Should employers wake up and smell the bacon

first_imgSomething for the weekend…The Employee Benefits team has received some off-the-wall press releases in its time, but one release landed in our inbox this week to top them all.The press release, from J&D’s Foods, announced the launch of a product that “offers the support of briefs, the freedom of boxers and the smell of breakfast cooking in your pants.” That’s right, bacon-scented underwear has landed, and just in time for Christmas!Apparently, each pair has been handmade in the USA, costs $19.99, and the bacon fragrance could last up to a year.J&D’s Foods’ legal team advised it to include the following ‘serious’ disclaimers in the press release:Bacon-scented underwear is not recommended for people in the following professions: mail carriers, zookeepers, veterinarians, dog catchers and walkers, and circus performers (especially lion tamers). If you are hiking in the woods where bears are known to roam, please do not wear bacon-scented underwear without also carrying a firearm.Could this blend of food and clothing be the future of workplace benefits?At the Employee Benefits headquarters, we’re not betting on it… If you have a large dog with razor sharp teeth, please do not fall asleep in the underwear.last_img read more

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11 believe staff save enough for retirement

first_imgJust over one in 10 (11%) respondents believe their employees are saving enough for retirement, according to research by Wealth at Work.Its study, which surveyed 94 employers, also found that 40% of respondents do not offer their workforce financial education around the options available to them under the pension freedoms, which came into effect in April 2015.The research also found:Around a third (32%) of respondents do not give their staff access to the pension flexibilities through their pension scheme at retirement.Just over a quarter (26%) of respondents do not allow employees to take any money from their pension from the age of 55 while they are still working for the organisation.43% still default their employees to an annuity-tracked glide path.Jonathan Watts-Lay (pictured), a director t Wealth at Work, said: “This is pretty alarming given the significant fall in annuity purchase over the last 18 months. In the new world of freedom and choice, in pensions, an annuity-tracked glide path might not be the most suitable option and it may leave many on an investment route which is not correctly aligned to their retirement plans. This could potentially result in a reduced income at retirement.“It is crucial that employers provide financial education about the different options available in order for employees to make appropriate selections to help optimise income at retirement.“It is deeply worrying that employers believe their employees are simply just not saving enough. There are also increasing numbers of employees auto-enrolling at levels which are almost certainly too low to provide sufficient savings for a secure retirement.”last_img read more

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Is pet pampering coming to a workplace near you

first_imgSomething for the weekend: Much has been said about how animals can help to reduce stress and enhance levels of wellbeing. Indeed, firms such as Uber have been directly applying this to the office environment by enabling employees in North America to pet kittens for 15 minutes, and offering a similar puppy service to staff in Australian workplaces.Now clinical pet behaviourists, supported by The Health Insurance Group, are piloting schemes designed to entice pets into the workplace by providing them with luxury treatments.Pets can indulge in paw pedicures, dog aromatherapy and canine zumba to ensure their health and wellbeing is adequately maintained in the office.The well-rounded scheme also takes into account dogs’ emotional wellbeing by offering matchmaking apps that help them find suitable canine friends and partners.Jermaine Shepherd, pet scientist at The Health Insurance Group, said: “A dog in work optimises opportunities for exercise, giving pet owners an excuse to get out and fit a walk into their lunch break, while a few playful minutes with a pet stimulates the production of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and stifles the stress hormone cortisol.“We also know that watching an adorable pooch has the capacity to boost morale and wellbeing, in some cases, worries and deadlines just melt away.“Dogs will be barking mad to pass on an opportunity like this. Who else gets to go to work and spend the day being pampered?”At Employee Benefits HQ we are wondering whether this five-star pampering service will be available past 1 April.last_img read more

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Salary Exchange rebrands to Caboodle

first_imgUK employee benefit provider Salary Exchange has rebranded to Caboodle.The organisation, which was founded in 2009, has changed its name in order to reposition itself in the employee benefits market, as legislative changes and industry developments have enabled the business to expand its offering from tax-efficient benefits. This includes its benefits platform, which incorporates communications and engagement toolsCatherine Bennett (pictured), managing director and co-founder at Caboodle, said: “We decided to change our name to reposition ourselves in the UK employee benefits industry because we do much more than just salary sacrifice employee benefits.“We have one of the biggest ranges of benefits schemes in the industry, such as lifestyle, health and wellbeing and financial wellbeing benefits. And our Salary Extras benefits platform provides a whole host of communication and engagement tools, giving employers a valuable asset to help them improve employee engagement.”last_img read more

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Police release surveillance video of MiamiDade credit card thieves

first_imgSOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – Police are seeking the public’s help in locating three men who, they said, went on a spending spree using credit cards they stole from a Southwest Miami-Dade home.Recently released surveillance video shows the subjects using the stolen cards at stores throughout Miami-Dade County.Investigators said the cards were taken from a home on Southwest 88th Street and 131st Court, April 20.If you have any information on the thieves’ whereabouts, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

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Police arrest suspected repeat robber in Broward County

first_imgFORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – A suspect was stopped after allegedly taking part in a series of armed robberies in Broward County.Police arrested 23-year-old Eric Ginnie, Thursday. They believe he is responsible for holding up a Dollar Store and a Pizza Hut in July.Detectives used a surveillance video from July 11 to identify Ginnie as the gunman from a robbery at the Family Dollar in Fort Lauderdale.Police are still looking for his accomplice.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

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MiamiDade cop sentenced in road rage shooting

first_imgA judge sentenced a Miami-Dade Police officer to 10 years of probation, 500 hours of community service and counseling for firing his gun during a road rage incident in January, 2015.Jonathan Lang was off duty when, officials said, he shot at a Miami-Dade Corrections officer on the Florida Turnpike after cutting her off. The bullet missed the corrections officer but hit her car.Lang previously pleaded guilty to charges of discharging a firearm from a moving vehicle, assault and tampering with evidence.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

