Rob Black's "Winners & Losers" June 20 - Starbuck's Tazo Tea, HBO's Sorkin's Newsroom & Olympics Pricing

By: Rob Black - Wed, 20 Jun 2012 17:08:57 -0800

 Winner: Stocks Decline on Lower Growth Estimates

U.S. stocks dropped, following a four-day gain in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as the Federal Reserve cut its estimates for growth amid a slowdown in hiring.

The Fed sees little progress on unemployment during the rest of the year.

 The Fed lowered its  2012 gross domestic product growth to 1.9 percent to 2.4 percent from 2.4 percent to 2.9 percent in April.

The Fed will expand its program to replace short-term bonds with longer-term debt by $267 billion through the end of 2012.

“If we don’t see continued improvement in the labor market, we’ll be prepared to take additional steps if appropriate,” Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said.

It’s not all bad news, but caution is warranted.  If the Fed saw significant deterioration, the policy response would have been on a larger scale. Yet there’s increased risk to the economic outlook.

Winner:  Starbucks To Open Tazo Tea Store

Stabucks, the world’s largest coffee-shop operator, will open its first tea-only store in October under the Tazo brand.

The shop will sell more than 80 varieties of loose-leaf tea, which will be priced by the ounce.

The Tazo store will also sell pastries, baked goods and packaged chocolates.

Starbucks will open the 1,700-square-foot store near its headquarters in Seattle’s University Village.
There are no other stores are planned at this time.

Starbucks, which has more than 17,000 locations worldwide bought  Tazo in 1999 for $8.1 million in cash.

Tazo is now a $1.4 billion brand.

Starbucks shares have gained 20 percent this year through yesterday.

Loser:  Olympic Tickets Sell for 20 Times Face

Ticket prices to sold-out events at the London Olympics have climbed as high as 20 times face value on the secondary market. 

The opening and closing ceremonies, the men’s basketball final and the last track-and-field session going for at least 1,000 pounds ($1,576) a seat.

The games start July 27.

 This is a once-every-four-years event.  Since it is only a 6 hour flight people are coming from the U.S. more for this Olympics as opposed to Beijing.”

Tickets to the gold-medal game in men’s basketball, where the U.S. is defending its championship, are listed for more than eight times their face value.

The lowest-priced ticket of about $1,500 for the gold medal game is more than cheapest Miami Heat Oklahoma Thunder Game 5 tickets are being resold for about $400.

Winner:  Aaron Sorkin Brings TV News Utopia to HBO's 'Newsroom' 

Sorkin won an Oscar for the screenplay of The Social Network in 2011, was nominated this year for Moneyball and has just signed on to adapt a biography of Apple founder Steve Jobs.  He did West Wing and my favorite show Sports Night.

HBO is The Sopranos, Sex and the City, True Blood, Game of Thrones and now  Time Warner’s HBO is bring Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom, to cable TV this weekend.

Oddly, Sorkin's not looking to portray the gritty, greedy, cynical reality of TV news.

This will reflect his fascination with the intersection of media and politics.  He is going to make us look good and show news people as  hard-working journalists who speak truth to power.

Jeff Daniels will play Will McAvoy, the anchor of a popular prime-time cable newscast, who aims to do a newscast that can boast of integrity and popularity.

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