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CBS Will Buy Struggling Australian Broadcaster Ten Network

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Ten Network is an Australian television broadcasting company that has found itself struggling lately; hardly news in these troubled times for the media. But this might be the perfect time for larger media companies to swoop in and make something new. This likely what CBS Corp was thinking: the most-watched US television network has just announced plans to buy Ten Network Holdings Ltd, which also happens to be the broadcaster’s largest Australian customer.

CBS says that this purchase will help the company launch its streaming service in the Land Down Under. The deal comes just in time as Lachlan Murdoch—the co-chair of CBS Rival News Corp, who is also a Ten creditor—led a consortium that was about to take over Ten. In fact, CBS Chair and Chief Executive, Leslie Moonves notes, “We have been able to acquire it at a valuation that gives us confidence we will grow this asset by applying our programming expertise in a market with which we are already familiar.”

CBS, of course, is dipping its toes into an Australian television market where broadcasters—and Ten Network, particularly—have to cut (often massive) costs to cover deep losses at a time when advertisers are migrating to streaming services. Obviously, advertisers go where the viewership is, an the popularity of Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon are a sure sign what viewers want.

Now, CBS has been on a bit of a hot streak with risky ventures. The company has fought to own more of the shows that it products (almost more like a production company who streams its own work—the way Netflix is succeeding now—than a broadcaster simply loaning out its distribution methods). Hawaii Five-O, for example, is a massive global hit, with international licensing revenue close to $1.5 billion in 2015 (up from $500 million just ten years prior). Shows CSI (and its spinoffs) and NCIS are also massively popular, but CBS claimed that Ten owed upwards of $844 million AUD for licensing.

With that in mind, though, Ten Network CEO Paul Anderson comments, “CBS and Ten have had a strong relationship for a number of years; we are very excited about further developing that relationship … at this critical time.”

Indeed, media analyst Peter Cox agrees, “It’s already a huge relationship. All the major dramas on Ten are supplied by CBS,” he says, noting also that the network’s popularity in Australia has been in decline. “The test will be whether an American network can relate to an Australian audience and deliver Australian programs that Australians want to watch.”

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Business

Google Announces Big Change to Search Algorithms

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google Search Algorithms august 2018

Calling it a “broad core algorithm update”, Google introduced its latest change in how searchers locate your website. Users might have noticed a change in their pages’ ranking already, although the update will continue to roll out over the next few days.

Google makes small changes to their search algorithms constantly but only makes three or four each year big enough to be mentioned.

As they’ve done after most of their larger search algorithm updates, Google was quick to announce that no changes were made to penalize existing pages. If a ranking went down, it was because someone else’s page was being under-recognized earlier.

google Search Algorithms august  2018

The company tweeted, “There’s nothing wrong with pages that may now perform less well. Instead, it’s that changes to our systems are benefiting pages that were previously under-rewarded….”

The company also announced there is no “fix” to adjust to the new Google search algorithm. Google spokesman, Danny Sullivan, said he feels the “no fix” position by Google is helpful to webmasters and corporations trying to improve their websites.

Hopefully, they think more broadly,” he said. Site speed and security are things everyone might try to update, but it really comes down to one thing.

“Want to do better with a broad change? Have great content. Yeah, the same boring answer. But if you want a better idea of what we consider great content, read our raters guidelines. That’s like almost 200 pages of things to consider,”  tweeted Sullivan.

This is the link to Google’s rater guidelines: https://t.co/pO3AHxFVrV Sullivan verified that raters do not contribute to broad algorithm changes. He simply points out that great content covers all ills.

Whatever you do in response to the new Google search algorithm, you probably want to wait a little while for a couple of reasons.

First, the algorithm is rolling out slowly. Google verified that it might be Wednesday (August 8) before the entire package is running. What you see today might not be as bad as what you see Thursday.

Second, despite Google’s care to test and validate all updates before release, with as many as two trillion search requests rolling through each day, some anomaly or unintended consequence is bound to come up.

