January 23, 2015 Last Updated 8:27 am

Euro falls, stocks rise on moves by the European Central Bank

Millennial Media survey shows persistence of banner ads, developers expect iOS and Windows mobile platform to grow in 2015; Carl Icahn sets his sights on Gannett

As expected, the Euro declined in value after the European Central Bank said Thursday that they will buy 60 billion euros of debt every month until September 2016, or even later if needed. The Euro fell to 1.1197 (the previous day’s close was 1.1368) versus the dollar.

The move by the ECB also will impact the stock markets as investors move from bonds to equities. The German DAX and French CAC 40 each rose over 2 percent.

The move to stimulate the European economies via the debt purchase comes amid signs of slowing economic growth in Europe. The move also comes despite resistance from Germany which has advocated for austerity across Europe, despite little evidence that the resulting higher unemployment and lower growth rates will end the economic slowdown that has persisted since 2008.

On Sunday, Greeks go to the polls to elect a new Hellenic Parliament. Polls currently show the left-wing, opposition party Syriza ahead. “On Monday, national humiliation will be over. We will finish with orders from abroad,” Alexis Tsipras, party leader of Syria, told a gathering in Athens last night.

A victory by Syriza would be another sign of change coming to Europe (or not).

Millennial Media yesterday released their State of the Apps report for 2015. The report tracks app growth and changes in app practices.

One area that does not seem to be changing much is the dependence on banner advertising in mobile, a carry over from the web.

According to the report, 91 percent of apps support banner advertising, while 33 percent are now featuring video ads.


The report confirms the dominance of the Android platform, but developers surveyed say they expect to see significant growth in both iOS and Windows this year. Only 8 percent had any faith that the Blackberry platform would see growth in 2015.

Five years ago, on January 4th, talkingnewmedia.blogspot.com officially was launched, with the talkingnewmedia.com URL bouncing over to Google’s blogger platform. (This changed in 2013, when the Blogspot site was shuttered and this URL because the official destination for readers.)

Around the same time, Nate Hoffelder launched The Digital Reader, which serves the digital book publishing industry.

Nate tells TNM that starting on Monday the site will be known as Ink, Bits & Pixels and will use that URL, bouncing the old site over to the new one, though no redesign is to be initiated at this point.

Good luck, Nate – and congrats on reaching year five.

Carl Icahn, who goes from company to company trying to break them up in order to personally profit (a real life Gordon Gekko), has asked for two seats on the board of Gannett. The two people he wants there are Michael Dornemann and Courtney Mather.

USAT-front-sm“I have no doubt that the currently combined Gannett, and both the stand-alone publishing company and stand-alone broadcasting and digital company, would benefit greatly from having our representatives on the board,” wrote Icahn. “As of the market close yesterday, Gannett’s stock is down over 8% from the date you announced the spin-off. I believe this is a result of the company’s failure to adequately explain to investors the capital structure, debt capacity and business strategy for each of the post-spin companies.”

“We have spoken with many large Gannett shareholders since we first announced our position. Everyone seemed please by the company’s spin-off announcement, but many expressed dissatisfaction with the company’s governance profile and poor communication with the market. We believe that many of these shareholders will be supportive of our proposals and our director nominees, but we would prefer to work collaboratively with you and your board to find a mutually satisfactory solution to our concerns rather than engaging in a costly and distracting proxy fight,” warned Icahn.

Icahn’s timing is actually pretty bad, as Gannett’s stock has actually risen lately, now trading $32.06, up from its low at the start of the year. Guess Icahn isn’t very good at reading stock charts.

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