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It's Tech Tuesday In The Post

Frank Ahrens

A plethora of tech stories for you to read in Today's Business section:

* Check out Ellen Nakashima's Day In Our Digital Lives story and multimedia package, which tracks the life of one Kitty Bernard and the digital eyes that track her through her day.

Also, Ellen has a discussion at 2 p.m. today, during which you can ask her questions about the stories and the issue.

* Ylan Q. Mui has a piece today on an interactive mirror that lets shoppers watch their friends try on stuff in stores. I'm certain the mirror still will not honestly answer the question, "Does this make me look fat?"

* Michael Rosenwald writes about a newcomer in the blogosphere: 74-year-old J.W. "Bill" Marriott Jr. "I know this is where the action is," he says.

* For my part, here's my latest story on the upheaval in the newspaper industry. Private-equity ownership of newspapers is all the rage, and equity firms are expected to place bids on the Tribune Co. newspaper/TV empire by tomorrow's deadline.

And yes, there's a tech twist to this story as well: Newspapers are working hard to stay relevant in the digital age. And even though some private-equity firms (formerly "leveraged-buyout" firms) have a reputation for taking profits and not investing in the companies they acquire, the case I wrote about today seems to be different.

I take a look at Southern California's Freedom Communications Inc., which owns the Orange County Register and several other papers and TV stations. Providence and Blackstone equity firms bought in to Freedom in 2004 and have approved company expenditures to improve the Web presence of the comapnies' newspapers.

The logic: When Providence and Blackstone sell their stakes sometime after 2009 as scheduled, they want their stakes to be worth as much money as possible. And the only place where newspaper advertising is growing now is on the Web. Hence, an investment in Web sites should increase the value of the papers, the equity groups believe.

By Frank Ahrens  |  January 16, 2007; 12:19 PM ET  | Category:  Frank Ahrens
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How ironic. Universal Musc, who owns Chess Records library is leasing cuts from Jean DuShon's Chess albums and they haven't paid her one penny. Soon, they will be hearing from Miss DuShon's lawyers, who will be asking for her royalties.

Posted by: Oliver | January 16, 2007 10:33 PM

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