Earlier we reported that James Holmes, the Aurora, Colardo movie theater shooter, had a disturbing profile on AdultFriendFinder. He was on the website looking for a one-night stand in the days before the “Dark Knight” shooting. He was rejected three times through the website. His profile has been removed by AdultFriendFinder administrators since then. He had reached out to multiple women in the weeks leading to the attack and was rejected by all 3.
FriendFinder, the Internet company behind Cams.com, Adult FriendFinder, FriendFinder.com, AsiaFriendFinder, ItalianFriendFinder, KoreanFriendFinder, SeniorFriendFinder etc. is considering an IPO again. The company has filed an amendment to the Form S-1 with the SEC.
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FriendFinder Networks Inc., a subsidiary of Penthouse Magazine has raised $551 million in funding. FriendFinder CEO Marc Bell said that they are preparing to launch 3 big initiatives. “We’re always looking to raise capital to grow the business,” stated Bell in an interview.
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News Roundup: Facebook 400 Million and Project Titan, Location Based Apple Ads and iTunes Web Browser, Snoop Vader, Sony Profits, Snooki Crasher, WWII On Google Earth, FriendFinder Cancels IPO, TC Intern Fired, Patrick Stewart On Twitter, and Stewart vs. O’Reilly
Happy Friday everybody. Today is February 5, 2010 and below is the Pulse2 News Roundup. We are going to talk about Facebook, Apple, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Sony, Jersey Shore, Google Earth, FriendFinder, TechCrunch, Patrick Stewart, Jon Stewart, and Bill O’Reilly today.
Facebook 400 Million and Project Titan
Facebook is working on overhauling their message system in order to replace it with a web mailing system. The code name for the project is Project Titan [TechCrunch]. Facebook has also turned 6 years old this week and has reached the 400 million user milestone. [Mashable]
Location Based Apple Ads and iTunes Web Browser
Apple has notified App Store developers that they will be prohibited from using location based advertisements for their applications. “If your app uses location-based information primarily to enable mobile advertisers to deliver targeted ads based on a user’s location, your app will be returned to you by the App Store Review Team for modification before it can be posted to the App Store,” Apple said [MacNN]. You can now browse the App Store on the web [PCWorld].
Rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg was caught in the middle of an imperial march walking around SoHo New York. It looks like Snoop has crossed over to the dark side since he is walking right next to Darth Vader. [HuffPo]
Sony announced yesterday that they have returned to profit during the last three months of 2009. As a result, the company raised their outlook. [New York Times]
A new meme has hit the Internet thanks to Jersey Shore character Nicole “Snooki” Pilozzi. The meme is called Snooki Crasher and it features images of Snooki in places where she doesn’t belong. Below are a couple of examples. [URLesque]
World War II on Google Earth
Images of World War II destruction have been uploaded to Google Earth. The cities where the images were uploaded include Berlin, Bordeaux, Hamburg, Cologne and Dresden. [Telegraph]
FriendFinder Cancels IPO
The FriendFinder Network filed for an IPO about a month ago. The FriendFinder Network is a brand that oversees porn websites and social networks. The company was supposed to start trading this week, but they have cancelled due to “market conditions.” [AllThingsD]
TC Intern Fired
TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington apologized to his readers on behalf of an intern that accepted a MacBook as compensation for writing a blog post. The intern was fired and every blog post he wrote was deleted. “I apologize to each one of you. I promise that we will always maintain complete transparency with you on how we operate, even when it isn’t such an easy thing to do,” stated Arrington in his apology. [TechCrunch]
Patrick Stewart on Twitter
Patrick Stewart, the Star Trek Captain Jean-Luc Picard, calls his mobile phone “my beautiful iPhone.” But he doesn’t quite understand Twitter and is has a fear of getting addicted to gaming. “To reduce life to–how many? 140? Just seems to me to be a little bit simplistic. Maybe I like complexity and abstraction too much.” [HuffPo]. And if you’re a fan of Patrick Stewart, check out a project that my friend Mo Kakwan made at Yahoo! Hack Day a few years ago.
