Toronto Star Reports Net Loss of $24.4 Million, Cost Cutting Continues

On Wednesday, Torstar, publisher of the Toronto Star, announced the newspaper's first quarter 2017 financials for the period ended March 31, 2017, and it wasn't pretty. The company reported a net loss of $24.4 million, or $0.30 per share, compared to a net loss of $53.5 million, or $0.66 per share, for the same period last year. Adjusted loss per share was $0.22, compared to $0.40 for the same period in 2016. Segmented revenue was $156.7 million, a decrease of $18.1 million, or 10 percent, over the first quarter of 2016.

Will Walmart Buy Beauty Subscription Box Company Birchbox?

Walmart (NYSE: WMT) has met with beauty box subscription company Birchbox, Recode reported last week. Sources told Recode that Birchbox co-founder and CEO Katia Beauchamp met with Walmart's U.S. e-commerce chief Marc Lore, but it is not known specifically what was discussed or if Walmart is looking to acquire Birchbox. If so, it would be the latest in a string of recent acquisitions for Walmart that will help strengthen Walmart's position in online retail.

HTC Vive Launches Viveport VR Subscription on One Year Anniversary

Yesterday Taiwan-based HTC launched Viveport, a subscription service for virtual reality games and experiences. Following a one-month free trial, for $6.99 a month, VR fans can download up to five titles every month, including Mars Odyssey, Lumen, Stonehenge HR, Knock Out League, Arcade Artist, Apollo 11, Everest VR and more. HTC timed the launch to coincide with HTC Vive's one-year anniversary which it called "Vive Day." On Vive Day - April 5 - customers could get a free copy of Vive Studios' VR Action game Arcade Saga, and new customers could save $100 on Vive.

Condé Nast Acquires Online Music Magazine Pitchfork

Last week Condé Nast announced its acquisition of Pitchfork Media, a Chicago-based, online music magazine. Primarily known for its popular glossy magazines, Condé Nast reaches 120 million consumers with titles that include Vogue, Vanity Fair, Glamour, GQ, The New Yorker, and Wired. In 2011, the company launched an entertainment division to develop film, TV and premium digital video content. The acquisition of Pitchfork, which takes effect immediately, adds an independent music publication to Condé Nast's stable…

NAA Fights Ad Blockers with FTC Complaint and Investigation Request

The Newspaper Association of America (NAA) is stepping up its game to fight ad blockers. The NAA, a nonprofit organization representing the interests of nearly 2,000 news publishers in the U.S. and Canada, filed a Complaint and Request for Investigation of Deceptive Ad-Blocking Practices with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) last Thursday...

Amazon’s Q2 Results Disappoint with a 77 Percent Drop in Net Income

Last Thursday Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) announced its quarterly financials for the second quarter ending June 30, 2017, and it wasn't pretty. While much of the news was positive, including a 25 percent increase in sales to $38.0 billion, the company's net income decreased dramatically, coming in at $197 million, 77 percent less than net income of $857 million for Q2 2016. According to The Motley Fool, Wall Street analysts had expected sales of $37.2 billion and $1.41 earnings per share. Amazon hit the sales target, but missed the earnings per share target by $1.01 per share, causing a $25.96 per share drop in Amazon stock.

Disney to Pull Content from Netflix & Launch Streaming Service in 2019

Tuesday was a big day for Disney (NYSE: DIS). The entertainment and media company announced its third fiscal quarter financials for the period ended July 1, 2017, the acquisition of a majority ownership of BAMTech, and its plans for over-the-top streaming services for Disney in 2019 and ESPN in 2018. Though the Disney news is all related, we'll tackle one topic at a time.First, let's look at the new streaming services Disney is planning. In early 2018, Disney will launch an ESPN-branded multi-sport video streaming service. The service will offer a range of sports programming; approximately 10,000 live regional, national and international games and events, including Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, Grand Slam tennis, and college sports...

Nintendo Switch Owners Can Now Download Hulu to Gaming Consoles

When you get tired of playing Super Mario Odyssey, Zelda or FIFA 18 on your Nintendo Switch gaming console, you can now 'switch' over to Hulu to watch streaming video instead, reports Fortune. Last Thursday Hulu announced the news, becoming the first streaming video app to be made available on the gaming console. Switch owners can download the streaming video app from the eShop for free, but they must subscribe to Hulu to be able to use the service.

Microsoft Offers Deeply Discounted Office Bundle – Deal or No Deal?

Microsoft has just announced that it is reducing the cost of its Work & Play Bundle to $149, says VentureBeat. For just $149, subscribers in the U.S. can get access to Office 365 Home, Xbox Live Gold, Xbox Music Pass, and Skype Unlimited World + WiFi. Priced separately, the four products would cost $443.65, giving subscribers a deep discount of 66%. Here's what it includes, according to the Microsoft site: Office 365 Home, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint,… Is Testing Subscription Model Before New TV Series (TORn), the largest fan site of author J.R.R. Tolkien, announced it is beta testing a subscription service in preparation of Amazon Prime's launch of TORn Prime, an upcoming Lord of the Rings TV series. The site, which boasts more than 8,300 members, hosts discussion boards where members can discuss the author, their favorite books, characters like Frodo, Gandalf and Aragorn, plot lines, top quotes and, of course, the new TV series when it goes live.

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