Monthly Archives: December 2016

Blackout looms as NBC and Charter negotiations stall

A carriage deal between NBCUniversal and Charter Communications is set to expire on January 1, and the two sides are reportedly at an impasse in negotiations. If the ball drops before a new agreement is struck, millions of Charter subscribers could lose access to NBC Universal’s slate of channels, which include NBC network, MSNBC, Bravo, Telemundo and E!. …read more

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Those jobs Trump is bragging about are just a fraction of Sprint’s huge layoffs

By Max Ehrenfreund

Sprint has announced plans to expand its U.S. labor force. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

Sprint has announced plans to expand its U.S. labor force. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

Sprint chief executive Marcelo Claure boasted Thursday about his company’s plans to expand employment in the United States, part of a broader investment by the telecom company’s Japanese controlling owner for which President-elect Donald Trump has taken the credit.

Sprint’s domestic expansion comes after several difficult years for the company and its workers. Since 2013, Sprint — a publicly traded company, majority-owned by Tokyo-based SoftBank — has reduced its U.S. labor force by roughly 21 percent. The new employment will only partially make up for those lost jobs.

Representatives of Sprint have said the company will create positions for about 5,000 more people in the United States, counting both new employees and workers at Sprint’s contractors.

“The 5,000 jobs are NEW jobs that Sprint is creating or bringing back to the U.S.,” Claure wrote on Twitter Thursday afternoon. “Great news for the country.”

The company has reduced its headcount by about 8,000 since December 2013 and now employs about 30,000. The bulk of the company’s labor force works in retail sales and customer service.

As the company let personnel go, Sprint outsourced some of the work to contractors with call centers overseas, explained spokesman David Tovar. Some of the 5,000 new U.S. workers also will work for contractors, but at domestic facilities, he said.

For several years, Sprint’s business has yielded disappointing results, as profits have been burdened by declining subscriptions to its cellular services. The most recent series of reductions at the company, headquartered in Overland Park, Kan., began in 2014, when the company put Claure in charge of turning things around.

Claure immediately began planning reductions in the staff. The company had “an extensive list of nice-to-haves and those are the first that are going to …read more

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The American diet hasn’t changed in years — except for this one thing

By Caitlin Dewey


Despite a slew of new studies, recommendations and nutrition fads ranging from gluten-free to paleo, the general American diet has not changed substantially since 2000, recent government data shows.

Between 2000 and 2010, the most recent year for which complete data is available, the average American’s daily caloric intake declined by a mere 2 percent. And the number of calories we get from each food group also has stayed largely constant.

But one type of food has seen a huge change: The number of calories that the average American got from nuts jumped by 25 percent. And the amount of nuts that Americans consume has continued climbing.

The findings, which were published as part of a Department of Agriculture analysis this month, derive from a data set called the Food Availability Data System. Instead of asking consumers what they eat after the fact, as nutrition surveys frequently do, FADS tracks the movement of agricultural commodities through the food system, adjusting for waste and providing a better long-term picture of the foods that Americans consume.

That picture suggests that the broad food groups that make up our diet — dairy, vegetables, grains and so on — have remained relatively stable over time, even as individual foods in those groups have cycled in and out of popularity. (Americans eat more kale and fewer white potatoes now, for instance, than they did at the turn of the century.)

Nuts and seeds are an exception: Their consumption has been increasing slowly since the USDA began tracking it in 1970. In the late 1990s, the pace increased — particularly for almonds, which were eaten at almost twice the rate in 2010 as they were in 2000. Peanuts, America’s …read more

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Can Original Programming Be Netflix’s Key Competitive Edge In 2017

By Trefis Team, Contributor Competition in the streaming media industry is intensifying with Amazon’s global expansion in the space. Netflix remains a dominant player with more than 40% of broadband households in the U.S. being Netflix subscribers. However, as competition intensifies, it faces a challenging environment for growth. With several players in this industry, […] …read more

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