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National Hurricane Center director to leave for Weather Channel

first_img Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. MIAMI (WSVN) – The director of the National Hurricane Center is finding a new home outside of the Sunshine State.According to NHC Public Affairs Officer and Meteorologist Dennis Feltgen, Richard “Rick” Knabb, Ph. D., will accept a new position as on-air hurricane expert at The Weather Channel in Atlanta.Knabb has served as director of the NHC since June of 2012, and his last day in Miami will be on May 12.“I want to personally thank Rick for championing innovation at the National Hurricane Center during his five-year tenure as director,” said Director of the National Weather Service, Louis W. Uccellini in a news release. “Under his watch, NHC launched several new decision support tools to help America prepare for and respond to hurricane threats.”Knabb will begin work in Atlanta on May 15 but not before participating in the National Hurricane Conference and the NOAA Hurricane Awareness Tour.“I will forever be grateful to the entire staff of talented public servants at the National Hurricane Center for their dedication, professionalism and teamwork,” said Knabb in a news release. “They will continue to accomplish great things together with our many colleagues throughout the National Weather Service and NOAA, and with our diverse partners in emergency management, disaster safety, media, academia, and the international community.”Knabb added that this move does not waver his determination in bringing the public the best possible news on future hurricanes. “I am as determined as ever to help prepare the nation in advance and to keep the public safe and resilient when the next hurricane strikes.” last_img read more

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Home surveillance records burglar in Hollywood house

first_imgHOLLYWOOD, FLA. (WSVN) – Surveillance video at a house in Hollywood captured a burglar going through the homeowner’s belongings before fleeing.The burglar could be seen on the surveillance looking around the house along 26th Avenue and Mayo Street.The alarm company then notified the homeowner and asked if anyone was home.By the time police arrived on scene, about 30 minutes later, the suspect was gone.He got away with personal items that belonged to the family.If you have any information on this burglary, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

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Opalocka officials give out free meals to residents

first_imgOPA-LOCKA, FLA. (WSVN) – The City of Opa-locka showed its support for local residents in the wake of Hurricane Irma.City officials and employees passed out free meals at Segal Park, Saturday afternoon.City Manager Ed Brown praised how the entire community worked together in a time of need. “I want to commend the whole community. They have been working along with the city’s staff, the city administrators, the city commission, as well as our mayor,” he said. “We have seen a show of support and solidarity in making our community better.”Related: Urban League of Broward treats residents to free meals amid Irma recoveryMore than 100 residents showed up for the offering.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

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College student finishes final exam from hospital bed while in labor

first_imgKANSAS CITY, Mo. (WSVN) — A college student says she wanted to finish her final exams on time, even if it meant doing so while in labor.Nayzia Thomas is a sophomore attending Johnson County Community College in Kansas City, Missouri. When she went into labor slightly ahead of her due date, Thomas said she still wanted to finish her final exams if she could help it.“It wasn’t due until the end of the week,” Thomas told Yahoo! Lifestyle. “But my goal was to try to have everything done before. [I thought] before all this gets crazy, let me hurry up and finish this final.”Rather than putting off the last exam and getting an “incomplete” grade, Thomas was determined to finish the assignment from her hospital bed.Her mother snapped a photo of her in the hospital room, showing her laptop in front of her and textbook by her side. my mom took this pic & it’s the perfect explanation of my life. yes i’m about to have a baby, but final SZN ain’t over yet 🤓📚 pic.twitter.com/7LyrDBE9iN— nayzia’ (@naydxll) December 12, 2017 update: on 12/12/17 we had a healthy baby boy. However, I experienced major blood loss & my body went into shock post-delivery. It was very scary, but his father was right there to take over when I went unconscious. We are blessed! AND I’m finishing the semester w/ a 3.5 GPA!💪🏾 pic.twitter.com/CLFGjf3hLD— nayzia’ (@naydxll) December 14, 2017 “School is so important to me,” she said. “I didn’t want [the pregnancy] to be in the way. That’s what people expect. You’re a teen mom, you’re a young mother. That’s why my mom took that picture. It shows follow through.”About 12 hours after the photo was taken, Thomas said she gave birth to her son Anthony.As she recovered post-birth, her tweet with the photo went viral, receiving over 28,000 retweets and over 133,000 likes.Thomas later posted a follow-up tweet, saying that although she suffered major blood loss after the delivery, the baby’s father was by her side to help.“We are blessed!” she wrote. “AND I’m finishing the semester with a 3.5 GPA!”  Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

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BSO Weston doctor accused of killing dad was charged in girlfriends beating

first_imgWESTON, FLA. (WSVN) – – A Weston man accused of killing his father before shooting himself is the doctor who was arrested three times for allegedly beating his girlfriend, authorities said.According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, 43-year-old Rafael Azulay shot and killed his 67-year-old father inside a gated community off South Post Road, Saturday morning, He then turned the gun on himself.Azulay was found alive and was taken to Broward Health Medical Center, where he continues to recover.The suspect was arrested back in March for allegedly beating his girlfriend, his third arrest in less than four years. He was charged with felony battery.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

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Cameras at Central Florida toll booth catch person being ejected from wreck

first_imgDriver Stephen Agostinho Dos Santos has been charged with careless driving.The Florida Highway Patrol said the cause of the crash was likely due to driver fatigue, and that alcohol and drugs were not involved.“I believe the driver was tired. We’re not suspecting impairment, but you can see on the video and the crash report reflects that the vehicle basically just traveled into the toll plaza,” said Castleberry.Troopers advise motorists to be well rested before getting behind the wheel, to slow down when heading toward a toll booth and to always buckle up.“Know your limits. Pay attention. Know when your body is telling you it’s time to take a break,” said Castleberry.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. ST. CLOUD, Fla. (WSVN) — An SUV crashed into a toll booth barrier in Osceola County, ejecting a passenger into the air.Surveillance cameras captured the scene near St. Cloud on June 3, as the SUV plowed into a barrier at a toll booth.A passenger from that SUV could be seen being ejected and flying through the air, nearly slamming into a concrete pole.All five people inside managed to escape. They were transported to the hospital but have since been released.“When you see an ejection like that through a windshield and that distance, it’s luck,” said Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Mark Castleberry. “If you believe in a higher power, it’s something, but it’s very fortunate for that passenger.”The vehicle also caught on fire as other passengers rushed to get out.The mother of passenger Marcus Joseph said it’s a miracle her son survived and is now recovering from a fractured leg. last_img read more

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Zoo Miami animals still opening tasty holiday gifts

first_imgSOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – For the animal residents at Zoo Miami, this holiday season is the gift that keeps on giving.As December wraps up, guests continue to have an opportunity to see all kinds of furry and winged creatures unwrap their gift boxes.7News cameras captured a sloth bear at the Southwest Miami-Dade zoo on Saturday as he feasted on the food inside two gift-wrapped boxes.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

