Looks like job cuts are on tap for ShopLocal, a Chicago-based interactive marketing and data concern. About half of the company's estimated workforce will soon be fired with cutbacks beginning Thursday, says an industry source.
ShopLocal employs about 55 people, according to Answers.com. Other web sites say its up to 200 staffers. It also operates ShopLocal.com, an e-commerce site that allows users to compare online shopping sites.
Until recently, ShopLocal was owned jointly by newspaper companies Tribune Co., McClatchy Co. and Gannett. On July 8, Gannett acquired the entire firm from its partners and began to absorb ShopLocal's operations into its Pennsylvania-based PointRoll, an interactive web advertising company.
When I get a tip like this I check with the companies involved. But frankly, I did that in early July, when I heard that ShopLocal was being sold, and no one from any of the merging companies got back to me. A few days later, an announcement of the sale was made public.
My information is credible. But if there's a mistake, ShopLocal or PointRoll can get back to me via this site.
My source suggests the ShopLocal and PointRoll combo makes limited sense (don't you like mergers that make only partial sense?). It will produce a stronger web advertising unit but fails to bolster the ShopLocal.com site's fortunes.
Let's get Sirius. One of the least consequential mergers ever proposed has finally been approved by government regulators.
Congratulations folks, you made the world safe for democracy.
I'm referring to the link-up between XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio, which in February of 2007 entered into a stock swap deal worth about $13 billion, including $1.5 billion in debt. It took 16 months to approve this deal--much longer than agreements triple its size.
As a rule, I'm not a big fan of mergers.
Typically, they generate a lot of hype but don't produce the rosy cost savings, revenue or operational benefits that are so often predicted. Also, just as we're seeing at ShopLocal, people end up losing their jobs.
Chances of the Sirius-XM merger succeeding are, at best, a 50-50 shot. In it's short life, satellite radio has yet to prove it can make a buck from the twin revenue streams of listener subscription fees and paid advertising.
This merger should go a long way toward proving if satellite radio is a viable business model or just a gutsy investment play.
Personally, I'm a Sirius subscriber and enjoy the option of listening to an uncensored Howard Stern, Bloomberg business news, and the music stations.
But lately it sounds to me like Sirius isn't reinvesting in its product, especially the music on the pop and rock stations, where the same selections are playing over and over.
Perhaps Sirius has been forced to spend too much money for lawyers and lobbyists to get this merger approved? Or is CEO Mel Karmazin --a tough man when it comes to spending money--falling back on his old cost-cutting ways?
With the merger approved (with some silly conditions)let's hope Sirius gets back to the business to reinvesting in content. That's why I, and millions more like me, subscribe.