"So how does paying to keep happy more stuffed shirts (fly them around, buy them munchies for meetings, etc.) reverse a slumping stock price exactly?"
I was wondering the same thing!
It immediately brought to mind the clamouring of Yahoo! investors to allow the Microhoo deal to go through. (With all due respect to the Yanks) this all is typical of the capitalist (read greedy) mindset of so many individuals in American business and corporate politics.
These investors (and don't get me wrong - they're in this to benefit financially so I don't fully blame them) are ONLY interested in what gains they can make from the sale of the company - as opposed to what is best for the company in the long term. My opinion, and that of many others, is that Microhoo would have led to the death or stifling of creativity and many projects (including perhaps Zimbra which is Linux-based) as they stripped away everything to get to the search and advertising core. Yahoo, I strongly believe, has a MUCH GREATER potential than that!
Their shortcoming has actually been NOT realising that full potential, and effectively leveraging what is a large user-base, and huge potential in search and advertising.
I also agree that maybe we should watch to see if CBS just uses the news.com and tv.com domains to push their content. As a techie and daily visitor of news.com (although I've been quite disappointed with their content - or lack thereof - lately) it would really sadden me to see the site transmogrified :D into a network wasteland.
I'll go have a few drinks now - Verticals anyone???