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107 Magazine Predictions for 2008

first_imgNAME: Emily GordonTITLE: Managing editor, Print; editor, emdashes.com2008 PREDICTION: Magazines and movie studios will lease celebrity wombs for launch tie-ins, following the success of Jamie Lynn Spears’ efforts for Juno. Magazines will both thrive and multiply, they’ll just be tinier—five of them will fit in an iPhone case–and printed in OED-sized type, thanks to a new Lasik procedure that permits super-microscopic reading. A surprise change in campaign-financing rules will limit candidates’ ads to text messages sent on the hour to every American through November 2008 (on the half hour for registered Independents); staffers will spend their time developing elephant and donkey emoticons and abbreviations for “reduced carbon emissions” and ” Iraqi interim government,” and there is no option to unsubscribe.NAME: Rex HammockTITLE: President, Hammock publishing and Rexblog blogger2008 PREDICTION: I’ll admit, I haven’t yet figured out what exactly happened in the magazine-world in 2007. I think it was a fairly decent year for magazines, except I’m fairly certain that Samir Husni and I are the only two people alive who think that. Last year, I predicted that David Carey would be the magazine dude-of-the-year. I think I was right. So, for 2008, while I don’t have actual predictions, I do have wishful thoughts in the guise of predictions:1. There won’t be a recession in 2008.2. Despite the lack of a recession, paper prices will fall.3. Magazine websites will no longer be measured by page-views, allowing Forbes.com (and others) to stop using pageview-inflating “slide shows.”4. Steve Jobs will make an announcement on January 15 that will change everything we think about the portable digital devices we formerly called laptops—and, therefore, the concept of eBooks and digital magazines.5. No one in Britney Spears’ family will appear on the cover of a magazine in 2008.6. The Titans will go 14-2 during the 2008 season. Oh, wait. That’s for another wishful thinking list I’m keeping.NAME: Andy BorowitzTITLE: Creator, BorowitzReport.com2008 PREDICTION: Rupert Murdoch will reduce the size of the Wall Street Journal by removing the facts.NAME: Mark NewmanTITLE: Editor, Southern Breeze2008 PREDICTION: With as many times as I’ve been laid off from huge, multinational publishing companies, I would not hazard to guess about the future because I’ve been knocked around too much by the past!NAME: Maer RoshanTITLE: Editor-in-chief, Radar magazine2008 PREDICTION: Dave Zinczenko will get his own show on NBC.NAME: Paul ConleyTITLE: Owner, Paul Conley Consulting2008 PREDICTION: 1. I’m more than a little worried about b-to-b publishing revenue in 2008. Print advertising will continue to shrink, and I think it’s going to be a tough year for online advertising too. Even worse, as we’ve seen in the past, tough times in b-to-b often lead to ethical disasters. I predict that as money grows tight, more publishers will cross the ad/edit line and engage in the sorts of behaviors that embarrass us all. 2. It’s hard to launch new products when b-to-b editorial staffs are as lean as can be. But with little evidence that revenue will rise, I don’t expect an increase in hiring. Rather, I predict smart publishers will turn to more creative and low-risk methods. I expect an increase in outsourced deals in which publishers offer a revenue split to freelancers to create and manage new online products.NAME: Samir HusniTITLE: Mr. Magazine2008 PREDICTION: Only two people can tell you the future: God and a fool … Since I know I am not God, I am not going to make a fool of myself … however, the magazine business will still be alive and kicking…more will be born than die … Happy New Year.NAME: Bob SacksTITLE: Magazine consultant2008 PREDICTION: The writers’ strike will end and the public will in droves not return to TV as it was. Prime time will get shorter and shorter as it nears its death knell. The public at large moves onto the more stylized, personal, leisure time pursuits of MeMedia. Newspapers continue the trend to be magazines, and magazines become more focused and highly niche-ified. Time Warner will continue to go to the gym and shed off its excess weight, becoming a leaner and more focused fighting media machine. The Social networking hubbub will mature, peak, drift and then meld into what it should have been all along—a niche group of (fill in the blank) music listeners, readers, dentists, or manically connected wannabes. Next year will be like this year, except more highly concentrated, with more old time magazine standards fluttering before our eyes and evaporating in a cloud of shareholder smoke. Samir Husni, Mr. Magazine, will admit that BoSacks has been right all along. Oh yes, and that in 2008 BoSacks will send out the 13,500th edition of the oldest known e-newsletter on the planet. NAME: Jason ChupickTITLE: Co-Editor, PRNewser2008 PREDICTION: Magazines will continue to push writers to blog when many don’t want to, yet they won’t put the push behind them to generate much traffic. Portfolio is a good example, as were the Business2.0 blogs. The quote I’ve been honing is something like “take your rightful place in the media—eat your lunch or someone else will.” PR for media properties who put content online in realtime works, and you can see it work. It’s a matter of having the eye to know what parts of the content will get the blogosphere, link aggregators and even competing MSM interested (as is the case when brokering a scoop to get credit) excited.NAME: Joe CiaralloTITLE: Co-Editor, PRNewser2008 PREDICTION: Just like Brandon Holley went from Jane to Yahoo and Erick Schonfeld from Business 2.0 to TechCrunch, we will see more print people move to online media. Whether it is because of publications shutting down, as it was with Brandon and Erick, or because people want to get “ahead of the curve,” the digital shift will continue in a big way, and we will see several more high profile journalists start their own blog network, ala Om Malik and GigaOM. From a PR perspective, journalists will continue getting flooded with pitches, both good and bad, and the lines between media, advertising and PR will continue to blur.NAME: Melissa WalkerTITLE: Former editor, Elle Girl, and author2008 PREDICTION: Brandon Holley leads Yahoo to new levels of editorial success with her crack team of smart-girl editors who miss Elle Girl and Jane.NAME: Lance UlanoffTITLE: Editor-in-chief, PC Magazine2008 PREDICTION: Magazines are cool again. With advertisers and marketers stinging over diminishing digital returns, many will return to their tried and true friend: the print book. This will have positive and negative repercussions. Readers will heartily embrace thicker books and glossy ads, but marketers still won’t have learned how to measure impact. By the end of the year many will be trying to come up with a grand plan from print-ad response measurement and others will go crawling back to the Web. End result: The Web continues to grow at a healthy pace, but magazines recoup just enough advertising to find new life and live to fight another day.NAME: Keith KellyTITLE: Columnist, New York Post2008 PREDICTION: Chaos and confusion and uncertainty around every bend. CEOs on the hook and under fire. Mergers, shutdowns, selloffs. In other words, pretty much like this year, only worser. Meanwhile, in a big surprise, ad pages rise by 4 percent for magazines, a beneficiary of the lingering writers strike and saturation of TV and radio markets with political ads.NAME: Jonathan Simpson-BintTITLE: President, Future US2008 PREDICTION: In terms of magazines, I think the web will bite harder on specialist press in ’08. I don’t have a crystal ball, but it seems like as fast as we’re all running to build content and community, the aggregators are running faster and getting smarter. They’re