Raging youths tune in to aging soaps

Can Hottie and Trouble pull in the ratings for daytime TV?

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Fed up with fish

Fish and chips franchiser Arthur Treacher’s has traded in its deep fryers to start a new chips business — the computer kind, says the Wall Street Journal. By changing its name to Digital Creative Development Corp., the company is reinventing itself as a Web site development firm. Ralph Sorrentino, who was tapped to launch the digital business, admits the transformation seemed odd at first, but says he then realized the publicly traded fast-food purveyor provided a “pretty clean shell.”

Mossimo’s flames flickering out?

Three creditors that say they’re owed $650,000 have filed a petition to liquidate the sportswear company, reports the New York Post. The New York Stock Exchange halted trading in the trendy fashion house after the filing was disclosed and may delist it permanently. Shareholders already seem to have written off the company; it began the year at $8 a share but was at 88 cents until the trading halt. Mossimo plans to lay off 90 percent of its employees and close its Los Angeles store.

Why Dr.Koop.com can’t fight the financial flu

The health-related Web site doesn’t attract people until they’re sick, says Steve McKee, president of marketing company McKee Wallwork Henderson, in an audio interview with Internet broadcast network ON24. Plus, Web users don’t see Dr.Koop.com as the place to buy, say, prescription drugs–which makes it difficult for the ailing venture to function as a real e-business, instead of as a public service. But rumor has it that Drug Emporium may take over the site and provide some much-needed Rx.

Raging youths meet aging soaps

Teenagers may be young and restless, but can they really be sold on Mom’s favorite daytime fodder? ABC thinks so. The New York Times reports that the network is launching a $7 million television and print campaign to try to hook teens on old-fashioned soaps like “General Hospital” and “One Life to Live.” The goal: Turn Gen Y into lifelong daytime-TV slaves. The strategy: Bombard them with ads featuring hip young characters with names like “Hottie,” “Rebel” and “Virgin.” In one ad, a daytime diva, identified as “Trouble,” “slaps herself on the rump and declares: ‘Watch and learn, kids.’”



Pop star turns into investment guru Annoying ’80s pop crooner Eric (“Hungry Eyes”) Carmen doesn’t have much of a recording career anymore. So, like everyone else, he’s trading. “I had returns of about 140 percent a year over the last two years,” says the ersatz songwriter. “I started my portfolio with only about $300,000 and it’s over $3 million now.” Somebody call Jewel.

Who you calling Gordon Gekko? Reptilian “Wall Street” star Michael Douglas apparently doesn’t have the real-life Wall Street wherewithal to pass Investing 101. Half of his portfolio lost money last year. On one ill-fated choice, he blew $117,165 of $225,000–and this happened during a bull market! Don’t quit your day job, Michael.

Lydia Lee is a San Francisco writer

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