George W. Bush’s First Big Motivational Speech A Success

george-bush-motivationalLast week, we reported that former president George W. Bush was putting his newly found free time to use by hitting the motivational speaking circuit with Get Motivated!, a motivational event series that likes to bring in former and current politicians alongside business leaders. His first speech was last night. How’d he do, and what did he talk about?

When Slate asked professional motivational speakers to offer words of advice to the former president, a few themes emerged: Bush should be human and approachable, reflect on his past mistakes, and work around his famous inarticulateness.

According to the Washington Post, he succeeded on all three fronts:

Many people interviewed afterward said they liked Bush, perhaps even because he wasn’t the best speaker of the day. He could have said a thesaurus was a big scaly creature that roamed the planet millions of years ago and they would have applauded.

His most memorable story, one after another said, was about Barney, his Scottie:

Mindful of his new neighbors, who have had to endure as many as 650 people a day gawking at his new house in a cul-de-sac, Bush said he took Barney for a neighborhood stroll with “plastic bag on his hand” to scoop poop. That was a moment, he said, when he realized “Man, my life has changed!”

“He is just a normal guy! He wasn’t the best speaker. But I was happy to see him!” said Lubbock salesman Patrick Kruger, 50.

Microsoft’s Online Services Division Losses Grow

Charles Arthur:

But what about the Online Services division? Different story. $490m revenue — which is down from $520m in the same period last year — and losses of $480m, an increase against last year’s $381m loss.

In other words, for every $1 that Microsoft’s online services division brought in, it spent $2.

The harder they chase Google, the worse it gets for them.

Update: Silicon Alley Insider has a graph of Microsoft’s online division results since 2005.

Breaking: Newspapers Are In Trouble


Over at The Awl, Choire Sicha has been doing a crackerjack, data-intensive job of sifting through one of the biggest, least sexy stories of our time: newspapers as we know them are going away. Yesterday, he put together this acclaimed chart of the circulations of six big papers over the past two decades.

The takeaway: the Wall Street Journal is bigger than everybody else (but cheats a little by including paid online subscribers in their circ figures); the LA Times seems determined to drive itself into the ground, and the NYT and WashPo aren’t looking too good themselves.

Today, Sicha covers newspapers’ coverage of their own decline:

So first, I wanted to look into the actual provision of numbers to the reader within reported stories because I got a sense at times that information was being obscured from the reader—as part of what I (anecdotally) see as a general trend of putting less “facty” information in newspapers. The amount of actual numbers given—as in “The Los Angeles Times, owned by Tribune, reported daily circulation fell 6.5 percent, to 907,997″—per article is then averaged for each year and in five-year increments.

[click through here to see The Awl's fancy-looking graph, not pictured here]

So! What we see is that there is radically less actual information about the real amount of newspapers sold in the last six years—the time of the real newspaper circulation crisis—than in the two previous five-year increments.

He also goes through slews of newspaper headlines reporting on the newspaper decline, and summarizes them thusly: “Reading through them in chronological order, it’s more like ‘meh bad same same same worser hey better worse worse OH GOD WORSE MUCH WORSE PANIC.’”

The trouble with “factiness,” aside from the temptation it poses Stephen Colbert’s lawyers to file an infringement suit, is that on the whole, people would prefer their “LOLcats” and their “SEO-friendly charticles” and their “Hamster Dance” and what not — or at least that’s emerged as the conventional wisdom.

NBA Retools Its Broadband Package; Adds Team Packages

As the National Basketball Association prepares to tip off its 2009-10 regular season tonight, the NBA and Turner Sports’s NBA Digital will launch a new and improved NBA League Pass Broadband package which will let consumers choose between accessing online every NBA game live or just those of select teams.

NBA Digital will offer the NBA League Pass Broadband package—providing more than 40 live games per week—for $149.95, according to Turner officials. In addition, NBA fans will be able to select up to seven teams to watch throughout the season as part of a new $99.95 NBA league Pass Broadband Choice package. The league is offering a special early-bird pricing through Nov. 3 for League Pass Broadband and Broadband Choice both packages $134.95 and $89.95 respectively. For the rest of the story, go to Multichannel.

This story has been provided by our content partner Multichannel.

paidContent Quick Hits 10.27.09

»  The sale of the Chicago Sun-Times to a group led by investment banker James Tyree is complete. [Chicago Sun-Times]

»  A day after Bill Keller hinted that the NYT was working on content for a new Apple tablet, an Australian paper reports that media execs in that country have also been approached by Apple about getting their content onto the device. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

»  Is overpricing its IPO? [Breakingviews]

»  Some book publishers argue that the Barnes & Noble Nook’s lending feature could hurt business. [MediaLoper]

»  Big tech companies are once again launching big ad campaigns, including Microsoft, which is spending $300 million to advertise Windows 7. [WSJ]

»  But that does not mean Microsoft will sponsor a special edition of Family Guy. The company pulled its sponsorship, saying the show’s content did not “fit” with its Windows brand. [Variety]

»  Not pretty: A chart showing circulation at big papers since 1990. [The Awl]

What’s Worth a Price Increase on TV? A Good Laugh

NEW YORK ( -- It seems a good laugh is more expensive these days. While the economy forced the big broadcast networks to lower ad rates for many of their most-popular programs during this year's TV upfront market, several top-name comedies were able to command better prices.

Vid-Biz: Sling, CIMM, Family Guy

EchoStar: Sling Brings TV Everywhere; new ad campaign from the satellite company aimed at cable MSOs claims simplicity for distributing content. (Multichannel News)

CIMM Lauches Web Site; the Nielsen rival debuts and prepping to release RFPs this week. (Broadcasting & Cable)

Microsoft Drops Family Guy Sponsorship; Window 7 will no longer be sponsoring an episode of the cartoon after the company realized the show is pretty… off-color. (MediaMemo)

AT&T Sponsors Vevo; telco enters into a branding and marketing agreement with the upcoming music video site. (paidContent)

In-Stat: Disney’s Keychest Will Beat Others to Market; though the research firm says mouse house’s digital content access service will take time to catch on with consumers. (Video Business)

Blinkx Launches Music Video Search Tool; Blinkx Music has indexed more than 33,000 hours of music vids from roughly 10,000 artists. (CNET)

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