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No Joey Chestnut???
O'Dwyer's Public Relations News O'Dwyer's Public Relations News
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: New York, NY
Thursday, June 13, 2024

Joey Chestnut
Joey Chestnut

No Joey Chestnut??? Do you get the feeling that you are being played by a masterful PR stunt?

One orchestrated perhaps by George Shea, the great promotional impresario who is the driving force behind the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest held July 4 at fabulous Coney Island and broadcast across the globe?

News broke June 12 that 16-time champ Joey Chestnut won’t be scarfing down dogs near the beach next month. It shocked the world, and broke the hearts of fans of the Major League Eating circuit.

To New Yorkers, Joey is as much a part of the 4th of July as baseball, mom and apple pie. Shea is reportedly “devastated” by the prospect of hosting the big event sans Joey.

Apparently, Chestnut is banned from the competition because he signed a deal with Impossible Foods, which makes vegan hot dogs.

“It would be like back in the day Michael Jordan coming to Nike, who made his Air Jordans, and saying, ‘I am just going to rep Adidas too,’” Shea told the New York Times. “It just can’t happen.”

C’mon, George. Vegan dogs? They don’t compete with Nathan’s franks, which have been around since 1916. Have you ever bitten into a vegan weiner?

Invite Joey back to the competition ASAP because he needs some time to train for the quickly approaching event. You will receive a groundswell of public support, and the appreciation of the legions of Chestnut fans and groupies everywhere.

BTW, the Joey drama triggered some very nice pre-event publicity for the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. Well done, George.

Newsmax Takes on Fox News… Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy is working to raise $150M in a private placement of preferred shares pegged at $5K each, as a prelude to going public via an IPO last this year or early 2025 on the NYSE or NASDAQ.

In its Securities and Exchange filing, Newsmax targets its arch-enemy Fox News.

Citing Nielsen numbers, the company reports that it is the only cable news channel with ratings growth across all dayparts in 2023. It saw a 42 percent increase in total viewership in prime time, 16 percent in daytime, 23 percent in total day, including a 69 percent increase in total day viewership among adults between age 35 and 64, and an 11 percent increase in access.

In contrast, Fox suffered a 6 percent decline in viewership for total day and a 2 percent decline in prime time during 2023.

Newsmax’s momentum continued into the Q1 of 2024. Prime time viewership grew by 137 percent, including a 93 percent increase among adults between the ages of 35 and 64, and by percent in total day, including a 69 percent increase among adults between 35 and 64.

For its part, Fox News experienced a 2 percent decrease in prime time viewership, including a 5 percent decrease among adults between age 35 and 64, and a 6 percent decrease in total day, including a 7 percent decrease among adults between age 35 and 64.

Overall, Newsmax’s total day ratings grew by 87 percent in Q1 2024 compared compared to 14 percent growth for MSNBC, a 6 percent decline for Fox News, no growth for CNN, a 6 percent decline for CNBC and a 47 percent decline for Newsnation.

Donald Trump is Newsmax’s ace-in-the-hole in its showdown with Fox News.

Newsmax’s investor presentation features a photo of the former president, and a quote in which he calls Newsmax “terrific” and says its watched by a lot of people.

Trump’s ties with Fox are shaky at best.

The investor presentation also features this plug from CNN: “Fox News has never seen competition like this.”

Ruddy said going public is a no-brainer after the success of Trump Technology & Media Group. It chalked up $4M in 2023 revenues and has a whopping stock valuation in the $7B range.

Newsmax expects 2024 revenues of $181M, which is up 33 percent from 2023. It also has attracted a slew of recent national advertisers including AstraZeneca, Midas, CIGNA, Carvana, Bristol-Myers Squibb, TikTok, Long John Silver’s, and Humana.

Ruddy is right. The future looks bright for a publicly traded Newsmax, especially if his buddy Trump is re-elected.

Miss Chiquita’s PR nightmare… A Florida federal court on June 10 handed down a landmark decision, ordering Chiquita Brands International to pay $38M for the families of eight Columbian men who were murdered by paramilitary group funded by the company from 1997-2004.

It is the first time that a US company was held liable for human rights abuses abroad.

The International Rights Advocates filed the original suit against Chiquita in 2007. Terrence Collingsworth, executive director of IRAdvocates, said the Florida court decision “demonstrated that corporate criminals like Chiquita can be held accountable through courage and perseverance.”

He hopes the verdict inspires others to fight for corporate accountability. “In my experience, corporations operating in the global economy will do whatever they can get away with,” said Collingsworth. “We just showed them there are real consequences for corporate outlaws.”

Poor Miss Chiquita.

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