Consumers, businesses lift U.S. economic growth in second quarter (Yahoo)

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/consumers-businesses-likely-spurred-u-051201367.html

The U.S. economy accelerated in the second quarter as consumers ramped up spending and businesses invested more on equipment, confirming that the sluggish performance early in the year was temporary. Gross domestic product increased at a 2.6 percent annual rate in the April-June period, which included a boost from trade, the Commerce Department said in its advance estimate on Friday. Growth for the first quarter was revised down to a 1.2 percent rate from the previously reported 1.4 percent pace.

BACK TO THE OFFICE (WSJ)

Working From Home? The Boss Wants You Back in the Office https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-boss-wants-you-back-in-the-office-1500975001

While working from home is nice, there are challenges with telecommuting. Ideally, a hybrid arrangement might work. The worker retains some level of flexibility with the need to remain productive. Manager can focus on team development and delegation on days in the office and hold the workers accountable to complete tasks during the days out. Might help alleviate some problems.

REAL BENEFITS NOT JUST PERKS (ENTREPRENEUR)

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/281315

Interesting article on perks workers underutilize. While many would like to work from home, we probably prefer not to be on call 24 hours a day. Taking advantage of some perks may lead to unflattering office reputations. Achieving work life balance is difficult, determining tradeoffs that make work palatable and life worth living.

CORD CUTTING AND EXCESSIVE FEES 

ESPN LAYOFFS (NYT)

As many already know, ESPN laid off 100 employees, many of which were high-profile personalities. After years of skyrocketing rights fees and people cutting ties with cable companies, ESPN has a cash flow problem. Noble of them to protect employees living paycheck to paycheck, but the impact on broadcast quality could hurt ratings.

Suggestions?

ESPN needs to strongly consider alternate revenues streams and reduce its dependence on a declining cable market. In other words, provide direct access to customers outside traditional cable deals. As more customers continue to move away from expensive cable contracts, ESPN can still remain connected with them through a direct service similar to HBO. Currently, WatchESPN requires a cable subscription login.

What About The Fees?

The cost of broadcast rights fees is the cost of doing business at this point. Until the deals expire, ESPN has to honor the terms. Going forward it should take a stronger negotiating position, but now should focus on maximizing revenue to offset the cost. As a sports centric organization, ESPN cannot lose its connections to the content its built around.

Beyond the business aspect, ESPN  needs to focus on its core content, setting aside the political commentary and puns. Stop incorporating political attacks and stop promoting stereotypes. Focus on being a true worldwide leader in SPORTS. Companies that forget why they are in business tend to go out of business.