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Re/wind: Media's Really Bad Week, Jawbone and Foursquare Raise Downward

Plus, a new podcast from Re/code.

Shutterstock / Jim David

Crisis hit a few media companies, and two one-time Silicon Valley darlings raised new funding rounds that reduced their values by significant chunks. Here are the headlines that powered Re/code this week:

  1. GoPro’s stock tanked this week, falling almost 30 percent in one day after the company preliminarily released its not-so-good Q4 projections for 2015 and announced that it would be laying off 7 percent of its workforce. In an internal email, CEO Nick Woodman blamed it on pricing last year’s Hero 4 Session camera at $399 (later reduced to $199). Also part of the changes: GoPro’s chief of media, Zander Lurie, is going to be the new CEO of SurveyMonkey. In other media news: The New Republic’s owner Chris Hughes said that he’d be putting the magazine up for sale, and broadcast TV network Al Jazeera America revealed that it would be shutting down in the Spring.
  2. Device maker Jawbone and location check-in app Foursquare announced hefty funding rounds this week, both of which will dramatically reduce the companies’ respective values. Jawbone is now worth $1.5 billion after this latest $165 million round, and the Google executive it poached in May is heading back to Mountain View to run Google Play. Foursquare announced a $45 million round that sets its value at $250 million, less than half of what it was previously worth.
  3. In the last State of the Union address of his presidency, Barack Obama urged the tech industry to take on civic challenges like climate change. Conspicuously absent: Anything about encryption or surveillance, his two major points of contention with Silicon Valley. Two days after his speech, President Obama announced a $4 billion plan to develop a “national blueprint” for self-driving cars, which should make tech companies very happy.
  4. What has Jack Dorsey done since reclaiming the top job at Twitter three months ago? He has cut jobs, pushed out the Moments feature, courted developers and brought his other company, Square, public. Investors don’t love any of that, though. Twitter’s stock price has dropped significantly.
  5. Google CEO Sundar Pichai has tapped apps boss Clay Bavor to run the company’s new in-house virtual reality division. Incoming Google SVP Diane Greene, founder of VMware, will now oversee consumer Web apps like Gmail and Google Docs.
  6. This week, Re/code launched a new tech Q&A podcast: “Too Embarrassed to Ask” with Lauren Goode, senior editor at The Verge. This week’s episode is about CES and Peach, the newest social networking fad. On “Re/code Decode,” Peter Kafka talked with Mic CEO Chris Altchek about why he thinks millennials consume news differently from older people. Kara Swisher interviewed Trae Vassallo and Michele Madansky about their research on gender discrimination in Silicon Valley.
  7. Last weekend, Uber cut prices in 100 different cities. On Friday, Lyft followed suit, cutting prices in 33 markets because it simply can’t afford to lose riders to Uber.
  8. AT&T is bringing back unlimited mobile data plans for the first time sine 2010, but only if you sign up for TV service as well. What’s unclear is if this will prompt Verizon to do the same (T-Mobile and Sprint already offer unlimited data).
  9. There’s a $2 billion payments technology company that you probably haven’t heard of that’s giving Stripe, Square and Paypal-owned Braintree a little competition. It’s the Dutch startup Adyen, which has raised big money from investors like General Atlantic and Iconiq Capital.
  10. Snapchat knows that the future of its business depends on advertising, so the messaging service is actively talking to ad tech companies about potential acquisitions.

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