business and finance

New Santas learn how to respond to kids’ requests during a recession

Instead of Ho! Ho! Ho!, today’s Santas are bellowing Woe! Woe! Woe!

It’s the tough economic environment and the high unemployment rate that has this year’s Santas changing their tune. At the nation’s oldest school for Santa wannabees in Midland, MI, Santas are getting trained in some new lessons.

For nearly 75 years, students at the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School vying to wear the big red suit, fuzzy white beard, and big jelly belly, little has changed in Santa training. A proper Santa should have clean breath, his beard should be trimmed and styled just so, and his laugh should be deep and hearty.

But this year, Santas must learn how to gently scale back children’s Christmas gift expectations as lists grow long while wallet remain slim. They must also be prepared to answer a frequent request among kids during the current economic slump: “Can you bring my parent a job?”

Santa alumni say that Santas have to be sure to never promise anything. Sometimes they have to be creative and remind children that Santa specializes in toys.

And kids need to know that Christmas isn’t just about toys, gifts and presents. It is about spreading joy and cheer and giving and receiving the best gift of all–love.

UGGS get new face and feet — Tom Brady

There is more than one supermodel in this household.
Tom Brady, quarterback for the New England Patriots, and husband of Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen, is the new face and feet of UGGS.

 In an effort to push its mens line, UGGS signed Brady as a spokesperson. The first commercial will air on national television on Sept.12 on Monday Night Football.

 Additional ads featuring Brady include print, billboard, and digital

 UGGS are a unisex style of sheepskin boots, clogs and slippers. They are extremely popular among teens and women. The suede and furry shoes have been recognized as a fashion trend in the United States since 2000. Many female stars have been photographed wearing them, including Sarah Jessica Parker, Kate Hudson and Pam Anderson.

 Deckers Outdoor Corporation. which manufactures UGGS in the U.S., wasn’t dragging its feet on Thursday following the announcement. Shares on the NASDAQ were kicked up 1.67 percent to $92.04.

Kidnap victim Elizabeth Smart joins ABC News as contributor

Elizabeth Smart, who was ripped from her family in 2002 by a polygamous street preacher when she was just 14 years old, will be a contributor for ABC News.

An ABC spokeswoman said Thursday the Brigham Young University music student, now age 23, will report for the news organization on stories that involve missing persons and child abduction cases, reports Entertainment Weekly.

“She’ll help our viewers better understand missing person stories from someone with the perspective to know what a family experiences when a loved one goes missing,” ABC spokeswoman Julie Townsend said in an e-mail. “Her contributions will be focused on looking ahead, not looking back at her own story.”

It is reported that Smart will contribute to such programs as “Good Morning America” and “Nightline,” and could begin work as soon as next week.

Townsend added that Smart will appear “when there are missing children or missing-person cases in the news.”

Smart was kidnapped from her parents’ Salt Lake City, UT, home in the middle of the night and was reportedly raped on a near-daily basis over a nine-month period.

A biker, who had watched her story on “America’s Most Wanted,” spotted the teen 18 miles from her home in Sandy with Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee.

Mitchell has been sentenced to life in prison, while Barzee is currently serving a 15-year prison sentence.

It is yet unknown if whether Smart will relocate to New York City from Utah.

Scott Pelley set to replace Katie Couric on “CBS Evening News”

Scott Pelley

Scott Pelley

CBS has confirmed that “60 Minutes” journalist Scott Pelley will take over as anchor of the CBS Evening News in June. CBS News Chairman and “60 Minutes” Executive Producer Jeff Fager and David Rhodes, the President of CBS News made the announcement Tuesday just a week after Katie Couric announced that she intends to exit the anchor desk at the conclusion of her contract, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

“Scott has it all. He has the experience, the credibility and he is among the very best reporters ever to work at CBS News,” Fager said in a statement. “In more than two decades at CBS News, he has distinguished himself at every level, right up to his current role at ’60 Minutes,’ where his work has been incomparable. We like to think of CBS News as the ‘reporter’s network’ and I can’t think of anybody in this business better suited for the anchor chair than Scott.”

Rhodes added that Scott is the “ideal journalist to lead this broadcast.”

“We’re very proud to have him guiding this news organization’s reporting each and every evening. He has a body of work few in the business can claim and will help us grow CBS News now and in the future.”

Pelley joined CBS News in 1989 and covered the 1990-91 Gulf War for the network. But he distinguished himself as chief White House correspondent during the investigation and impeachment trial of Bill Clinton.

The 53-year-old journalist will be taking over a broadcast that has been mired in third-place for decades. The three 6:30 p.m. broadcasts on CBS, ABC and NBC attract about 20 million viewers a night.

Pelley will be going up against NBC’s “Nightly News with Brian Williams,” which remains firmly in first place in the evening news race, and ABC’s “World News with Diane Sawyer.”

But Pelley said he remains optimist and ready.

“I am delighted to join the terrific team at the ‘”CBS Evening News.” It’s a privilege to work alongside the most gifted and talented journalists in the industry.”

Pelley, who is set to take the anchor seat on June 6, will continue to report for “60 Minutes.”

Lady Gaga ends Target deal.

Lady Gaga ends Target deal.

Lady Gaga ends Target deal.

Lady Gaga has dissolved her exclusive deal wit Target over the retail giant’s stand on LGBT issues. The pop star decided to discontinue her working relationship with the company over its controversial political donations. Vocal lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender supporter Gaga and Target, which came under fire last year after it was learned that it made donations to anti-gay politicans and organizations, had an agreement to sell an exclusive version of her album “Born This Way.” Last month, Gaga said that she wanted to work with the store so she can help them reform and get affiliated with LGBT charity groups, telling Billboard, “Part of my deal with Target is that they have to start affiliating themselves with LGBT charity groups and begin to reform and make amends for the mistakes they’ve made in the past.” “Our relationship is hinged upon their reform in the company to support the gay community and to redeem the mistakes they’ve made supporting those [antigay] groups.” But it seems that Target’s reeducation, courtesy of Gaga, has come to an end. According to The Advocate, she decided to end their deal. A source told The Advocate, “She and Target didn’t see eye to eye on Target’s policy of political donations and how they affect the LGBT community.” Gaga’s rep also confirmed the report, saying, “Lady Gaga and Target came to a mutual decision to end their overall exclusive partnership a few weeks ago.”

CN Tower Owner Rejects $78 Million To Rename The Canadian Landmark

CN Tower Owner Rejects $78 Million To Rename The Canadian Landmark

CN Tower Owner Rejects $78 Million To Rename The Canadian Landmark

CN Tower Owner Rejects $78 Million To Rename The Canadian Landmark.  Canada Lands Company Vice President of Public and Government Affairs Gordon McIvor called an offer to rename a Canadian landmark a publicity stunt by an online used car firm that just launched its Website.  Vehicle Gateway Corporation said on its portal on Tuesday that it will submit a $78 million bid to rename CN Tower and light it up using the car firm’s corporate color of green. Vehicle Gateway wanted to change the tower’s name to VG Tower.    McIvor clarified that the 1,815-feet (553.3 meters) CN Tower, owned by CLC, is not for sale. However, Vehicle Gateway spokesman Peter Davies said their offer is a legitimate bid and is not to gain media mileage.  CN Tower was the tallest free-standing structure on land until September 2007, when the title was taken by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. However, the CN Tower is still the tallest tower in the west. More than two million tourists visit every year the tower, located in Toronto.

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