Daily Links 5/24/2011: Comcast CFO Angelakis at Barclays Capital Conference

I often find Comcast CFO Michael Angelakis to be entertaining; he can be blunt, where many CFOs are more reserved because they are more concerned about stepping on somebody's toes.

Comcast CFO Warns of More Exec Changes at NBCUni (Hollywood Reporter)

Comcast boss on sports, parks, deals, Internet pricing (Philly.com: Philly Deals)

Webcast of Comcast's Angelakis at Barclays Capital Conference

NBC's new deal with affiliates may be topic of discussion at FCC (LA Times: Company Town)

Dish CEO Says DirecTV Merger Possible in Present Regulatory Environment (Bloomberg)

Clearwire 'Wasted' Money Early On, says Sprint CFO (Wireless Week)

Cox To Stop Building Its Own 3G Wireless Networks
MSO to Use Wholesale Agreement with Sprint Nextel to Reach More Than 50% of Footprint in 2011
(Multichannel News)

Who's The Top Innovator: SAP Or Oracle? (Information Week)

Traditional databases will eventually wind up in RAM (DBMS2)

Philadelphia-area firms fund Quantum Global Technologies (Philadelphia Business Journal)

Transcend United Technologies and LiquidSpoke Merge to Become One of the Nation's Largest Unified Communications Technology Resellers (Business Wire)
Combined company will remain headquartered in Wayne.


With Rosetta acquisition, Publicis continues to build digital Health Marketing juggernaut

French advertising giant Publicis last week announced its acquisition of Hamilton (or Princeton, depending upon which story you read, though the actual headquarters address is Hamilton), NJ-based digital marketing agency Rosetta Marketing for $575 million in cash. While I have not been able to get exact figure for how much of its revenue currently comes from healthcare, a Rosetta press release from July of last year put the figure at $60 million, which appears to include the acquisition of New York-based Wishbone at the end of 2009. Rosetta projects agency-wide revenue for this year of $250 million. It currently employs about 1100, and expects to increase that number to between 1350 and 1400 within the next year. Rosetta was founded in 1998 and was the second largest independent digital agency in the U.S in 2010 according to Advertising Age.

This will put Rosetta under the same corporate roof along with two Philly-based Publicis agencies; Digitas Health and Razorfish Health (the music on Razorfish Health's homepage will blow you away if your volume is set high). Digitas Health traces its roots back to Philadelphia's Medical Broadcasting Corp, which Digitas acquired in 2006, and is run by Medical Broadcasting cofounder David Kramer. Later that same year Publicis acquired Digitas for $1.3 billion. Digitas Health's annual revenue is cited by major trade pubs as being more than $150 million, and its website says it employs more than 600.

Razorfish, which had been acquired by Microsoft as part of its acquisition of aQuantive Inc. in 2007, subsequently was sold to Publicis for $530 million in 2009. Razorfish's health/pharma/meds practice was broken out as Razorfish Health, a stand-alone agency, last year, and is managed by Razorfish/i-Frontier veteran Kathy Thorbahn (i-Frontier was acquired by aQuantive in 2002, and later merged with Razorfish). MedAD News put Razorfish Health's 2010 revenue at $20 to $25 million, with 160 employees.

Publicis also owns several other health-related agenices, including Newtown-based Saatchi & Saatchi Healthcare Innovations.

Publicis says it intends to continue to manage these as separate businesses. As is the norm in the industry, large agencies tend to maintain multiple separate entities that reflect different specializations, and also to avoid competitive and possible ethical conflicts that can limit growth. Publicis Chairman Maurice Levy said Rosetta brings digital marketing consulting services to the global organization, commenting, "Rosetta is very different from Digitas, which comes from the direct-marketing world. And Razorfish is coming from the world of digital agencies." The Rosetta acquisition will push Publicis' percentage of digitally-derived revenue to over 30%. Rosetta will also remain independent of Publicis' digital umbrella organization VivaKi, of which both Digitas Health and Razorfish Health are a part.

Rosetta founder & CEO Chris Kuenne is an interesting guy with some local roots and a devotion to rigorous strategic analysis and measurement. Kuenne spent several years as a marketing manager for J&J consumer brands such as Tylenol and Band-Aids before going out on his own. His father taught economics at Princeton. Here is a recent piece Kuenne contributed to Business Week on managing corporate culture.