. . . console yourself with dreams of the 143rd Kentucky Derby! It’s now fewer than 34 weeks away until May 6, 2017, according to our exclusive 2017 Derby Countdown Clock™. Until then, here’s one of this year’s high-profile guests from the first Saturday in May, CNN anchorman Don Lemon.
A news summary focused on 10 big employers; updated 11:15 a.m.
PAPA JOHN’S and PIZZA HUT: Slate magazine handicaps the race to sign Olympics gymnastics golden girl Simone Biles to an endorsement contract, given her love of pepperoni pizza: She eats some after every competition. The likely winner, at even money? Papa John’s, says the online publication’s Justin Peters.
“The chain has a vast national advertising budget and a history of using famous athletes like Peyton Manning and J.J. Watt in its commercials,” Peters says. “The tag line writes itself: ‘Better ingredients, better pizza, better vaulting: Papa John’s!'”
Panting four spots back in the race, at 30-to-1 odds: Pizza Hut. “The Hut isn’t a front runner here,” he says, “and the only way it will stand a chance of signing Biles will be if it can present a compelling artistic vision for an ad campaign” (Slate).
Columbus native Biles, 19, is the the Rio games’ individual all-around gymnastics champ. “In doing so, she joined Mary Lou Retton, Carly Patterson, Nastia Liukin and Gabby Douglas as American all-around winners” (New York Times).
KFC: Tyson Foods has fired 10 employees caught on video by an animal rights group punching, kicking, flinging live birds, and even crushing the head of a live one under his boot. The Arkansas-based supplier to KFC and McDonald’s also said it will retrain workers who handle live poultry on animal welfare policies. The footage, recorded in May and June, was posted online by Compassion Over Killing, which fights for animal rights and encourages vegetarianism. Tyson, one of the world’s largest meat processors, said it was “disgusted by the actions of the individuals in the video” (Mirror). Posted two days ago, the video’s already been viewed more than 50,000 times:
In other bad news, the inevitable backlash has started against KFC’s newly unveiled U.K. gravy fountain:
Behold its wonderful awfulness:
WAVE’s solo was hardly surprising, of course, because the station is an affiliate of longtime exclusive Olympics broadcaster NBC, which paid $4.4 billion in 2011 for rights to the 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020 games.
The station was in Omaha to cover 21-year-old University of Louisville swimmer Kelsi Worrell, who made the U.S. swim team last night after beating her own personal best time last night, to win the final of the 100 meter butterfly in 56.48 seconds.
The Omaha coverage — including this broadcast story — was a reminder of how much the city’s once-dominant media outlet, The Courier-Journal, has retreated as newspapers across corporate parent Gannett continue losing readers and advertising. The CJ apparently covered last night’s final by watching WAVE. “It’s a dream come true,” the paper said Worrell told NBC.
But in the age of Twitter and Instagram, more newsmakers bypass conventional media altogether. Worrall celebrated on both platforms moments ago.
Struggling to find words to sufficiently express the past 24 hours but…I AM RIO BOUND! 🇺🇸➡️🇧🇷 God is in control and it is well with my soul! Thank you to all my prayer warriors around the world and to those who have reached out to me! I still have more swimming to do, but I will do my best to respond in the next few days! #TGBTG #gocards #TYRsport 📷: @karlmagnuson