In the guest chair:

Steve Barnes & Dana Barrett

Steve Barnes & Dana Barrett

This morning on The Dana Barrett Show, Dana had the pleasure of hosting three very successful guests. Steve Barnes, President of Barnes Creative Studios was on to discuss video content and drones. Barnes Creative Studios specializes in 4K aerial drone video, Matterport 3D virtual tours, Virtual Reality and video production in their Atlanta studio. The company has over 25 years experience in advertising, marketing, tv, film & video production.

Terrilyn Simmons & Dana Barrett

Terrilyn Simmons & Dana Barrett

Terrilyn Simmons of Choose ATL was in to chat about the company’s Ultimate Job Interview Contest. The Choose ATL campaign has launched its latest initiative – the Ultimate Job Interview Contest to help some of the nation’s best and brightest recent graduates land a dream job in Atlanta. As the regional collaboration’s newest initiative, the competition aims to draw new talent to Atlanta and highlight the numerous types of careers the city has to offer.

Tom Kuczmarski, President of Kuczmarski Innovation phoned in to give his thoughts on the term “innovation.” Kuczmarski Innovation is a global management consultancy committed to accelerating growth through innovation. Their customer-centric approach has helped companies of all sizes launch revenue-generating products and services that create and capture new customer value. They help companies build cultures of innovation that will drive measurable, tangible results.

In the national headlines:

  • The U.S. Department of Justice sued Volkswagen AG yesterday in federal court seeking billions of dollars in penalties over its alleged cheating on emissions tests. Volkswagen has held discussions with the EPA over how to fix the cars, but officials said those talks haven’t resulted in a deal.  This apparently has paved the way for the new lawsuit.
  • The U.S.’s No. 1 car maker, General Motors is investing $500 million in ride-hailing service Lyft Inc. as part of a new $1 billion round of funding, the companies said yesterday. Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding Co., Janus Capital Management LLC and Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten also contributed to the financing, which values Lyft at $5.5 billion. General Motors is the first major car maker to invest in a ride-sharing service such as Lyft. GM will work with Lyft to develop an on-demand, self-driving car system.

In the Tech Tuesday headlines:

  • CES – The Consumer Electronics Show – kicks off tonight in Vegas and extends through Saturday.  The show which is supposed to be for industry professionals is expected to draw 3,600 exhibitors and a record 176,000 people, up 11% from last year.  Organizers are now worried the event is getting too big and plan to limit next year’s event to 170,000 to keep it under control.
  • Yahoo Inc. has put an end to it’s online video portal Screen… the supposed centerpiece of CEO Marissa Mayer‘s video strategy. Yahoo launched Screen in 2013 to merge professional content from media partners such as ABC and Live Nation with original programming and then spent more than $100 million producing its own shows, not including the cost of employees. It also landed deals to syndicate high-profile shows such as reruns of “Saturday Night Live.” Of course the hope was to bring lots of eyeballs and premium advertising.  Alas no. Screen failed to gain traction with users or create a meaningful source of revenue.
  • Facebook Inc.’s Oculus said it will begin accepting preorders for the Rift virtual-reality headset tomorrow Wednesday the 6th, at which point at least one longstanding question can be answered: the device’s cost. Some are guessing the goggles will go for $500 – but we shall see.

In the local headlines:

  • Invest Atlanta and the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs will be going with a group of FinTech companies on a Trade Mission to London for Finovate Europe. In addition to participation in the Finovate conference – the group will be participating in a SwitchPitch event as well.
  • Atlanta based Sharecare, a leading digital health and wellness engagement platform, announced yesterday that it will present at the 34th annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco. Sharecare chairman and CEO, Jeff Arnold (who we had on the show last month) will outline the company’s strategic plan to continue to scale, to innovate with some new products – including voice analysis –  and to develop new partnerships with leading players across the mobile communications ecosystem.
  • Cumulus radio has put Atlanta radio station 99X back on the air.  They’re on 98.9FM and the Twitter account describes the station as “Music Discovery Institute and Goodtime Emporium.”  Not sure if/who the DJs are.  Couldn’t tell from the website.
  • A pilot for Endeavor Air, a regional airline carrier owned by Delta Air Lines, made an unusual move when he decided to turn his plane around to pick up a family on the way to a family member’s funeral. The pilot, Capt. Adam Cohen, said he saw the desperation on the faces of a family peering through airport windows and decided to go back to the gate to get them.  Isn’t that a better story than those fake on-time numbers?

Other stuff:

Join us Monday, January 11th for the next meeting of The Dana Barrett Show Business Book Club! This month’s selection is THE ROAD TO CHARACTER by David Brooks. We’ll talk leadership and the line between the “Big Me” and our own inner, personal values. We will meet at American Food and Beverage in Buckhead. Get all the details and sign up to attend here:

For other events and appearances, check out Dana’s event calendar:

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