ASA Applauds Completion of Farm Bill

first_imgSoybean Program “More Equitable” in New Six-Year LegislationThe American Soybean Association (ASA) today congratulated House and Senate conferees on completion of the 2002 Farm Bill, and called for its quick enactment into law. ASA President Bart Ruth stated that “this legislation improves income protection for U.S. soybean farmers, and makes support for soybeans more equitable with other program crops.” Under the new farm bill, producers who have planted soybeans in the past will be eligible for both direct and counter-cyclical (target price) payments – top goals of ASA throughout the farm bill development process. Ruth also commended Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Larry Combest on increasing funding for trade, energy, and conservation programs important to U.S. Soybean producers.Ruth’s comments followed release of the Conference Report on “The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002,” which will be effective for the 2002 through 2007 crops of soybeans and other major commodities. For soybeans, the bill establishes a loan rate of $5.00/bu., a direct payment of $0.44/Bu, and a target price of $5.80/Bu Producers will be able to include soybeans in their existing program bases, or to update bases to average crop production in 1998-2001. Direct payments will be determined using yields adjusted back to historical 1981-85 levels (the same period used to determine yields for direct payments for other program crops), while producers who update their bases will be able to use partially updated yields to determine counter-cyclical payments under the target price program. ASA strongly supported giving producers the option to update their acreage to include soybeans for direct payments, as well as the yield update provisions adopted by the Conference Committee.ASA also expressed its view that the new Farm Bill moves the soybean program toward U.S. goals in the World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations by reducing the amount of income protection received by U.S. Soybean growers under the soybean loan rate (which is tied to current production and classified by the WTO as trade distorting “amber box” payments), and replacing it with direct payments (classified by the WTO as non-trade distorting or “green box” income support) and counter-cyclical payments. Under the new Farm Bill, both the direct and counter-cyclical payments are totally decoupled from current production. Additionally, both the direct and counter-cyclical payments will be paid on only 85 percent of a producer’s base acreage. Finally, both the direct and counter-cyclical payments will be based on less than current average yields. “Some oilseed-producing nations have been complaining loudly about the amount of income protection received by U.S. Soybean growers that is tied to current production and received as LDP payments under the current soybean loan rate of $5.26 per bushel,” Ruth said. “Beginning with the 2002 soybean crop under the new Farm Bill, the portion of income protection received as LDP payments will be significantly reduced and replaced with payments that are classified as “green box” and counter-cyclical payments that are totally decoupled from current production.”“ASA is very pleased with trade-related provisions in the new bill,” Ruth continued. “Increasing funding for the Foreign Market Development (FMD) program from $27.5 to $34.5 million, and for the Market Access Program (MAP) from $100 million to $200 million over six years, will strengthen ASA’s export promotion efforts abroad.” Ruth added that “we also commend Conferees on doubling funding for the Food for Progress Program to $308 million, and for including $100 million for the Global Food for Education Program.” Ruth said “expanding food aid, including increasing the use of soy protein in humanitarian assistance programs, is one of ASA’s most important marketing activities.”The ASA leader from Rising City, Nebraska, noted that the new energy title in the bill provides funding for a new biodiesel education program and continuation of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Bioenergy program. Ruth also pointed to authorization of a new $2 billion Conservation Security Program in the legislation, which will provide much needed resources to producers applying conservation practices on working lands. Ruth also lauded Conferee action to quadruple funding for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), which helps livestock producers comply with environmental regulations and helps crop farmers with water conservation and other improvements.“I want to commend Chairmen Harkin and Combest and their colleagues on completing an arduous process in time for programs to be implemented for 2002 crops,” Ruth stated. “ASA would also like to thank Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and Senator Thad Cochran for their assistance in negotiations on soybean program provisions.”“The completion of a new Farm Bill that provides adequate funds for market development, food assistance, conservation, energy, and rural development, and producer income support provides an important leg of the stool for U.S. agriculture,” Ruth continued. “But it is just one leg of the stool. Adequate agricultural research and other funding through the appropriations process, and legislation that facilitates and encourages demand expansion are two other important legs. The Senate last week voted on a comprehensive energy bill that will stimulate demand for soy through a biodiesel tax incentive, a renewable standard for motor fuels, and other provisions. Soybean farmers now call upon the House of Representatives to accept these provisions in Conference. ASA also knows that global demand expansion and worldwide income growth brought about by trade liberalization is critical to soybean farmers’ future. We therefore now call upon the Senate to pass Trade Promotion Authority.”last_img read more

Vancouver woman sentenced in moneylaundering scheme

first_imgA Vancouver woman was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Portland to three years’ probation, including six months’ home detention, for a money laundering scheme involving an automobile dealership.Karla Gaitan, 38, pleaded guilty March 2, 2010, to a single count of money laundering.The investigation began in August 2008, when investigators suspected Gaitan and her business, Kaind Auto Sales, were involved with a number of suspected drug dealers in the Portland area. An inventory showed that Gaitan had purchased a high number of cars at auto auction — 2,072 cars for more than $4 million between 2005 and 2008 — but had very little inventory.“This led investigators to suspect that the buyers were laundering illegal money,” according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.In August 2008, undercover IRS agents, posing as drug dealers, gave Gaitan $15,000 in cash for a SUV so that a concealed compartment could be built into it to transport money and drugs.last_img read more

Clark County Fair blooming in the Exhibition Hall

first_imgWhat: Clark County Fair.Hours Sunday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.Where: 17402 N.E. Delfel Road, Ridgefield.Admission: Adults, $10; seniors 62 and older, $8; kids 7-12, $7; kids 6 and younger, free; parking, $6; C-Tran shuttle, $2 per person round trip from area Park & Ride lots; children 6 and younger ride free. $1 discount on admission with a bus fare stub.Carnival: Opens at noon; unlimited rides today, $30. 99.5 The Wolf Grandstands: Kip Moore, 7 p.m. Other highlights: Chips and Salsa Eating Contest, 1 p.m.; Britnee Kellogg, 5 p.m.Pets: Not permitted, except for personal service animals or those on exhibition or in competition.Information: www.clarkcofair.com or call 360-397-6180. Download the mobile app for the Clark County Fair at: http://crwd.cc/ccfair13Walking down the midway at the fair can feel like facing an endless sea of heat, dust and doohickeys. As the sun beats down on the black asphalt, one might wonder is there any plant life here? Can I even eat any sort of plant life here? The “fruit” smoothies, after all, are mere mirages of flavored juice and ice, and the curly fries sweaty siblings of their potato predecessors.And yet, at the WSU Master Gardeners exhibit tucked into the back of the Exhibition Hall, you might find yourself getting back to the real roots of food and nibbling on plants straight out of the garden. The exhibit, new to this year’s fair, is out to prove that growing an attractive and edible landscape doesn’t require a green thumb or a ton of space.last_img read more

Offduty St Louis cop kills man sparking protest

first_imgST. LOUIS (AP) — An off-duty St. Louis police officer shot and killed a black 18-year-old who had fired at him, authorities said Thursday. The killing led to an angry demonstration, with some protesters likening it to the August killing of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white officer in nearby Ferguson.St. Louis Police Chief Col. Sam Dotson said the 32-year-old officer, whom he didn’t identify, was patrolling the historic Shaw neighborhood in his police uniform for a private security company at around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday when he saw three males, and one of them ran off before stopping.When the officer did a U-turn, all three ran, so the officer gave chase, first in his car and then by foot. During the chase, he got into a physical altercation with the one he eventually killed, Dotson said at an early-morning news conference.Dotson said that at one point, the suspect’s shirt raised and the officer saw what he thought was a gun. “The officer said he wanted to be certain it was a gun and did not fire at that point,” he said.The chief said the suspect, whom he didn’t identify, ran up a hill, turned and opened fired on the officer, who returned fire and killed the man. Ballistic evidence shows that the teen fired three shots and tried to fire again but his gun jammed, he said, noting that the 9mm gun was recovered.last_img read more

MGM Melco tipped to record highest Macau GGR growth ahead of 2Q19

first_img RelatedPosts According to Vitaly Umansky, Eunice Lee and Kelsey Zhu, MGM China will likely show the highest year-on-year GGR growth, “driven by ramp up at Cotai, albeit slower than initially expected.”Likewise Melco, “especially the Mass (Premium Mass) segment, should have benefited from the addition and ramp up of Morpheus Tower,” Bernstein said. Conversely, Galaxy will likely have suffered from softness in VIP, with Sands China to have faced a tough sequential comparison and SJM Holdings challenging year-on-year comps.Macau’s DICJ revealed earlier this month that GGR for the three months to 30 June 2019 had fallen ever so slightly (0.5%) to MOP$149.50 billion. Bernstein analysts estimate that decline represented a 14% fall in VIP GGR, offset by a 12% increase in mass. EBITDA is estimated to have grown 6% year-on-year.Early predictions are for modest 1% growth over the second half of 2019, albeit with some potential upside from a recovering credit cycle in China that may support VIP recovery, which the analysts say would have a more positive effect on their 2H GGR forecast. Load More Melco International Development grants Evan Winkler HK$269 million share options MGM China and Melco Resorts are poised to exhibit the highest year-on-year GGR growth in the three months to 30 June 2019, driven by the ongoing ramp of MGM Cotai and Morpheus respectively.The prediction is posed by brokerage Sanford C Bernstein in a note published early Tuesday morning ahead of the first 2Q19 earnings results being released later this week. Strong VIP growth sees Okada Manila GGR climb 72% in August Pansy Ho becomes first Macau casino boss to speak out for Hong Kong government on protestslast_img read more

Taxfree personal allowance to rise in line with inflation

Taxfree personal allowance to rise in line with inflation

first_imgIain McCluskey, partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, said: “The rise in the personal allowance now makes it close to double the size it was in 2010, taking millions out of paying income tax during that time. Will this help those just about managing, the so-called ‘Jams’? Certainly not the lowest paid who currently earn less than the personal allowance so will feel no benefit.“Low paid ‘Jams’ will be disappointed that the Chancellor has chosen to continue to cut the tax bills of those earning over £40,000 before helping those earning between £8,500 and £11,000. He could have done this by raising the national insurance primary earnings threshold substantially. Some of our lowest paid workers, such as apprentices, part-time workers and those on zero hours contracts, will feel they have been dealt a losing hand.” Autumn Statement 2016: From 2020, the tax-free personal allowance will rise in line with the Consumer Price Index rather than the national minimum wage.During his Autumn Statement speech, Chancellor Philip Hammond confirmed that the tax-free personal allowance will increase to £11,500 in April 2017 and £12,500 by the end of the current Parliament’s term in 2020.The higher-rate threshold will rise to £45,000 in 2017 and to £50,000 by 2020.Hammond said: “Despite the challenging fiscal forecasts, we will deliver on our commitment to raising the allowance to £12,500, and the higher rate threshold to £50,000, by the end of this Parliament.“Once £12,500 has been reached, the personal allowance will rise automatically during the 2020s in line with inflation, rather than the national minimum wage as currently planned.“It will be for the Chancellor to decide from year to year whether more is affordable.”last_img read more

Local shipping company sending supplies to Bahamas in wake of hurricane

Local shipping company sending supplies to Bahamas in wake of hurricane

first_imgDANIA BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – A South Florida-based company is sending supplies to the Bahamas, days after the islands were battered by Hurricane Matthew.SEACOR Island Lines filled tractor trailers with goods and loaded them onto cargo ships at a port in Dania Beach, Saturday. Water, food, generators and other supplies are making their way to residents who were hit hard by the storm.SEACOR CEO Mike LaFleur said he is committed to continue lending a helping hand to those affected by the powerful storm. “We’ve been working around the clock to make sure we’re open to receive some cargo,” he said. “We’ve sent five boats out already [Saturday], and we’re loading the sixth here, so we can send relief cargo.”LaFleur said they are stepping up relief efforts after, forecasters said, Hurricane Matthew could loop back and hit the Bahamas again, sometime next week.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

7s Lorena Estrada emcees Charity Guilds Back to the Future event

7s Lorena Estrada emcees Charity Guilds Back to the Future event

first_imgFORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – 7’s own Lorena Estrada emceed the Charity Guild of Fort Lauderdale’s “Back to the Future” event, Saturday.The Charity Guild is one of the oldest charitable organizations in Fort Lauderdale that helps provide healthcare and social services for children in need.The event, which was held at the Lauderdale Yacht Club, raised thousands of dollars for two charities: the Children’s Diagnostic and Treatment Center and Kids in Distress.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img

Nonprofit Home Depot team up for debris cleanup in Homestead

Nonprofit Home Depot team up for debris cleanup in Homestead

first_imgHOMESTEAD, FLA. (WSVN) – A national nonprofit and a well-known home improvement retailer joined forces to clean up a South Florida city after Hurricane Irma.Volunteers from Rebuilding Together and Home Depot associates teamed up to pick up debris and clear downed trees, Saturday. Humbled by the community’s support today! Thx 2 everyone involved! Big shout out 2 @TeamDepot 4 donating 5k 2 support rebuilding post #Irma! pic.twitter.com/Of2x48F643— Rebuilding Together (@rebuild_miami) September 16, 2017More than 70 people showed up to help out homeowners affected by the hurricane. Organizers said the project was a big success.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img

South Florida celebrates Easter with egg hunts family activities

South Florida celebrates Easter with egg hunts family activities

first_imgIn Broward, Hallandale Beach will be hosting an egg hunt Saturday, from 10 a.m. to noon at OB Johnson Park.Children will also have the opportunity to meet the Easter Bunny at the Pompano Citi Centre from 11 a.m. till 2 p.m., Saturday.Anchor Church will also be hosting a Spring Festival from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m Saturday. The festival will have egg hunts, bounce houses, a petting zoo, food and more.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. MIAMI (WSVN) – South Florida is celebrating Easter with a host of events this weekend.Rolling Oaks Park in Miami Gardens is hosting an event alongside Mayor Oliver Gilbert and Councilwoman Felicia Robinson. This Saturday: Don’t Miss the Easter Family Fun Day and Sky Egg Drop https://t.co/68gdq6Y7rr pic.twitter.com/uMVj7UoB4x— Miami Gardens FLGovt (@CityofMiaGarden) March 27, 2018Zoo Miami is also celebrating Easter with egg hunts, animal safaris, music, crafts, games and more this Sunday.The 2018 City of Hialeah’s Eggstravaganza is also set to take place, Saturday at Milander Park. The event will have egg hunts, food trucks and live entertainment.Families will also be able to take part in the Miami Seaquarium’s Bunnypalooza, taking place all weekend long. last_img read more

5 kayakers rescued from rough current off Haulover Beach

5 kayakers rescued from rough current off Haulover Beach

first_imgHAULOVER BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – Crews came to the rescue of five kayakers in distress near Haulover Beach.According to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, Ocean Rescue lifeguards responded after the victims encountered a rough current in Baker’s Haulover Cut, Saturday.Officials said the current was so strong that one of the kayakers was ejected and nearly drowned before he was pulled to safety. That patient was checked by MDFR Station 21 and released.The other victims were not hurt.Officials said the kayakers were visiting South Florida and had no knowledge of the dangerous currents in Haulover Cut.Officials took the opportunity to advise boaters to check weather forecasts before heading out, wear life jackets and always have a cellphone in a water-tight container in case of an emergency.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

2 families displaced after duplex catches fire in NW MiamiDade

2 families displaced after duplex catches fire in NW MiamiDade

first_imgNORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – A duplex caught fire in Northwest Miami-Dade, leaving two families without a place to call home.Miami-Dade Fire Rescue responded around 12:30 a.m. to the scene of the fire along Northwest 101st Street and Eighth Avenue, Thursday.Nine people, including two children, were able to make it out safely as firefighters worked to extinguish the flames.Damage to the home was extensive enough that the two families have now been displaced.The Red Cross has since stepped in to help them.The cause of the fire remains under investigation.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img

Okeechobee Road reopens in Hialeah after flatbed truck spills plywood

Okeechobee Road reopens in Hialeah after flatbed truck spills plywood

first_imgHIALEAH, FLA. (WSVN) – Drivers in Hialeah faced considerable traffic backups after a flatbed semi-truck spilled plywood slabs all over the eastbound lanes of Okeechobee Road and an adjacent canal.7Skyforce HD hovered above the roadway near Hialeah Drive, at around 5 p.m., Thursday, as bulldozers cleared the plywood from the eastbound lanes.Florida Highway Patrol, Florida Department of Transportation and Hialeah Police units responded to the scene.Officials said the truck’s load fell off the flatbed and onto the road. The vehicle took out a light pole as well.Authorities shut down all eastbound lanes of Okeechobee Road. The closure has backed up traffic for at least a mile.No injuries have been reported.By 5 p.m., crews had removed roughly half of the plywood from the roadway. Troopers diverted drivers at the intersection of Okeechobee Road and Hialeah Drive. Motorists can either turn onto Curtiss Parkway or take Hialeah Drive.The roadway has since reopened.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

33rd Annual Jackpot Halibut Derby Kicks Off Tomorrow

33rd Annual Jackpot Halibut Derby Kicks Off Tomorrow

first_img111 tags have been attached to halibut through Kachemak Bay, tags are worth $250, $500, $1000 with two tags big tags: Homer Charter Association tag worth $10,000 and the Homer Chamber of Commerce tag worth $25,000. The Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby is the longest running halibut derby in the state of Alaska, with over $90,000.00 in CASH prizes, and runs May 15 to September 15 each year. You can purchase Derby tickets at businesses all over Homer, and tickets are required in order to participate. Winners will be announced at the September 20th Jackpot Halibut Derby Gala. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Homer Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center’s 33rd Annual Jackpot Halibut Derby starts tomorrow, May 15. Derby info available at: www.HomerAlaska.org/jackpot-halibut-derby.htmllast_img read more

Be Advised Of Hazardous Driving Conditions

Be Advised Of Hazardous Driving Conditions

first_imgThe City of Soldotna released a statement, driving conditions are very hazardous right now. City sanding trucks are out, and we want to encourage everyone to drive very carefully, or stay home if don’t have to be out on the roads. Plan ahead for icy driving/difficult driving conditions if you are heading to Anchorage from the Kenai Peninsula within the next 24 hours. Travel still not advised by the Department of Transportation on the Seward Highway due to the recent landslide danger. Drivers should expect wet and icy roads, icy patches, ice glaze, ice, black ice, slippery road surface, reduce your speed, ice on bridges/overpasses.center_img Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The recent rainfall and freezing temperatures have caused very difficult driving conditions in the Kenai Peninsula area.last_img read more

Bhutto Story Gives Parade Big Web Boost

first_imgSheehy’s interview with Bhutto took place in late November. In the article, Bhutto tells Sheehy, “I am what the terrorists most fear.” The article will appear, as scheduled, in Parade’s January 6 issue, which had already gone to press by the day of Bhutto’s assassination. A profile on Benazir Bhutto also appears in More magazine’s December/January issue and on More.com, based on an October interview with Bhutto by writer and Bhutto’s former Harvard classmate Amy Wilentz.SEE RELATED BLOG POST: Did Parade Handle Bhutto Coup Correctly?More on this topic Did Parade Handle Bhutto Coup Correctly? Interview to Unveil Redesign Atlantic’s Britney Bombs at Newsstand Harvard Lifestyle Magazine Featured Eliot Spitzer, Wife ‘In Happier Times’ Feeling Relish Heat, Parade Launches Health Mag Oprah Shares Cover of Magazine for First TimeJust In BabyCenter Sold to Ziff Davis Parent J2 Media | News & Notes Meredith Corp. Makes Digital-Side Promotions | People on the Move The Atlantic Taps Creative Leadership | People on the Move TIME Names New Sales, Marketing Leads | People on the Move Four More Execs Depart SourceMedia in Latest Restructuring Editor & Publisher Magazine Sold to Digital Media ConsultantPowered by Parade magazine’s Web site received the largest number of unique visitors in its history on December 27, the day of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination, when it released its feature on Bhutto, scheduled to be the cover story for its January 6 print issue, more than a week early. Approximately 81,000 users visited the site on the day the piece was posted, compared to Parade.com’s daily average of 31,000, and the article received more than 100,000 page views. The writer of the article, Gail Sheehy, who is a contributing editor for Parade, has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor, Larry King Live, CNN’s The Situation Room, the CBS Early Show, and ABC Radio, among other programs to discuss the interview. The magazine felt the story’s early release online was the “journalistically responsible thing to do,” a spokesperson for Parade told FOLIO:. “We wanted people to see it to bring attention to a prescient story.”last_img read more

Is Mainstream Media Still Scared of Bloggers

first_imgHeadline of a recent Page One story in the New York Times: “In Court Ruling on Executions, a Factual Flaw.” Make that two factual flaws. The first one by the Supreme Court; the second by the Times, whose headline should read “CAAFlog Blogger Discovers Factual Flaw in Court Ruling on Executions.” But the Times, like much of MSM, just can’t seem to stand giving a blogger credit for a scoop.It took the Times until the fourth paragraph to mention that Dwight Sullivan broke the story on June 28th on the CAAFlog blog, and until the eighth paragraph to link to his post. A post on the blog wryly notes: “It may take a few clicks to reach CAAFlog’s post on the case.”Magazines and newspapers still report on blogs as curiosities, or that old standby—personal diaries. They need to get over themselves. Blogs are a new medium, and we’re here to stay. That said, of the supposed 70 million blogs there are perhaps 10,000 with a significant number of readers. My What’s Next Blog gets approximately 10,000 uniques a day. Small potatoes compared to blogs like Boing Boing, that get a million uniques a week, but still respectable, influential, and widely quoted.I’m not going to get into the tired debate over whether bloggers are journalists. Some of us are. Some of us are not. But you can’t put someone who blogs about their cat into the same category as someone whose blog covers industry news or law any more than you can put “Meet the Press” in the same category as “Dancing With the Stars.”The White House Gets InvolvedIn his post, Sullivan noted that the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006, which was passed by Congress, did set out death as punishment for the rape of a child. In fact, none of the 10 briefs lawyers filed in the case mentioned a bill Bush signed last September adding child rape to the military death penalty.Like the game of telephone, where the original message is lost, MSM quickly loses mention of the CAAFlog scoop, and credits the Times for the story. Dan Slater on the WSJ Law Blog credits “the NY Time’s Linda Greenhouse, who … thinks she’s caught the Court out on a flaw in its facts.” The L.A. Times blog doesn’t even mention CAAFlog in its post.The issue, with no mention of the CAAFlog, has reached the White House, and the Washington Post writes: “White House press secretary Dana Perino this morning said “The White House was disturbed by the New York Times report that the court’s decision might be based on a mistake…”Likewise, UPI credits the Times for the scoop.Only the American Bar Association blog gets the headline right: “Blogger Points Out Substantial Error in Supreme Court Decision.” EDITOR’S NOTE: Read more at FOLIO:’s Magazine Marketing Excellence Channel … Mainstream media is still scared of bloggers. And they should be. We’re watching them very closely. Every day. Just like they watch us. Only we credit and link to them. Maybe someday they’ll return the courtesy.SEE RELATED POST: Movie Bloggers Call for Boycott of Variety, Hollywood Reporter last_img read more

How Lean Is Too Lean

first_imgLast month at the DeSilva + Phillips 2009 Media Dealmakers Summit, a consumer publishing panel featuring J. Scott Crystal, president and CEO of TV Guide, Joseph Holland, vice president of strategy and corporate development at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and Andrew Armstrong, Jr., managing member of Spire Capital Partners, were asked whether they were concerned about cutting too deeply and affecting the quality of the product. Other than Crystal saying, “We aren’t affecting the quality,” none of the panelists touched the question. “When it comes to costs on magazines, we only have a few levers: frequency, folio size and print order,” Crystal added. Of course, there is another lever, and that’s personnel, the number one expense for most small- and mid-size publishers and a tempting (and even necessary) place to cut. Yet at some point, it yields diminishing returns.Last month, Chicago-based Johnson Publishing announced a “multi-phased” staffing reorganization in which employees will be required to reapply for their current positions. A Johnson spokesperson assured Folio: that there were no layoffs associated but declined to offer specifics about the new plan other than to say Johnson expects to “see a net gain” in employee head count.“All media outlets are revising their revenue outlook and expense reductions and these realities have resulted in a never-ending balancing act of lowering expenses and cutting head-count while meeting long-term business goals,” says Michael Desiato, group publisher of Incisive Media’s Real Estate Media, which last November cut nine jobs across sales, administration and support, editorial and events. “Reducing the size and frequency of some of our publications and shifting more focus to digital production and delivery formats has allowed us to lower costs and still maintain our relevance and brand integrity through the downturn.” Changing the Value PropositionWhat many publishers need to recognize is that slashing staffs can also change the value proposition of their product. “The short answer is, when you start to lose your subject matter experts and those who serve as your content champions for your audience, you’ve probably reached a dangerous place on a slippery slope,” says Wyatt Kash, editor-in-chief of Government Computer News. “But it also depends on where on the content value spectrum a publisher wants to be. If a publication’s value depends largely on offering original content or perspective that is distinct in a market, then you need some core of editors who are subject matter experts to generate—or commission others to generate—specialized content. As publishers cut back staff, beats are consolidated, expertise and contacts are lost, and eventually, so is the ability of the remaining editors to deliver the value proposition. Do you continue to limp along? Or do you creatively reinvent the value proposition?”New Reality For “Figureheads”Few editors are as familiar with doing more with less than Mark Newman, editor of regional lifestyle title Southern Breeze, whose three-person staff also does double duty with custom projects for parent company Compass Marketing (and having been laid off almost as many times as he’s been hired for a new job, he’s not insensitive to the plight of those newly out of work). But for Newman, some of the cutbacks have been a long time coming, particularly on the mass consumer side. “Many consumer magazines are crammed full of executive editors and editors-in-chief who haven’t copy-edited a page in 20 years,” Newman says. “It’s time to stop being figureheads and do some work.” But Newman says this is a problem with some of the larger b-to-b publishers as well, including his old haunt, VNU (now Nielsen). “At VNU, there were editors-in-chief who would walk around like Anna Wintour and they had 7,000 people reading their magazines,” he adds. ”The excess of the magazine industry of the 1980s and 1990s is coming back to bite people in the ass.” And prepare for many of these cuts to be permanent. “Southern Breeze will go to paper stock not as white, we will reduce trim size and have to cut 16 pages out,” Newman says. “Cheaper paper won’t reduce the quality of the writing. It will be an adjustment and the industry will bounce back but not to where it once was.”last_img read more

Churm Media Reorganizes for 360Degree Approach

first_imgNewport Beach, California-based magazine publisher Churm Media has undergone a restructuring it says strengthens its commitment to building new digital content delivery channels.“Several years ago, Churm Media committed to evolving as a media company by its investment in creating interactive Web sites for all its brands,” said CEO and owner Steve Churm. Churm Media produces five regional publications: OC METRO, OC Family, OC MENUS, Inland Empire Family and Southland Golf.“What resulted was a new profit center and national recognition for the sites we built,” Churm said. “That was a huge step, but it was only the first step.” As part of the reorganization, chief content officer Kim Porrazzo was appointed to the newly-created position of president and CCO. Tina Borgatta was promoted to editor-in-chief of OC METRO and OC MENUS; associate editor Susan Belknapp was named managing editor of OC Family and Inland Empire Family; Kristen Schott, who served as an assistant Web editor, was promoted Web editor; and copy editor Larry Urish was named associate editor for all of Churm Media’s brands.No layoffs were associated with the reorganization, Churm said.In 2008, Churm invested roughly $350,000 on Web redevelopment efforts. Last year, his investment was in sales training and on bundling products as “value-add.” The company generated more than $300,000 in online revenues, he said.  Churm said the reorganization better positions the publisher as a 360-degree media company. He said he intends to double last year’s online revenue in 2010.“We’re more committed than ever to fulfilling our potential,” Churm said. “I’m talking about moving beyond having an award-winning Web site and looking for more ways to meet the marketing needs of our advertisers as well as ‘talking’ to our audience where they are—on their phones, on Facebook, in apps, through Mobile marketing networks. That’s where we’re headed and if we’re going there, we need focus.”last_img read more

ALM Relaunches Better Buildings Brand with a National Supplement

first_imgALM is resurrecting its Better Buildings brand, a tri-state area building management magazine which debuted in 1981 and shuttered in the mid 1990s, with the launch of a national, quarterly supplement of the same name, to be distributed along with its Real Estate Forum magazine.The roughly 24-page publication will reach 54,000 executives across the real estate industry and will kick off with Real Estate Forum’s February/March issue.Along with its shift to national coverage, the relaunched brand will focus on “the marriage between building operations and asset management,” says content director John Salustri, who also served as editor of the initial magazine. “The original Better Buildings was focused more on the maintenance side of the industry and was very nuts and bolts. The new version will be much more in keeping with the strategic planning mode of Real Estate Forum.” While Salustri says any statement about an increase in frequency or a move to a standalone magazine would be premature, he adds that it’s something his company is “looking at seriously,” and certainly not ruling out. The idea for the relaunch came directly from reader surveys, says Salustri. “We saw a growing indication from our readers that they needed more of this day-to-day application of larger strategies in the commercial office space. So, this is a direct response to that.”last_img read more