our biggest enemy, no question. Oh, and the economy. Mustn’t forget that. R********s often help specialist press as they tend to focus people back on the things they really care about, but a major r******** will be bad news for everyone.NAME: Jamie LendinoTITLE: Editor, SmartDeviceCentral.com2008 PREDICTION: 2008 *should* be a banner year for mobile TV in the U.S., but it probably won’t be. Right now, U.S. carriers still treat mobile TV like a rare and amazing invention, despite the fact that Asia and Europe have broadcast it for years. As a result, U.S. carriers price it accordingly. Unless they lower service costs, add more live TV channels and full-length programming, and stop relying on recycled, three-minute, “bite-size” clips that few people want, mobile TV here in 2008 will look a lot like it does in 2007. On the other hand, the iPhone flung open the gates for the mobile Web, letting folks access real desktop Web sites on the go. Plus, regular cell phones are already getting more capable Web browsers and higher-resolution screens. That’s great for reading the New York Times. But the industry needs to go a step further and add Flash and Javascript support, so that more of these sites look right on 2-inch and 3-inch LCDs. Combine that with a slew of publications going mobile, including Esquire, Slate, and Time magazine, and 2008 could finally be the year of the mobile Web.NAME: Henry DonahueTITLE: CEO, Discover magazine2008 PREDICTION: 2008 is going to be a surprisingly good advertising year for magazines. Ignoring the useless hype that pits print and online against each other, publishers will continue to get better at selling integrated packages that highlight the strengths of both forms of media. At the same time, the election year will drive a surge in corporate image advertising, particularly on the topics of energy conservation and the environment.NAME: Reed PhillipsTITLE: Managing partner, desilva + phillips2008 PREDICTION: Last year, I said I’d be watching with great interest the possible sale or break-up of the Tribune Company. Now, I think it is safe to predict that the company will be sold any day now. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Less than an hour after Reed sent this over, prediction #1 came true.] My prediction for 2008 is that by year-end valuations for newspapers, specifically, and print media, in general, will start to rebound.NAME: John BradyTITLE: Editorial consultant, visiting professional at Scripps School of Journalism2008 PREDICTION: In the year ahead, I envision Newsweek pulling ahead of Time magazine as the leading newsweekly. The redesign of Newsweek strikes me as being more successful than the overhaul of Time in the past year. Time’s choice of columnists (especially William Kristol, not to mention the ongoing silliness of Joel Stein) has diminished the magazine’s core credibility; and the featurizing of the news is too random and at times too frivolous for the hardcore news reader. Look for a shakeup in the upper upper ranks of the magazine before year’s end.NAME: Rachel PineTITLE: SVP, branding and partnerships, Doubledown Media2008 PREDICTION: In 2008, we will see the first stirrings of privacy as “the new black.” While social networking will still be huge, it will start to favor smaller communities made up of people who are invited to join because they are part of a particular affinity group. These people will be of tremendous value to marketers and will not be interested in activities such as “friending” a ham sandwich. A decline in the number of people who are willing to blog/comment/post video, etc for free on sites that are profiting others. In short, 2008 will be the year that a lot of online trends (and the people who use them) will begin to normalize. Having 236,258 Facebook friends does not make you popular. Creating content that generates ad impressions that pay someone else is, for the most part, ridiculous.NAME: Jim SpanfellerTITLE: President and CEO, Forbes.com2008 PREDICTION: If history looks back at 2007 as the tipping point for interactive media and the ad dollars that have migrated to the Web, pushing it to a position of prominence as a central media platform for advertisers, 2008 will be the year of the Interactive Marketer. CMOs now get the Web and have personal experience around its ability to power their brands, activate their customers and fuel their data analysis and marketing allocation optimization. The Web is still only at the beginning of its evolution and will remain a source of media innovation for some time, but the focus going forward will be less about the media and more about the marketer. The digitization of media will continue to disrupt the traditional media model and we will see more “late to the party” web acquisition and initiatives from major media players. From this perspective, 2008 will be a make or break year for companies like Time Warner and many of the major newspaper companies in the country.NAME: Simon KellyTITLE: Chief Operating Officer, Story Worldwide2008 PREDICTION(S): 1. Brands will stop dipping their toes in the water and jump in with both feet, realizing they can turn themselves into fully-fledged media channels, supported by an ‘Authority to Publish’ that is rock-solid.2. Several large brands will appoint digital agencies will provide the lead AOR direction. Sadly only a few will be brave enough.3. Clients will realize that the usual branding agencies’ approach to organizing hierarchies of brands and sub-brands is like re-arranging the deckchairs on the titanic. Pretty, organized, but liable to sink at any moment.4. Someone will make sense of Facebook.5. Web 2/3.0 will become 4.0 by March and then we can all move on as it’ll become Web whatever. It just is.6. The penny will drop that that technology-based digital solutions are not the answer. We’ve been to this dance before—CRM was supposed to be the new nirvana but only resulted in enabling marketers to slice and dice to the Nth degree but delivering nothing of value to the customer. Web whatever is in danger of repeating the same mistake. Brands need to step up and own this transition otherwise Microsoft/Yahoo/Google et al will convince everyone there’s no alternative to the latest technology solutions, forgetting the customer’s information needs in the process. Publishers can help. Brands need to publish.7. OTT (Over The Top) delivery on the back of cable/broadband into the home will change the relationship between consumers and the networks.8. None of the above will happen and something new will emerge unexpectedly, making a mockery once again of the current state of things and any attempt to predict the outcome.NAME: Ron MwangaguhungaTITLE: Co-Editor, FishbowlNY2008 PREDICTION: 2008 will be the year of luxury magazines just as the United States heads into a recession. The big topic will be whether or not all the excess is necessary, and does it stir class resentments. Lou Dobbs will probably chime in with some interesting analogies to Nero’s Rome. Vogue’s September 2008 issue will probably weigh as much as a Jaguar—the car not the animal. The Wall Street Journal will ramp up its luxury and fashion reporting with a big presence behind the tents—and at the parties—at Bryant Park Fashion Week. And NBC Universal will purchase TheStreet.com, making Jim Cramer a rich(er) man.NAME: Neal UngerleiderTITLE: Co-Editor, FishbowlNY2008 PREDICTION: As much as it surprises me to say this, 2008 will prove to be a good year for the Wall Street Journal. Despite News Corporation’s many faults, the WSJ has been treading water during the past five years of Bancroft ownership and was in dire need of vision. The combination of Rupert Murdoch’s advanced age (76 years old!) and the massive sums of money spent on acquiring Dow Jones point to the fact that it’s a legacy purchase more than anything else. The WSJ is blessed with an intelligent, strong-willed and