The 7 stories PR pros need to know on Tuesday morning, 1.12.2016

What to watch for at the State of the Union; NFL owners plot future in LA; More apologies from Volkswagen at the Detroit Auto Show; A rare apology from T-Mobile's John Legere.

What to watch Thursday: President Obama’s final State of the Union
The president is expected to deliver an optimistic speech, contrasting with the doom and gloom of the Republican campaign trail, emphasizing his accomplishments since taking office in 2009. He’s also expected to address the threat of terrorism in-depth.

SOTU symbolism
Sitting in first lady Michelle Obama’s box will be the Air Force sergeant who thwarted a terrorist attack in Paris this year, as well as a refugee from Syria and a plaintiff in a landmark same-sex marriage case. Kentucky county clerk and anti-marriage-equality activist Kim Davis will also attend, though not as a guest of the first family.

With TV ratings dropping…
Television ratings for final-year State of the Unions are generally low, so the Obama administration is taking to digital media to reach new audiences. The White House joined Snapchat on Monday. The president will also take questions on YouTube tonight after the speech. (Update: the YouTube Q&A session is scheduled for Friday).

On the Republican side
Rand Paul and Carly Fiorina failed to qualify for the main stage at Thursday night’s Republican debate on Fox Business Network. However, the junior Kentucky senator said he won’t participate in the undercard, which will feature Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum.

NFL owners plot future in LA
Representatives from the NFL’s teams are scheduled to meet on Tuesday to work out what teams will move to Los Angeles. The Chargers, Raiders, and Rams are the candidates. Consensus is building for an Inglewood stadium that would be home to both the Chargers and Rams, according to the Los Angeles Times.

What’s hot at the Detroit auto show
"The design trend was on long, low, swoopy cars and brawny trucks," reported USA Today, with less attention on fuel economy. Meanwhile, Volkswagen executives at the North American International Auto Show have focused on apologizing to the media there.

T-Mobile’s Legere apologizes
Outspoken T-Mobile CEO John Legere apologized to the Electronic Frontier Foundation after brashly dismissing the group, which had raised concerns that his company’s Binge On service was throttling data speeds. He posted an open letter on T-Mobile’s website. 

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