Captain's Blog, stardate 5/3/07
Have you heard? Business is back! Fortune managing editor Andy Serwer whisks you through record markets, Murdoch's irresistible bid, and the new issue of a business magazine that publishes every fortnight.
NEW YORK (Fortune) -- MARKETS: Business is Back! April was such a charm! And here we are in May and the beat goes on. Like this on Wednesday: "Orders to U.S. factories surged in March by the largest amount in a year..." (Business is back!) TWX (Charts, Fortune 500) and YUM (Charts, Fortune 500) earnings were tasty and so we have another record for the Dow, crossing (Jordan) 13,200 for the first time. What was really nice to see was that the NAZ and S&P outpaced the Dow, because so much of the rally recently was big stocks outperforming (and playing catch up really with) the rest of the market. Finally the folks who've been saying that big caps looked cheap are looking smart.....Third time's a charm with Cablevision (Charts, Fortune 500), right? Dolans are paying out $36.26 a share. Can you believe they originally offered $27 last fall? Good for the board to get up, stand up, get up for your rights!....Hey what are you doing this weekend, The (Kentucky) Derby or BRK's (Charts) annual meeting? Hard to do both, trust me.....
NEW ISSUE OF FORTUNE MAGAZINE: (Business is Back!) I do hope you like the new cover: Business is Back! (That's the mantra people!) This is kind of a big think piece about how business, which had become less central to our culture and society after the market crash and wave of corruption scandals earlier this decade, has now come roaring back as the markets and economy have improved. CEOs are now free to speak their minds and are taking the lead when it comes to issues such as the environment and trade. (Yeah baby!) After 9/11, government was in the vanguard, since then they've kinda blown it, right? Katrina, Iraq ain't good, more scandals in D.C.....Other stories in the issue, one on Ray Kurzweil, THE coolest scientist in the world (a Wildman!), and a straight up piece on the seemingly endless trials of NBC's Jeff Zucker. (I apologize, Jeff, for calling you a wimp, really, you are a bad man!)...And hey, don't you really love the fact that Fortune comes out every two weeks? Don't ? Keeps us right up on the news!
DOW JONES: (Business is Back!) The sly old Fox (Charts, Fortune 500) strikes again. I say Murdoch is going to succeed here eventually. This is his dream, believe me. No one else is going to step in the breech and pay the kind of premium Rupert has offered. It doesn't make sense for a financial buyer - and usually they can lay down the biggest bid because they can leverage up their prize, but not at this level - or a strategic buyer because they're all so hurtin', as in WPO (Charts), NYT (Charts), etc. So sure Sam Zell would buy it, but at $15, that's my estimation of the multiple equivalent that he threw at the L.A. Times. So just sit back and watch Rupert, the last of the old time media barons, spin his magic. Rupert Stardust, right!....Oh and by the way, that story about how the Bancroft's lawyer told "a reporter" that $60 a share would be an offer he would entertain? That was told to a Fortune reporter and recounted in an article, yes, in our pages. (And I heard that Rupert was told of that number subsequently and that he perked right up. Hm.....)?
LOOSE CHANGE: Hey the Robin Hood dinner was last night, here's an RT report from my main man DW: "Graham Nash singing right now...Aerosmith is the act ? Just shot video of 2 people bidding 400K a piece to sing one song each with Steve Tyler and Aerosmith. Classic: First thing M.and I see as we're walking in is Harvey Weinstein on the phone, saying: 'Denzel, you don't want me to advance you the million now, for tax reasons'." Sweet!.......National Magazine Awards Tuesday night. Sorta like the industry's Oscars only no famous people really (Graydon Carter?) and no red carpet. In other words not like the Oscars at all! Kevin Bacon and Edie Falco were presenters so that was cool. At least. No, Fortune didn't win anything. Bad year for the New Yorker though, too, so we was in good company....Okay, sorry Greg Maffei, I did it. I jinxed your Nuggets! My bad!....Hey, has anyone noticed how much Goldman Sachs' (Charts, Fortune 500) market value has gone up since Lloyd Blankfein became CEO? Like you said the other morning Lloyd, best I've felt since 1998!