competitive newsroom (and, yes, op-ed staff) who will ultimately be able to rein in the hijinx of News Corp.’s bean counters and Harvard MBA yahoos. The combination of the Wall Street Journal’s talented staff with News Corporation’s endlessly deep wallet will be beneficial for the newspaper, the parent corporation and the general public—something none of us thought just three months ago.NAME: Jeffrey S. KleinTITLE: Chairman, 1105 Media2008 PREDICTION: There will be a modest economic downturn, but it will wreak havoc with ad budgets which are the easiest line item to be cut by short-sighted CEOs. As a result, the reallocation of ad budgets from print to online will continue at a dramatically faster clip than it has these past few years. Publishers who develop innovative new web products and services will be rewarded with increased online revenue growth, but it won’t be enough to sustain overall profit margins. NAME: Julia AllisonTITLE: Editor-at-large, Star magazine; columnist, Time Out New York2008 PREDICTION: Spurred on by Jennifer Love Hewitt standing up for herself on her blog (and reaping the rewards—a TMZ apology doesn’t come easy!), celebrities and public figures will realize that they actually have efficacy to counter the gossip disseminated by the MSM, tabloids, and the blogosphere. Previously, their choices were A) hire a publicist or B) remain silent. This year, with the advent of unbelievably simple blogging/video posting tools, we’ll see celebrities—for the first time ever—directly communicating with the public. This will in no way stem our desire to discuss these celeb’s lives—it will just add a new perspective. Think about it—a three minute YouTube video that Britney/Lindsay or Paris made herself? The entire country would watch, no matter how terrible the lighting.NAME: Ed SussmanTITLE: President, Mansueto Digital2008 PREDICTION: Mainstream media will step into social networking in a big way, leveraging the unique advantages of established communities of readers drawn together by powerful brands and content. (Fair disclosure: FastCompany.com, a pioneer in this approach since 1997, will vastly expand its website early next year to blend in content and community.) While some big brands might leverage pure plays such as Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn to build their communities, many others, eager to reap the commercial benefits of social networking, will build their own networks. In order to achieve scale and create a good experience for their readers, some powerful brands might band together to link their networks, creating effective competitors to the pure plays. If successful in banding together, the dynamic that allowed Yahoo and Google to become more powerful than most of the brands they aggregate, will not be repeated. If unsuccessful, established brands will once again cede a big chunk of online ad revenue to the pure plays.NAME: Paul CalentoTITLE: SVP, strategic development, InfoWorld2008 PREDICTION: “Measured” growth in b-to-b media will be modest, with expansion coming from under-the-radar opportunities, like new events, new category expansion, or integrated packages around new media types (mobile, video, etc.). Traditional, print-centric b-to-b media will continue to homogenize and struggle, as the opportunities for margin (both for media and their advertisers) fragment, creating growth for the most nimble. From an investment and/or private equity perspective, one existing Tier Two non-tech-focused media company, will be merged or repositioned with underperforming social media assets (second or third tier players, i.e. a company less known than a Facebook or LinkedIn) to increase valuation and audience acquisition (which will translate into monetized revenue in 2009). Many of their competitors will dismiss this move and open themselves up to challenges in the coming years. While a challenging year, those that embrace the diversification of media will see new revenue and expanded margins.NAME: Chaunce HaydenTITLE: Editor, Steppin’ Out magazine2008 PREDICTION: Howard Stern will go back to terestrial radio by June 2008 … and Sirius will be no more. I also predict Howard Stern will break up with Beth Ostrosky by November 2008 over his not wanting to have children … a real sticking point.NAME: Frank LocantoreTITLE: Director, the Paper Project, Co-op America2008 PREDICTION: The Green Predictions for 2008 can be summed up thusly: growing momentum. We’ll see that the increased attention towards the environment over the past year will continue and gain build in 2008. This momentum will become increasingly evident. One Warning: Beware the paper supplier that tells you that burning trees and tree parts (biomass, or biofuels) is carbon neutral. They are selling you a bill of goods that will eventually harm your brand. (See Locantore’s expanded predictions here.)NAME: Chris ShannonTITLE: Managing director, Berkery Noyes2008 PREDICTION: On the consumer side, M&A will be as busy as it was last year, as far as what’s in the funnel. Strategic buyers will make a comeback and play larger role in 2008. Everyone out there that’s either buying or selling it has to have a digital component. Next on the priority list for buyers is a mobile component. If you have a magazine to sell, the ones that have a Web site and even just the beginnings of a mobile product definitely have an advantage.NAME: Laurel ToubyTITLE: mediabistro.com founder and senior VP2008 PREDICTION: A few predictions and some advice …1. We’re hearing that while print budgets are freezing, online budgets are growing considerably.2. The smart companies will leverage their print brands and invest not just by hiring more digital people, but by TRAINING their current teams;3. The smartest magazine companies will simultaneously hedge their bets by purchasing dot.coms that add digital heft and the revenue streams that their print brands aren’t (yet) providing; Publishers/Owners, look to acquire sites that have created strong brands, community-style traffic, buzz and multiple revenue streams. Don’t be stuck in your magazine-y minds. Buy companies that are going beyond same-old, same-old business models (i.e. be sure the sites don’t merely rely on ad sales). Some that are doing it right: Babble.com, TheKnot.com, Etsy.com, JPGmag.com!4. Mag editors need to wake up. It was really cool in 2001 to hate the web. Now, it’s really cool to be webby, but you’re mostly faking it. You pretend you’ve embraced digital, but c’mon and admit it, you barely look at your own web site. Coming soon: Every editor will be called upon to be a producer of online content in some fashion. Don’t just talk the talk anymore. Surf, read, go to conferences, learn what HTML is and does, learn how to play with images, how to use video, how to build your audience on MySpace. The days when editors are working in print alone are over. Get thee to 8020publishing.com right away!NAME: David HaislaibTITLE: Publisher, Jossip.com2008 PREDICTION: Dan Abrams and Dave Zinczenko will make out on either the Today show or Live With Dan Abrams.NAME: Martha LostromTITLE: Publisher, editor, the Postmasters Advocate2008 PREDICTION: Professional and management association publications will become more important and stronger due to the amount of information increasingly being poured into the virtual marketplace. In order to sort out and focus on the key issues, association publications will need to present more analysis and news reporting to help the members grow in their positions with the least amount of stress. And stress levels seemed to rise greatly in 2007, which should start forcing changes in policies affecting workplaces in this coming year. While less stress will be a goal for most, how it evolves is yet to be revealed.NAME: Steve RosenfieldTITLE: Vice president, Media Resource Group2008 PREDICTIONS: Creativity will be recognized and rewarded.Although TALENT will continue