Explaining Southern California's economy

In SoCal business news: Condoms for delivery, Uber expands in China, KCETLink financial troubles

Uber

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters /Landov

The transportation app Uber matches ride-seekers with drivers. Uber says it will expand to more Chinese cities next week.

Happy Valentine's Day! Here's a daily round up of interesting business stories. Every day, KPCC compiles this awesome list.

Is KCET going bankrupt? The LA Weekly reports that the public television station, now known as KCETLink has lost $12.5 million last year. KCETLink Al Jerome spoke to KPCC in January, saying that the station lost ad revenue after it ended its relationship with PBS. He said the station's business was improving this fiscal year. KCETLink had landed a $1 million one-year grant for its nightly news show SoCal Connected. We'll be monitoring this issue.

In other media news, A.H. Belo Corp., the parent company of the Dallas Morning News, reported that digital ad revenues increased 7 percent in the fourth quarter, according to NetNewsCheck. The increase was in part due to the Dallas Morning News' involvement with 508 Digital and Speakeasy. Speakeasy provides sponsored content--when businesses pay for articles that will appear on the Morning News' GuideLive, entertainment website. Sponsored content has raised some eyebrows among journalists, including investigative journalism website ProPublica's president.  

Are you planning to watch the new Tonight Show? Besides Jimmy Fallon, you'll also see GE featured, according to Deadline. GE will sponsor segments such as "Tonight Show Fallonventions," Deadline reports.

Uber Car-Hailing App Expands in China's Congested Market. The Wall Street Journal reports that Uber plans to expand its cab service to Shenzhen and Guangzhou next week. Currently, it's only available in Shanghai. The WSJ says the difference between a ten-minute Uber ride in an Audi A6 and a regular Chinese cab is 17 yuan, or $2.80.

It might not sound like much, but 17 yuan could buy you a domestic beer or roughly five cans of Coca-Cola in Shanghai, according to Numbeo. Not sure if I would be willing to sacrifice that many Cokes for riding ten minutes in an Audi.

Valentine's Day is a day to celebrate love. For some, it's a reminder of heartbreak.

In high school, if I wanted to avoid someone, I would just walk down a different hallway.

That's something L.A. Times staffer Salvador Rodriguez can't do because of social media. He and his fiance recently broke up and he's tried--with difficulty--to remove her from his digital life. He writes how seeing his former fiance's avatar appear on LinkedIn "nearly brought me to tears."

I won't end on a sad note. If you do have a Valentine today, there are start-ups that want your business! The San Francisco Chronicle says there's even one that delivers condoms in Santa Monica, Ocean Park and Venice by bike messenger. But plan ahead. Delivery could take up to an hour.

Got business news? Tweet me @thewendylee and remember, show 89.3 FM some #kpcclove today!

Note: There won't be a round up on Monday, Feb. 17, due to the President's Day holiday. I'll be back with a new list of stories on Tuesday.

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