The company often, as in almost always, follows up major algorithm updates with an adjustment update soon after. If you see disastrous changes in your rankings, check if there is room for improvement. But don’t make radical changes for a week or so in case Google fixes it for you.

Google makes these search algorithm changes to enhance the experience of the people searching for what you sell. As more websites come on board, the company needs to assure that it matches the most relevant results to customer queries.

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Uber Obtains 15-Month Probationary License To Launch Its Operations In London

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Uber is currently valued at about $62 billion. Efforts of this controversial transportation startup last September to secure a license to run a private hire vehicle service in London turned out to be an exercise of futility.

The reprieve

However, there is a short reprieve for it following ruling by a judge hearing Uber’s appeal against Transport for London, which is city’s transportation regulator. Uber was served with a 15 month provisional license after it succeeded at demonstrating that it had been playing nice lately. It is looking forward to satisfying conditions set by TfL.

The interested parties are following closely to see what happens with Uber’s push to obtain a regular five-year license, but there is hope considering the recent ruling by court.

To reach her final decision, Chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot considered substantial documentary evidence that was presented. She was convinced Uber modified its practices a huge deal and also illustrated it would adhere to the same in the future. She decided to give it a chance.

Major developments

TfL was ordered to make a payment of about £425,000 in the form of court charges for this case. It was way back in 2012 that Uber was established in London and reports indicate it started off with about 300 drivers in the first year of operation.

Numbers are moving higher as we progress and a person well conversant with the matter says the figure has moved up to 48,000 registered drivers in 2018. Tom Elvidge, the UK general manager has outlined that there were almost 3.6 million riders using it over a 12-week period.

A lot of changes need to be put in place and one of them is proactive reporting of outrageous incidents. There is need to ensure drivers operate only in those areas where they have been licensed.

In launching its arguments, TfL outlined that it was necessary for the steps of Uber to be looked at from the context of the way it conducted itself in the past. TfL took a stance that Uber was to be provided with a shorter license than the one it had been awarded previously.

The director of licensing regulation and charging at TfL Helen Chapman opined, “We’ve had five years of a very difficult relationship, where Uber has felt that it hasn’t required regulation. Frankly frustrating that TfL was made aware of issues via the media rather than Uber.”

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News & Record Is Selling Its Downtown Property After Moving To New Location

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The News & Record has signed an agreement to sell off its property located in downtown Greensboro. The company’s 6.5-acre property is located at 200E. Market St. and occupies the block between Davie and Church Streets and Market and Hughes streets. Unconfirmed reports have indicated that the newspaper intends to sell the property to one of the main players who intend to build the Westin Hotel across Davie Street from the building.

Undisclosed buyer

The News & Record announced that the parties agreed on the terms of the deal on May 4 and the deal is expected to be closed in the third quarter of 2019. The company did not however reveal the buyer of the property.

However, according to The Rhino Times the buyer is Greg Dillon the president of Dillon Development based in Maryland and who is involved in development of a parking deck. The development is being undertaken in partnership with the city of Greensboro and will be part of the Westin Hotel. However, when asked about the potential buyer, Daniel P. Finnegan, an editor and publisher at News & Record did not confirm if indeed Dillon was the buyer.

After selling the property, News & Record is expected to move to a new location in Greensboro in the later 2019 or early 2020. This is after being in the current location since 1976. After the closing date, the company has the option to lease the property.

The paper no longer needs such a big facility after moving its press and mailroom operations to Winston-Salem. The News & Record property, which is owned by BH Media Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway has been regarded as the most outstanding opportunity for redevelopment in downtown and has been up for sale since the last fall when the newspaper shifted to a new location.

Mixed-use property

According to Zack Matheny from Downtown Greensboro the owners of the property will have to put to mixed use if they are to maximize it. The property could be used for restaurants, retail, hotels, residential and offices. The newspaper did not quote the selling in its announcement.

The newspaper has been reducing its staff, which has in turn reduced the amount of space required.   The company has scrapped 50 positions across all its operations in the last one year. 36 of the positions where in Greensboro.  Early this year, the company announced that its advertising sales had declined and was scrapping nine other positions.

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