I am retired and take educated guesses on all things financial.

November 29, 2006

November 30, 2006: Media: What's what.

I am not a big fan of the fickle media sector. My personal preference are CBS, Fox News, The History Channel, Discovery and ESPN. Also for entertainment, I watch CNBC and CNBC Asia. Not especially refined, is it?

In my portfolio, I have owned Disney (DIS) and sold it earlier this year on a bounce, and CBS, which I sold for a very modest profit about six weeks ago as posted.

Reviewing media for portfolio inclusion, I have taken a look first at major television (big four). ABC is surprisingly leading the pack in several important demographic and quality categories, which is good news for Disney. NBC (of GE) has risen to a tie with CBS, which has lost a significant amount of its prime time audience....CSI is down 30% year to year, Without A Trace is down 35% year to year.
Fox comes in last, but American Idol is coming up next month to place Fox up two or more notches. Note: 1. I can't stand that show and, 2. I must be in a small minority that feels that way.

From an investment standpoint, Disney looks pretty good. Perhaps could go up 20% or more in the first half of 2007. GE (parent of NBC) is a core holding I could not quarrel with, although I do not own it. CBS is well managed but looks like it will be in a rebuilding stage after this disappointing season. NewsCorp (NWS) parent of Fox is rated a buy from many analysts. I would not own it at this time.

XM and Sirius satellite radio companies are not on my buy list. I do strongly recommend the Sirius bonds 9.62% trading at 98.25 with a generous call #82966UAK9.

Cablevision (CVC), Crown Media (CRWN), Gemstar (GMST) I would not recommend at this time.

TimeWarner (TWX) has hope with excellent management in place. Viacom (VIAB), ditto.

Tribune Company (TRB) will track the Chicago Cubs. Nice field, no success.

Video games and other media components I have not had the inclination to immerse in my readings. The vagaries of the market and what product is, this week, hot, is not a game I pursue. If readers have some ideas, drop me a comment or e-mail.

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