move stopped bleeding in the markets and may have saved Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner from more attacks.

Let’s get to Main Street down on the ground where most of us work.  Just  hours before the United States Department of Labor is to release their latest jobless accounting Barron’s reports layoffs may have peaked.  Leaks of the Labor Department tally speculate more than 600-thousand new claims for benefits made last month.  While the claims are fewer; more than a half-million Americans losing their underpinning each month is bad news.

Question – do you trust pundits who failed to warn of the obvious and the worst economic decline in my long life time?   Here they are postulating the economy appears to have turned the corner and job booms will follow the slump.

There’s consumer confidence and then there’s “advertiser confidence.”  “Advertisers have to feel comfortable … consumers will respond to advertising. There are a number of factors behind that. It’s consumer spending. It’s consumer sentiment. It’s unemployment, too,"  Mark Fratrik told Media Life.  Fratrik is vice president of BIA Advisory Services.

We hear more talk of furloughs than layoffs.  Creativity creeps in as  the corner nears sight.  In sales departments claims the message extolling local television benefits has been missed.  Kathleen Keefe, vice president of sales at Hearst-Argyle, tells tvnewsday.  

Competition among media entities is about to heat up with creative reaches for new business opportunity.  In tvnewsday Keefe continues “If you look at … local advertising opportunities in any given market, it has been radio, newspaper, local television, Yellow Pages and direct mail.  When you look at some of the competitive media, they’re obviously challenged."

Next week Broadcast Newsroom Computing returns to creating news we sell.

James Rowe

Rowe and Company, LLC


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