For our weekend business and political readers:

THE MOST VALUABLE NFL TEAMS
The preseason is in full swing and it won’t be long before the NFL’s 32 teams kick-off the regular season. Forbes says the National Football League continues to be the most lucrative sports league in the world. Which teams are the most lucrative and by how much?

The NFL’s 32 teams are worth, on average, $1.17 billion, 5% more than last year. The Cleveland Browns, a lousy team for years in a midsize market, sold for almost $1 billion last year.

In contrast, the world’s top 20 soccer teams have a mean value of $968 million. The average worth of Major League Baseball’s 30 teams is $744 million. And, average values for the National Basketball Association and National Hockey League, also each with 30 teams, are $509 million and $282 million, respectively.

So who is No. 1 in the NFL?  Click here to find out.

WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE
Harvard Business Review has posted some statistics that “offer a startling glimpse into what work and leadership is like for women around the world.”

Taking a more in-depth look, HBR discusses “the powerful and unseen barriers women encounter rising through the ranks.” Things like pay, leadership, and likability are scrutinized.

Women don’t get paid as much as men, and that includes at the CFO level: Even when women are initially paid more at hiring, their salaries trailed their male counterparts by 5% after two years. A recent study found that female leaders bested their male peers on traits like empathy, influence, and conflict management, and even have a slight edge when it comes to being self-aware. On the downside, female leaders are less likely to be seen as demonstrating strategic vision and comfortable with risk-taking. There are also far more paradoxes faced by women on the road to be a leader compared to men.

Click this link for the full story that also includes advise on how to sell your ideas to women.

Q & A WITH CO-FOUNDER OF SALESFORCE.COM
In 1999, Marc Benioff co-founded Salesforce.com because he wanted businesses to rethink their approach to buying enterprise software.

Under the rallying cry “The End of Software,” Salesforce.com pitched its software-as-a-service, cloud-based approach as an alternative to the packaged, slow-to-be-updated programs sold by rivals, including his mentor Larry Ellison of Oracle.

Because of its progressive strategies, Salesforce.com was named Forbes’ Most Innovative Company for the third year in a row.

Benioff says it’s about Salesforce.com customers, such as Toyota, Burberry and General Electric, rethinking how to listen, engage and provide new products and services to today’s mobile and socially-savvy customers. This isn’t marketing hype, he says. It’s the strategy behind Salesforce.com’s product, acquisition, and even hiring strategy.

Go to this link for a Q & A with the remarkable leader of the San Francisco-based comapny.

DUCK DYNASTY SEASON DEBUT BREAKS RECORDS
It’s official. Duck Dynasty is the most successful reality TV show in the history of cable television reports Fast Company.

The A&E show’s premiere shattered records by drawing in a whopping 11.8 million viewers for its one-hour debut at 10 p.m. That’s nearly 2 million more than its previous record, making it the most successful reality show in cable history. Compared to last season’s premiere, Duck Dynasty grew 37% in total viewers, 29% in adults 25-54, and 26% in adults ages 18-49.

But what did it do to Twitter? It “blew it up.” So how much and what do the staggering amount of tweets and several trending topics surrounding the premiere episode of Duck Dynasty mean for the future of Twitter TV?  A lot says Fast Company. Learn more at this link.

‘OLD SCHOOL’ POLITICAL REPORTER DIES AT 85
Jack Germond was a newspaper reporter, syndicated columnist, author/co-author of several books, and television panelist for a national political show. He was also a liberal Democrat, extremely overweight, and beloved and admired by colleagues and politicians he covered.

Mr. Germond covered 10 presidential elections and became nationally known as an opinionated liberal on “The McLaughlin Group” and other public affairs TV programs. He and Jules Witcover wrote a syndicated column that appeared five days a week in about 140 newspapers from 1977 through 2000. They also wrote a book on each presidential election from 1980 to 1992.

