Five things PR pros need to know on Friday morning, 4.24.2015

Comcast may abandon Time Warner takeover bid; Google financials miss expectations; Apple watch on sale today

1. Facing intense scrutiny from lawmakers, consumers, public advocacy groups, and media and technology companies, Comcast is reportedly planning to abandon its $45 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable. The combined company would have controlled as much as 57 percent of the nation’s broadband market and just under 30 percent of pay television.

2. The question of how often civilians are being accidently killed by US drone strikes is causing concern. While many militants have been killed, the deaths of American Warren Weinstein and Italian hostage Giovanni Lo Porto have raised questions about how accurate the technology really is. 

3. Google posted financials that missed analysts' expectations. First-quarter earnings per share were $6.57, compared to $6.27 in the year-earlier period. Revenue came in at $17.26 billion, compared to $15.42 billion. Costs, however, were kept under control and the company's shares rose.

4. Apple’s marketing message for its new watch focuses more on celeb status than techie geekiness. Before its first deliveries to ordinary customers today, Apple has been getting its digital timepiece into the hands of A-listers like Beyonce who sported a $17,000 custom watch at Coachella.

5. Hundreds of protesters gathered in downtown Baltimore to demand changes to the justice system after the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray who was taken into police custody last week. Gray was in handcuffs and leg shackles when he was put into the back of a police van and later died from spinal injuries.

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