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Santa Claus makes more money than you think

Jane King Report - News 4 Today

NEW YORK -- Santa Claus makes more money than you think, a criminal probe is the latest in a string of bad news for Uber, and did a 20-year-old Simpsons episode predict the Disney-Fox merger? There's that and more in today’s Jane King Report.

Santa Earns Big Money

Professional Santas can really rake in the green over the holidays.

A great Santa and his many helpers can earn a lot of money. Freelance Santas, those that go to parties, typically rake in $150 an hour, according to CNBC. Some make as much as $500. Mall Santas tend to earn between $25 and $75 per hour, according to a study by compensation software and data company Payscale.

It helps to be an 'authentic' Santa. CNBC reports that those who look the part can demand more money, especially since supply is low and demand is high. But looks are everything. A 'good' Santa also has to be outgoing and good with children, according to Yahoo Finance. They learned those who can interact well with kids and families in a "warm, sincere and professional manner" and who are patient and kind will rise to the top of the Santa pay scale.

Time spoke with Los Angeles-based "Kris Kringle" Ed Taylor, who does commercials and appears on television shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live! He told them he charges between $400 and $600 for the first half an hour on Christmas and $200 for each half-hour thereafter. Taylor, who was a public speaker, said he used to just play Santa on the side, but the Santa gig is now his main gig.

It’s expensive to be Santa, though. The fancy suit, belts, boots and hair care are pricey. One Santa told CNBC a good 'Kris Kringle' suit can run as much as $1,000.

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Uber under investigation

Uber is being investigated for criminal behavior.

The Verge reports the Justice Department is looking into if Uber stole Alphabet’s trade secrets.

There are currently five criminal investigations into Uber’s business practices, ranging from software to avoid law enforcement to potential violation of anti-pricing discrimination laws.

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GMO Foods

Anti-GMO sentiment from activists and consumer groups have kept investors away, even when there’s a huge opportunity for benefits and profit.

But Bloomberg says GMO’s have the potential to feed the world.

With the effects of rapidly advancing climate change shifting, how and where the world gets its food, those who oppose genetic modification may want to reconsider, according to the article.

Non-GMO supporters say naturally grown food is better and more money should go to that, not GMO research.

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Facebook Video Ads

Facebook is changing its video-ad strategy again as frustrations from publishers mount over their inability to earn significant money from videos on the social network.

Next year, Facebook will for the first time start testing six-second ads that appear before certain videos begin playing, according to Marketwatch.

Facebook also is pushing publishers to create longer videos.

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How did the Simpsons know?

Meanwhile “The Simpsons” predicted Disney would buy Fox about 20 years ago.

An episode called "When You Dish Upon a Star," which first aired on November 8, 1998, depicted a sign on the front of a building that read "20th Century Fox, a division of Walt Disney Co."

That became a reality Thursday when Disney announced it would buy 21st Century Fox.

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