Jan 15 2008
Top Stories Today

By Victor Caballero

Top stories this morning:

EMI restructuring: Guy Hands and the execs at EMI – owned by investment firm Terra Firma are planning to layoff about 1500 or a quarter of the staff. This would reduce the workforce of EMI to about 4, 500 worldwide. EMI is also cutting the artist roster, and reducing advances to artists. And interesting enough will focus on emerging artists, who sell less albums.

Yamaha artist center: The Yamaha center opens today. Targeted towards top artists, with state of the art tools that artists will use to get the “right” sound. The LA Times has a full story in the center located in Buena Park, CA. This ahead of the NAMM conference starting tomorrow in Anahiem, CA.
There doesn’t appear to be info on the Yamaha site, but here’s the link:

Home Sales: The MBA(Mortgage Bankers Association) is predicting that 2008 will be the year that home sales bottom out. This after predicting that 2007 would be the year that sales bottom out. All indicators point to mid 2009 being when the sales would start to rise. There are many factors that would impact any reverse of the downturn. Especially when we are seeing 20 year records in foreclosures, the subprime mess, pending further rate cuts in interest rates.

Wine: Does the cost of wine impact how your opinion of the wine? A Caltech study shows that the price of wine impacts how people feel about the wine.
To demonstrate the power of marketing, researchers in California showed you can increase a person’s enjoyment of wine by just sticking a higher price on it, according to a study released yesterday.Caltech economics professor Antonio Rangel and his team asked 21 volunteers to sample five different bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon and rate their taste preferences. All they were told was the price of the wine. The researchers also presented two of the wines twice, once with the true price tag, and again with a fake one. They passed off a $90 bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon as a $10 bottle, and a $5 bottle as one worth $45.Subjects were given brain scans during the tests to see how the brain itself was reacting to the taste. The study found that inflating the wine price genuinely boosted a person’s experience of drinking it as shown by the neural activity.They consistently said the “pricier” wines tasted better and the brain scans backed them up.

Zagat looking for buyer?: Tim and Nina Zagat are looking for a buyer. The estimated price about $200 million! Wow.

MySpace: Implements steps to protect young users from predators, a good step, especially in light of the incidents that have taken place. Profiles under 18 will be set to private. Predators will be arrested. 31 of 51 predators arrested in 2007 used MySpace! Unreal! Attorney General’s from various states are working with MySpace. I would imagine out of 110 million MySpace users around the world this is expected(although sickening) when compared to the offline world.
Kuddos to MySpace for continuing to make efforts to curb and implementing proceedures to prevent this type of activities.

www.SmartVoter.org – you need to get all the info on the primary elections? This is a good site. Registration deadlines, etc.

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