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Gov’t Shutdown About to Get Worse

A few days ago, your editor and our Seven Figure Publishing colleagues discussed the government shutdown over lunch.

The consensus opinion was the story’s a political football and it didn’t concern most folks.

Then someone made a comment about TSA agents. Then someone else mentioned air traffic controllers. What if they all decided to stop showing up?

Now, our best guess is we’re about three weeks away from transportation hell.

Does the shutdown reach a conclusion by then?

Write in, tell us what you think.

Reason we ask, this morning Bloomberg forecasts shutdown impacts a month from now.

Delayed court cases. Delayed IPO filings. FDA review of new drugs grinding to a halt.

All creating backlogs that have to be worked through when the shutdown finally ends.

Bureaucracy in action.

Meanwhile, thousands of TSA agents, air traffic controllers and other government workers aren’t getting paid but still showing up to work every day.

Would you?

Your Rundown for Tuesday, January 15, 2019:

Facebook Wants to Help Save Local News

Reuters reports this morning that Facebook plans to invest up to $300 million to help struggling local news operations.

Facebook’s intention is to “bolster resources” for local reporting, recruit “trainee community journalists”, and “help research how to use technology to improve news gathering and create new products.”

It may come as a surprise that Facebook is already working with the San Francisco Chronicle and Denver Post to help them “improve their ability to attract subscribers.”

We quote all the above because it’s noteworthy.

Facebook is a tech titan because of their ability to steamroll competition. Not a new idea.

But a $300 million investment in “saving” local newsrooms is some kind of public service on the company’s part?

Is this selective creative destruction?

Our point is that Facebook, and tech advances in general, killed local news years ago.

Putting money back into that idea could be viewed as self-serving and a blatant PR ploy.

Consider this quote from Fran Wills, CEO of the Local Media Consortium, an org that represents “80 news companies and 2,200 outlets”:

“Facebook is making this investment to help support local media companies… open up new revenue streams that will support local journalism.”

Good idea. In 2012.

The short version is Facebook is the news. Social media is the news.

The local news is a dinosaur and a better conversation than how to spend $300 million is should we even bother saving local news?

In our view, here’s what Facebook’s really interested in supporting…

chart

Yes, Facebook stock has rallied in the last month.

But what the company’s really looking to do with their $300 million is buy some good publicity.

The “supporting local news” ship sailed years ago.

Market Rundown for Tues. January 15, 2019

S&P 500 futures are up 1.75 this morning at 2,582.

Oil’s up $0.61 to $51.12.

Gold’s flat at $1,290.

And Bitcoin goes for $3,639 today.

Have a great day. We’ll be back tomorrow…

For the Rundown,

Aaron Gentzler

Aaron Gentzler

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Aaron Gentzler is the publisher of Seven Figure Publishing. He is also the editor of The Rundown. Aaron’s been with Agora Financial/Seven Figure Publishing for 13 years. He's been covering technology and markets for over a decade.

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