The New York Times takes a look back at his career in a fetching read sprinkled with anecdotes like this one.

On the campaign trail, Mr. Germond was known for his outsize personality, with a waistline and appetite to match. Cozying up to a source, he once downed 13 Irish whiskeys followed by beers. He recalled savoring a rib-eye steak “the size of a rhino.” He titled his 2002 memoir “Fat Man in a Middle seat: Forty Years of Covering Politics.”

For the full story on “one of the last of the old school of reporting” go to this link.

IS A DISASTER IN THE MAKING IN 2013 FOR REPUBLICANS?
POLITICO thinks so, and reports, “Several influential Republicans told us the party is actually in a worse place than it was Nov. 7, the day after the disastrous election.”

Case in point says POLITICO:

• The party is hurting itself even more with the very voters they need to start winning back: Hispanics, blacks, gays, women and swing voters of all stripes.

• The few Republicans who stood up and tried to move the party ahead were swatted into submission: Speaker John Boehner on fiscal matters and Sen. Marco Rubio on immigration are the poster boys for this.

• Republicans are all flirting with a fall that could see influential party voices threatening to default on the debt or shut down the government — and therefore ending all hopes of proving they are not insane when it comes to governance.

Others share their thoughts on the subject. Click here to read more.

CHRISTIE SAYS HIS RE-ELECTION A ‘MODEL’ FOR GOP
In a speech to the National Republican Committee, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie made the case that his political success in a Democrat-dominated state can offer lessons for his party and also potentially be translated to the national level.

As he pursues a re-election bid he’s favored to win in November, “we’re going to learn things this year that we’re going to be able to apply to the races we’re going to have in 2014 and beyond,” he said in the speech in Boston recorded by Bloomberg News.

Christie, citing his endorsements from trade unions, also said Republicans should try to pit private-sector and public-sector unions against each other.

What else did the potential Republican presidential candidate tell the NRC and were his remarks the beginning salvo of a 2016 run for the White House? Bloomberg News has complete details and analysis at this link.

TWEET TO VICTORY
NPR reports on a new study that suggests candidates whose names were tweeted often — with good or bad comments — earned more votes.

Is the political poll a 20th century dinosaur lumbering toward extinction to the accompaniment of triumphant tweets? Well, a team at Indiana University says you can predict election results just as well by mining Twitter for the names of candidates as you can by polling. They examined a sample of just over a half a billion tweets from August through October 2010.

What did they find?  NPR interviews the co-author of the study, and for a revealing inside look go to this link.

BEER DRINKING ON THE DECLINE IN U.S.
Say it ain’t so. MarketPlace reports the suds are being sipped less and less in America.

We have some sad, sad news. A great American industry is declining.

Yes, we are drinking less beer.

Even so “beer is a $100 billion market.” So what are Americans drinking to decrease the amount of beer sales and how has the beer market changed. “Pour over” this link to find out.

AFRICA’S ONLY FEMALE BILLIONAIRE
Her name is Isabel dos Santos and she is married to Congolese businessman Sindika Dokolo. She is smart and only 40, making her also Africa’s youngest billionaire.

She has quickly and systematically garnered significant stakes in Angola’s strategic industries – banking, cement, diamonds and telecom – making her the most influential businessperson in her homeland. More than half of her assets are held in publicly-traded Portuguese companies, adding international credibility. When FORBES outed her as a billionaire in January the government disseminated the news as a matter of national pride, living proof that this country of 19 million has arrived.

But how did the oldest daughter of Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos acquire her wealth?  Her story is a rare window into the same, tragic kleptocratic narrative that grips resource-rich countries around the world.  Forbes has a full investigative report at this link along with why some are saying it is “wealth shamelessly displayed.”

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Larry Brannan

Larry Brannan

Larry Brannan is a contributor to Talk Business & Politics and compiles our popular Weekend Digest stories. He can be reached by email at LTBrannon@aol.com.