to migrate from corporate owned media to entrepreneurial owned media—new ideas and processes will be embraced and even more highly valued. Also, there will be a better appreciation of the benefits of integrated media. Advertising works and disciplined, forward-acting marketers will dominate their competitors.NAME: Larry GrimesTITLE: President, W.B. Grimes & Company2008 PREDICTION: More private equity firms will look to exit magazine publishing in 2008 but may find buyers slim to come by. Many will find their assets have depreciated substantially over the past 18 months, in large part due to mismanagement. The groups will recognize that the tuck-in acquisitions they have been avoiding for a couple years really do make sense and will start pursuing those smaller strategic deals as a way to boost both top and bottom line growth. Many of the publishers who have an eye on digital acquisitions will find the pickings are very slim and will realize growing digitally from within is their best approach. Video will become an increasingly important element of publishers’ online strategy and especially for their advertisers. Online directories will continue their metamorphosis from simple listings to interactive and will include product offerings. Deal flow will be slow until the banks start lending again. NAME: Scott PetersTITLE: Managing Director, The Jordan, Edmiston Group, Inc.2008 PREDICTION: Media M&A in the middle market will remain active and will equal the transaction volume of 2007. However, overall transaction value will decline as the debt-heavy, mega deals get sidelined as the credit markets continue to work through challenging issues. NAME: Thomas KempTITLE: Managing director, Veronis Suhler Stevenson2008 PREDICTION(S): 1. The conversion from print advertising in magazines to online will accelerate in a softening economy in most, but not all markets.2. We will see some highly leveraged transactions of the past couple of years experience extremely challenging times, what the bankers called distressed credits. Think Ziff Davis type experiences.3. Financially backed media businesses that become distressed will replace their CEO’s. Some big name CEO’s will get fired in 2008.4. Several b-to-b media companies that have adopted successful on-line strategies and cultures will thrive as eMedia achieves scale of revenue and profit.5. Focused, high quality, leading magazines will continue to grow and buck the trend of the digital revolution.6. M&A market will continue to be strong for quality assets, particularly for the middle market properties, $50 – 100 million, although transaction multiples will come back to earth as a result of tighter credit markets.7. The media world will not come to an end as we know it. That is, Google will is not the evil empire of the media industry.NAME: Hamilton NolanTITLE: Media editor, PR Week2008 PREDICTION: Trade magazines will be good investments. Rolling Stone continues to blow, except Matt Taibbi. Time will put Jesus on the cover at some point; Newsweek strikes back with Moses cover. You will have to physically kill your fellow applicants with your bare hands to get a decent job in the magazine industry. NAME: Patrick W. GavinTITLE: Columnist, Washington Examiner; editor, FishbowlDC2008 PREDICTION: I think that, in 2008, you’re going to see the revolving door move even faster. Many journos from traditional print outlets will continue to jump ship to online publications which exhibit a keen sense for tackling news coverage online. What you will start to see at the end of 2008 is these publications—most notably the political ones—grasping with how to make money and continue buzz after the 2008 election. And for those publications that hemorrhaged money to cover the 2008 campaign, the question is: How to make it back?NAME: Matt KinsmanTITLE: Managing editor, FOLIO:2008 PREDICTION:I think publishing companies in 2008 and 2009 will face a real talentpool crisis. Those companies that ignore new media training will bebehind the curve, while those employees that have developed a new mediaskillset (and more importantly, a strategic understanding of new media)will say “enough” to product closures, lay-offs and pay cuts, and startjumping ship not only from their companies but the magazine industry ingeneral. NAME: Bill MickeyTITLE: Senior editor, FOLIO:2008 PREDICTION: Six of ’em …1.Site engagement metrics—time spent and session lengths—will play alarger role with more publishers in the online sales process asadvertisers begin to understand that page view and unique visitormetrics are not the only window into an online user’s soul.2. Atleast one overly leveraged publisher will get squeezed this year,resulting in a rapid crumbling of a rapidly-constructed platformcompany.3. Publishers will begin to worry less about “extending the brand” and instead launch new brands to capture new audiences.4.Value-add will, once and for all, be shed from a publisher’svocabulary, if only out of necessity. Nothing is free, everything has aprice.5. There will be some dramatic and broad e-media strategyshifts as publishers become more comfortable with their audience’sonline content habits. 6. There will be a noticeable rise insmaller, strategic, bolt-on deals—especially in the e-media sector—fromlarge and small companies alike.NAME: Dan TrombettoTITLE: Art director, FOLIO:2008 PREDICTION:2008 will be the year that the few remaining Quark users finally seethe light and come over to the world of InDesign. We will see one ofthe most controversial covers of all times hit the newsstands—one thatmakes each and every one of us question reality as we (think we) knowit. Also, FOLIO: magazine will feature NO purple on it’s covers (but apink/black color combo will be used liberally).NAME: Dylan StablefordTITLE: Senior editor, digital, FOLIO:2008 PREDICTION: Here goes, bros:1.Radiohead launches a magazine, and subsequently struggles to buildsubscription and advertising revenue with its failed pay-what-you-wantmodel. Thom Yorke quits as editor.2. Revenues for Graydon Carter’s Waverly Inn surpass those of Vanity Fair.3.A magazine launches a really cool, expensive online product that makesabsolutely no money or business sense, but is written about,breathlessly and incessantly. It then folds.4. Samir Husni shaves off the moustache, quietly. He then grows it back, and counts it as a launch. 5. I finally snag a dream lunch date with Martha Stewart. I pick up the check.6.The American Magazine Conference is held in October in San Francisco.Pool-gazing editors complain. The MPA apologizes, and schedules 2009for Cancun.7. FOLIO:’s rotating cast of bloggers becomes the Huffington Post of the magazine industry. As editor, I develop misplaced accent. It’s that time of year again, when magazine editors and publishers reflect on the perennially “crazy” year past (“What the hell just happened?”) and bravely look to the future. Questions are pondered (“Which magazines will fold? Which will survive? And just how will Jann Wenner commemorate the Rolling Stone’s 41st anniversary?”). Answers are elusive. Nonetheless, FOLIO: asked some of the media industry’s best and brightest to send us their predictions for 2008. Their responses follow, largely unedited, in the order they were received.[EDITOR’S NOTE: We’ll be updating this page for the rest of 2007, so if we missed you, send yours to dstableford AT red7media.com. Or, better yet, drop them in the comments section below.]NAME: Andy CohnTITLE: VP, publisher, the Fader2008 PREDICTION: Even more magazines will fold in 2008 than in 2007. They will mostly be magazines that are established titles part of larger publishing companies who are steeped in the traditional (i.e. antiquated) model of publishing. Niche, targeted titles (yeah, like mine) will continue to thrive based on our ability to adapt to the challenges posed by the drastic changes taking place within the industry.last_img read more