Bill O’Reilly vs. Jon Stewart
Comedy Central news host Jon Stewart was a guest on FOX host Bill O’Reilly’s TV show earlier this week. The debate between Stewart and O’Reilly attracted 4,091,000 viewers. And about 1,041,000 of those viewers were aged between 25 and 54. [BusinessInsider]
Natalie Cedeno is a former Director of HR at Penthouse Internet slash Various, Inc. slash FriendFinder Networks. Penthouse acquired Various Inc. (parent company of FriendFinder) for $500 million around December 2007.
“Natalie is one of the best HR managers I have worked with. She is a true professional and is always there to assist and guide staff through any situation. Natalie possesses strong organizational skills and a deep knowledge of many other areas including leadership/executive level coaching, facilities management, payroll and office operations,” stated Mike Rogers a colleague of Cedeno, on her LinkedIn profile as a testimonial of her work. “I would recommend Natalie to any organization looking to hire a seasoned HR manager and would gladly work with her again.”
It sounds like Cedeno was a good employee, but it appears that FriendFinder pushed the wrong buttons. She has been fired since then and she is taking FriendFinder to court over labor laws. Here is the full story.
Cedeno claims that FriendFinder withheld two years of pay that she was owed under her contract unless she stayed silent about FriendFinder’s violations. Cedeno’s lawyers believed this is a case of extortion. Cedeno filed the claim under the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
Both FriendFinder Networks and Penthouse Media Group are adult entertainment companies. As a token of appreciation to the FriendFinder, Penthouse sent a few Penthouse Pets to the California offices from Florida where Cedeno worked.
When one female employee complained about the Penthouse Pets coming to the FriendFinder officers, executives had the Pets humiliate the employee. “They came into her office and placed her breasts on her head in an attempt to humiliate her, and they had someone ready to take pictures,” stated Cedeno. The employee quit one month after.
Valleywag points out that if Cedeno wins the law suit, it could affect the IPO that FriendFinder was planning. And if FriendFinder’s executives are penalized financially, the company may have a hard time paying off the $420 million in debt that they currently have.
There are a plethora of other problems that the company has right now. This includes the recent firing of the company’s sales department, the COO hating on the operations team, and a former controller planning to file an age-discrimination lawsuit. Its just one big mess.
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment.
Publication Company, Penthouse Media Group Is Paying $500 Mill For The Procurement Of Various, Inc. (Parent Company of AdultFriendFinder).
Penthouse magazine was started Bob Guccione in 1965.Â The publication company competes directly against the Hustler, Playboy, and Maxim.Â Penthouse’s parent company is Penthouse Media Group (formerly known as General Media Inc.).Â And Penthouse Media Group’s former parent company was Penthouse International Inc., but is no longer the case because of a chapter 11 restructure.
The publication company enabled Guccione to be considered at one point one of the richest men in the U.S., worth $400 million in 1982.Â General Media Inc. became Penthouse’s parent company in 1993 when the company went public through an $85 million U.S. SEC registered bond offering.Â Jefferies and Co. led the junk bond offering.Â The primary bond buyer was MacKay Shields, a division of the New York Life insurance.
Then in 1997, Cerebus Capital Management (the hedge fund company that bought Chrysler for $7.4 billion) started buying General Media Bonds in the open market.Â And Penthouse sold some of its automotive publications to Peterson Automotive for $33 million.Â In 2003, General Media filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
In 2004, General Media came out of bankruptcy with the help of three investors who are now the owners:
1.) Marc . Bell, a South Florida real estate developer and founder of Globix Corporation.
2.) Daniel Staton, former COO and EVP of DFluke Realty Investments Inc. and President of Walnut Capital Partners.
3.) Florian Humm, a German hedge fund manager
Penthouse’s Acquisition Investment for Various Inc.
â€œFor now, we are holding on to everything,â€ stated Bell.Â The NY Times said that the goal was to give their demographic consumers of 18-34 year old men a wider variety of their content.Â â€œThe rationale here is, itâ€™s an online world.â€
Penthouse is taking $500 million and investing into the acquisition of Various Inc.Â Various Inc. owns 25+ social networking sites and has a total member base of 260 million consumers.Â About 1.2 million of them are paid subscribers.Â The combined revenue for Various Inc. and Penthouse is expected to be $340 million in 2007.Â Various Inc. owns: