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When each of the three largest U.S. airlines launched their merger proposals, one primary argument made to regulators and the public kept recurring.
The marriage in question, they claimed over and over agin, would result in a healthier airline with the financial wherewithal to invest in the operation and improve the overall experience.
Flying, the public was told, is often a nightmarish ordeal because of pinched finances and, by extension, airline employees nervous about their job security.
With the trio of megamergers in various states of completion, Delta Air Lines’ (DAL) executives brag that their operation—which integrated Northwest in a smooth fashion virtually unknown among airlines—is a template for how customer service and financial performance can travel together.
Delta acquired Northwest in 2008 and has been reporting record financial profits, plus the restoration of its quarterly dividend. The airline finished fourth in the 2013 Airline Quality Rating, an annual compilation (pdf) of how U.S. carriers performed in on-time performance, denied boardings, baggage handling, and customer complaints.
The analysis is performed by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Wichita State University. “Bigger hasn’t always been better, but in Delta’s case we are seeing a large airline perform at levels usually only seen by smaller low-fare carriers,” Wichita State marketing professor Dean Headley, one of the report’s co-authors in a news release. As Airlines Grow Bigger, Do They Actually Get Better? - Businessweek
A 50-50-50 split?! Oh wait, that doesn’t work.
If Newsweek.com should cease to exist, here’s what we wonder: What will be the ramifications for Newsweek’s Web presence in terms of SEO? For branding? For our partnerships with MSNBC and MSN? What happens to Newsweek’s (still-unleveraged) archives? How do you preserve a “national treasure” (as Harman has called it) without a Web presence bearing its name?
And… we have defenders!
AdAge, on the apparent plan to shutter Newsweek.com.
First, killing off Newsweek.com and redirecting the url to the Daily Beast wreaks havoc on your SEO; forget about any long tail pageviews you used to collect from the old Newsweek.com. Second, more than 50% of Newsweek.com’s traffic comes to it from MSNBC and MSN through content/linking deals; it’s unclear whether those deals would continue with the new company, but it seems less than likely; if MSN/MSNBC had wanted to do a content deal with the Daily Beast they would have done so already, and I find it unlikely that they will be happy with simply linking to a new site with a much different editorial vision.
And Mark Coatney is back, with a vengeance.
What with making sure we still have jobs and all. But we’re pretty excited about Tina Brown as our new EIC (the first woman editor of a newsweekly—ever!). More next week, we promise.