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JobHunting in 08

first_imgFrustrated by the mainstream media approach to politics, Ryan Sholin, a grad student in the School of Journalism & Mass Communications at San Jose State University, launched a blog (ryansholin.com). Sholin was smart in his posts and also smart in using online as a promotional tool. His work caught the eye of a number of media pros, including b-to-b media consultant Paul Conley, and Howard Owens and Bill Bevins of Gatehouse Media.In September 2007, Gatehouse offered Sholin a job. “I had run into Ryan first through his blog,” says Conley. “And I was hardly alone. Ryan was exceptionally smart and he was very sophisticated in using the online world to market himself.”That type of online self-promotion will become more prevalent in coming years. Bloggers like Will Sullivan, the voice behind journerdism.com, have emerged as new media leaders, thanks to their own personal online presence. For magazine people seeking jobs in 2008, the usual tactics of scouring the online classifieds still apply. However, online tools are increasingly becoming important, whether it’s doing your own separate blog or leveraging a social network to get noticed. And don’t forget to use the Web to check out your potential employers. Getting the Most Out of Social MediaSocial media has gone mainstream and it’s no longer for the bubble gum set. Last month, professional networking site LinkedIn announced a new program that allows partners to build companion applications on their sites. BusinessWeek is the first partner in the initiative.In his November/December ASBPE president’s letter, BNA Tax & Accounting senior state tax law editor Steven Roll wrote about his LinkedIn experience. “LinkedIn is searchable, so I included the words ‘state tax,’ which relates to what I write about,” says Roll. “Two weeks later, a recruiter from a big-four accounting firm called to see if I’d like to write about state issues for them. She wouldn’t reveal her sources, but I’m convinced that she found my profile on LinkedIn.”Brad Kenney, associate editor at IndustryWeek and the new president of ASBPE’s Cleveland chapter, is trying to spread journalistic online competencies through the association. Kenney advises that social network profiles be treated almost like your company’s Web content—keep it updated and make it relevant for search terms. “It’s like coding a Web site,” Kenney says. “Not only will that force you to think about your strengths but it will let you be searchable.”While independent bloggers like Sholin have succeeded, Kenney wonders how feasible it is for a full-time editor to launch a personal blog. “That can eat time like nothing else,” he says. “I took my own personal blog down. I only have a work one now.”However, those independent bloggers very much remain competition and require editors to raise their own bar. “Information-gathering competency is something where the average person can use the same tools you can,” says Kenney. “You have to become that much better than they are, such as knowing how to use Google Advanced Search.”Kenney also uses a social bookmarking site to see what’s causing controversy in the areas he covers and advises every editor to have a feed reader. “I use the LinkedIn question and answer section because it’s a good way to see where people are staking out and their professional competency is on the line,” he says. “The answers are generally pretty good.” Assessing Potential EmployersIt cuts both ways—not only should potential employers be considering your online presence, you should evaluate theirs, including LinkedIn and Facebook profiles of would-be managers. Also evaluate the company’s Web site. “You can tell about the quality of their site and if they’ve done any coding,” says Kenney. “Do they have knowledge of how things should look on a Web site? Are they blog-enabled, do they have 21st-Century tools for disseminating information? Do they have bookmarking services? Not only is that important to me as a journalist but a strong Web presence bodes well for future revenue and in turn, long-term employment.”But ultimately, it’s still editorial skills that gets one hired, not just a pretty Facebook account. “We hire people because they can write,” says Kenney. “The Web stuff—getting involved in forums, setting up blogs, getting them set up on LinkedIn—that you can teach.”last_img read more

