I’ve always been thankful that my grandparents were good at playing the real estate game. Among their unlikely coups was buying a house in the 1960’s in Edgartown, the tony enclave on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, whose exclusive address had no correspondence to their income level. If they hadn’t bought it, there’s no way that my journalist’s salary would have been able to scoop up property like that. In the more than three decades that I’ve been going there, I’ve become a regular reader of the Martha’s Vineyard Gazette, the enormous broadsheet newspaper that has resisted the cost-cutting size reductions that many other newspapers in the United States have sustained.
That allegiance to the paper (and its weekly competitor, the Martha’s Vineyard Times), as well as my continuing nostalgia for my former media beat — the future of newspapers, publishing and journalism — made it all the more interesting when I read on Friday that the Reston family is selling the 164-year-old paper to Jerome Kohlberg. It’s the story that has it all for a business reader, really: Daily paper, read by rich and powerful residents who are captains of the financial world (and hopefully Reuters clients), sold to a true bigwig of the private equity world, and a strange connection to The New York Times to boot.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – News and data provider Thomson Reuters Corp (TRI.TO: Quote, Profile, Research)(TRI.N: Quote, Profile, Research) raised its full-year revenue forecast after third-quarter revenue in its Markets division, which serves banks and other financial institutions, rose for the first time in nearly two years.
The results suggest the company’s customers, which also include legal and healthcare professionals, are recovering from the recession that caused widespread cost cuts and layoffs.
The Magazine Publishers of America said on Friday that it is renaming itself the MPA — The Association of Magazine Media. The notable difference is the omission of the word publishers. Why?
“MPA is underscoring the fact that magazine media content engages consumers globally across multiple platforms, including websites, tablets, smartphones, books, live events and more.”
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Thomson Reuters Corp(TRI.TO: Quote, Profile, Research)forecast a return to revenue growth this quarter on stronger sales of its news and financial data terminals and sales of its new WestlawNext database for lawyers.
The company, which reported lower than-expected quarterlyprofit and revenue, also reiterated its forecast that 2010 revenue would be flat to slightly down compared to 2009, and that net sales would strengthen this year.
NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – The Pentagon said it could take weeks to determine how much damage WikiLeaks’ release of military documents on the war in Afghanistan did to national security. It took only minutes to gauge its effect on the way people get news.
WikiLeaks posted some 91,000 documents on its website, but to make sure they got attention and heavy exposure, they shared them first with The New York Times, London’s Guardian newspaper and German news magazine Der Spiegel.
Melissa Payner, the chief executive of online clothing retailer Bluefly, visited the Reuters Consumer and Retail Summit on Wednesday to talk some shop. I was more interested in talking about her predilection for wearing, despite the azure tint of her company’s name, nothing but black clothes. Here’s what she said about that.
Everything in my closet is black. Every single thing. They’re organized by shades of black. There are many shades of black. People sort of kid about that all the time, but no one more than my husband, who can’t understand whenever I buy something new.
I have no children and I left the public school system in 1991, so perhaps it’s not news to some of you that parents of public school children are paying for things that we never would have dreamed we’d pay for when I was in school. To OfficeMax Chief Operating Officer Sam Martin, who visited our Reuters Consumer and Retail Summit on Wednesday, this stuff is no surprise at all because he’s the one selling it to the parents.
On his short list of products that parents in some school districts are paying for: markers, chalk, tissues, paper towels.
Memo to the men of the United States of America, including myself: it pays to invest in a suit, and it pays even more to invest in a few. When I was growing up, my father and other older guys told me that if I spent more money on a small number of suits, they would last a long time.
Apparently much of the rest of America’s men have decided that durability and classic style count for less now that their wallets have gotten a little lighter in the past few years. Perry Ellis Chairman and CEO George Feldenkreis, speaking at the Reuters Consumer and Retail Summit, said that men are wearing fewer suits these days. “Not only that,” he said. “Men are buying cheaper suits.”
Modern day national influence, some smart people like to argue, spreads through the “soft power” of brand appeal and attraction rather than the “hard power” of coercion. In China, one avatar of U.S. soft power tends to be trim and busty, and come with blue eyes and a long mane of blonde hair. Her name is Barbie, she is made of plastic, she was born in Malibu and Chinese girls want to be like her.
Barbie comes in all sorts of versions, according to the man who introduces her to her foreign friends, Mattel’s international president, Bryan Stockton. Still, in China, the No. 1-selling Barbie doll is the sunny surfer girl who cruised across the Pacific from southern California to bring millions of young Chinese girls a new vision of the world, not to mention themselves.
Sometimes it’s refreshing to meet people like Hilco Real Estate’s Nina Kampler. They work up to their eyeballs in finance, debt, bankruptcy and the business of making and salvaging profits, yet think that there is more to life than money and private enterprise.
Kampler, who runs the retailer real estate group, visited us at the Reuters Consumer and Retail Summit on Monday, and talked about all sorts of business-y topics that we love to write about on our wire. But on this blog, I’ll highlight one or two of her more interesting thoughts about public spaces and how people shop — ideas that seem to exist in opposition to the profit motives of, well, everyone who’s in business.