TIME WARNER is expected to propose a merger of AOL and YAHOO. TW would receive a signifiant equity stake in the combined entity, which would benefit from $1 billion in annual cost savings. NEWS CORP has been considering a similar setup for combining MySpace with Yahoo and taking a major stake in the company. Yahoo is trying to put together a deal quickly as its annual shareholder meeting approaches.

OPRAH opened the first episode of an experimental live weekly web show saying it was “the most exciting thing” she’s ever done. 500,000 viewers tuned in to share the excitement, only to have the site crash within minutes. Viewers were left with frozen screens or (for the lucky ones) sputtering and incomprehensible video.

FIREBRAND will be forced to shutdown after NBCU and other investors decided to stop funding the venture. Firebrand tried to turn commercials into content, offering them on-demand via the web and as a TV show on Ion Television. However a lack of interest from viewers killed the concept in just a few short months.

NIELSEN reports that 23% of cell phone users have seen ads on their phones in the last month. The platform is growing quickly, jumping 38% between the second and fourth quarters. Almost 60 million people now recall seeing ads on their mobile phones. Teenagers report the highest recall rate.

SAG has offered independent producers contracts that assure the completion of projects past the June 30 expiration of the Guild’s actors contract. The move will allow indie producers to avoid any work stoppages if the actors decide to strike.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit shellypalmer.com.



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