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Job Cuts Restructuring at Ziff Davis Enterprise

first_imgMore restructuring at Ziff Davis Enterprise isunderway, the company’s chief executive told FOLIO: today.Steve Weitzner announced a plan for restructuring thecompany’s upper management in January—a week after being installed as CEO.There are a number oflayoffs associated with today’s restructuring, he said. ZDE employs approximately 200 people. “We’re notcommenting on the number of jobs affected but the changes we aremaking will be less extreme than some recent layoffs in the media industry,”Weitzner wrote in an e-mail to FOLIO: “I am truly concerned with the loss ofeven one job and I wish this action were unnecessary. However, there are anumber of changes to our structure that are fundamental to our continuedsuccess.” SEE RELATED: E-mail exchange with WeitznerKevin Neary a former chief financialofficer at Primedia, has joined ZDE as executive vice president/CFO, Weitzner wrote. Baseline editor Larry Walsh has beenpromoted to VP-Channel Insider. Senior editorial director Kirk Laughlin waspromoted to managing director of the company’s live events group, while MikeAzzara was named senior VP, product management, a new position.ZDE, formerly Ziff Davis Media’sbusiness publishing division, was acquired for $150 million by Insight VenturePartners last July.In recent weeks, Weitzner andZiff have moved to distance the company from its former namesake after ZiffDavis filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In March, he posted a note on themagazine’s Web site addressing the “potential confusion” in the marketplace.last_img read more

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Fitness Magazine and Mens Journal TagTeam Ad Sales

first_imgStill, the partnership is a 50-50 split in terms of responsibilities, and revenue will be disbursed according to where it’s earned. “Whatever media revenue comes in from the website or magazine is ours and the same goes for them [Wenner],” Schwarzkopf says. Marmot was the first company to sign on, and both publications will be official media partners for the company’s one-year “Lead Now” campaign. In addition to Marmot, a second client will be running a 4-page spread in both magazines and two additional Meredith titles. Schwarzkopf says there are more opportunities in the pipeline, but for the time being they are “on track” in terms of their objectives and expectations. “We were very realistic out of the gate as we were discussing this possibility,” Schwarzkopf says. “If this brings in three, four or five new pieces of business then that’s great, it’s business we didn’t have before, but we’re already seeing the phones ring.” A partnership like this requires each brand to familiarize itself with one another. “We need to be versed in baseline demographics and circulation numbers for Men’s Journal. But our demos line up nicely, so we can break them down, we can talk about them as an amalgam or we can talk about them individually,” Schwarzkopf says. Schwarzkopf also indicates that it’s the sales teams who play the most critical role in the collaboration. “We have empowered our sales team to be the catalysts. We share each others’ current issue so we can stay up to speed,” he says. In other words, the sales team needs to frame its pitch with both brands in mind.Looking ahead Schwarzkopf hints there is still more to come, “we have identified some other possible extensions and evolutions of the partnership, but I’m not at liberty to share more,” he says. The Meredith Corporation and Wenner Media have created a unique partnership that could change the way some publishers strategize ad sales. Meredith’s Fitness and Wenner’s Men’s Journal are packaging unified ad space that will be marketed to targeted accounts. As the media landscape continues to transform, publishers are looking for innovative strategies to penetrate new business. However, collaborating with direct competitors is an unfamiliar tactic in most brands’ playbooks. “It’s a competitive market place, and we agreed that anything we can do to make ourselves strong is a wise decision,” says Fitness publisher, Eric Schwarzkopf. According to Folio:’s sister publication min, Fitness has placed 507.25 ads within its book in the first half of this year, which is down -7.05 percent over 2012’s 545.75 pages. On the other hand, Men’s Journal is up 3.52 percent this year, which breaks down to 494.63 pages in 2013 versus 477.79 in 2012. last_img read more

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American Media Inc Acquires Bauers Celeb and Teen Titles

first_imgThe great year of consolidation continues in the mass-market magazine space.National Enquirer publisher American Media Inc. announced Friday that it has acquired 13 celebrity and teen titles from Bauer Media USA—including In Touch, Life & Style, Closer, J-14, and the recently launched Teen Boss. The deal is expected to close on July 1.Arriving just over a year after AMI acquired Us Weekly from Wenner Media, the purchase leaves the David Pecker-led company with a dominant position on teen and celebrity magazine racks across the country.A joint statement from the companies says that Bauer will focus its U.S. efforts on its women’s titles, First for Women and Woman’s World, among others, an area in which Bauer says it maintains a “lead position.”Regardless, the move represents a significant step back in the U.S. for the German-based company, in a year that’s already seen the mergers of Hearst Magazines and Men’s Health publisher Rodale; Time Inc. and Meredith Corp.; and the effective dissolution of the aforementioned Wenner Media.AMI reportedly had interest in acquiring at least some of the titles currently up for sale by Meredith Corp., including Time and Fortune, until Meredith CEO Tom Harty publicly confirmed, in March, that those titles will not be sold to Pecker.Signs of a coming shakeup at the Bauer titles first arose in May, when the Post reported that Alexander Hitchen, news editor for In Touch, Life & Style, and Closer, was out after three years with the company.“Under AMI’s leadership, we believe the celebrity and teenage and kids titles will continue to succeed at delighting their audiences,” said Steven Kotok, CEO of Bauer Media USA, in a statement. “With this deal, Bauer USA will focus entirely on building on our leadership position in women’s service.”AMI secured a bridge loan from current investors to finance the purchase of the titles, the company added in the announcement.last_img read more

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Laughlin AFB Local Agencies Sign Partnership Agreements

first_imgThe city of Del Rio, Val Verde County and Laughlin Air Force Base last month signed agreements allowing service members to use the county sheriff’s firing range and one establishing an aircraft maintenance certification program at a local junior college.Both would enhance the mission at the Texas base located less than 10 miles from the Mexican border.“This is unprecedented, we’ve never done this before,” said Col. Brian Hastings, 47th Flying Training Wing commander.The first agreement will enable Laughlin members to use the Val Verde County Sheriff’s office firing range for training purposes, reported 47th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs.The other initiative will spearhead an aircraft maintenance program at Southwest Texas Junior College.“Laughlin has a shortage of maintainers,” said Anthony Kusenberger, president of the Del Rio Chamber of Commerce. “So if we are able to fill 66 of those empty positions, it will generate $2.5 million of payroll that much of will be spent locally. So this is the kind of win-win scenario this partnership is all about. Laughlin gets positions filled and it benefits our economy,” Kusenberger said.Officials at Laughlin emphasized that the new agreements represented the beginning of a closer relationship between the installation and its hosts aimed at doing things more efficiently.“The initiatives that we agreed to are just the start,” said Lt. Col. Chris Lundy, deputy commander of the 47th Mission Support Group. “There are so many more in the works, as our communities work together to improve life for all of us,” Lundy said. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

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