Monthly Archives: March 2012

Scripps Networks: Cruz to focus on government affairs

Scripps Networks Interactive’s chief legal officer, A.B. Cruz III, is leaving that post to focus on directing the company’s government affairs office.

As head of the Washington, D.C. office, Cruz “will represent the company’s position on industry-related issues as they are considered by lawmakers and other public policy makers,” the Knoxville-based company said in a statement released Thursday.

Scripps opened the government affairs office in September last year in response to changes in the digital media market.

Cruz, 53, will assist the company in finding a new chief legal officer.

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Up in smoke in D.C.

WeGrow — a retailer that caters to medical marijuana users — is opening its first East Coast

Marijuana

Marijuana

location in the nation’s capital, according to news reports.

Wow! If you thought we had a do-nothing Congress now, wait till the boys on the hill have easy access to the plant food, grow lights and all that other stuff needed to cultivate their own pot.

Maybe it won’t be so bad after all. Some of those guys could stand to mellow out. It certainly would make for interesting back room deals.

AP: Capital gets garden store for medical pot growers

Photo: In this Jan. 11, 2010 photo, a worker shows a marijuana bud for sale at the Lotus Medical dispensary in Denver, Colorado. (Associated Press files)

Amazon vs. FedEx

The Amazon you love if you’re a consumer or hate if you’re a competing retailer won’t be the Amazon of the future.

According to Forbes contributor Michael Kanellos, Amazon eventually will focus on providing logistics and it’s biggest competitors “will be men in shorts: logistics companies like UPS and FedEx.”

Sound farfetched? Maybe. But Kanellos offers an interesting take on some recent Amazon moves.

“Amazon is at a crossroads. The company garners billions a year in revenue from selling e-books, household items and vacuuming up rising retailers like Zappos. Retailing, though, can be a difficult single-digit margin business,” Kanellos writes.

Here’s his full story: Will Amazon Become the Next FedEX?

 

Is Warren Buffett eyeing Scripps Networks?

Knoxville-based lifestyle media company Scripps Networks Interactive is exactly the kind of
scripps2_asb_13138.jpgcompany that financial guru Warren Buffett likes to buy, investment strategist David Trainer writes in a MarketWatch article.

“(Buffett’s) interest in media/publishing stocks is grounded in the superior economic earnings these businesses can achieve. And SNI, with a 21% return on invested capital (ROIC), exhibits the kind of scale that Mr. Buffett knows leads to superior economic earnings,” Trainer says.

He also notes that Scripps Networks and Clayton Homes, which Buffett bought in 2003, are both headquartered in the Knoxville area.

David Trainer: Front run Buffett: Buy SNI before he does

Photo: Scripps Networks headquarters in West Knoxville. (News Sentinel archives)

Jet shopping? Here’s the place to go

Meltdown Coprate Jets.JPGIf you’re interested in buying a new jet – and who isn’t these days – you should check out The Jet Business website.

Or better yet, visit The Jet Business showroom in London. The one in England. Apparently it’s the place to visit if you have a few million bucks to spare and don’t care about soaring fuel prices. And you might run into some interesting folks.

The showroom is “designed to provide high net worth individuals, government officials, royalty and influential corporate executives with a place to plan their business jet sale or purchase with experts,” says a news release.

Apparently The Jet Business treats clients pretty nice. The company provides “unparalleled expert advice, access to the world’s most extensive aviation information library, consultations on tailor-made interior concepts and a lifetime entitlement to service and aftercare,” according to the website.

Lifetime entitlement — that sounds good.

I don’t hang out with any high net worth individuals, but it’s nice to know they have a place to shop for aircraft.

Here’s the website: The Jet Business

Photo: AP archives

Green Mountain, Starbucks expand partnership

 

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc., which has a significant manufacturing presence and 500 employees in Knox County, has dodged a Starbucks bullet.

Green Mountain Coffee

Green Mountain Coffee

Shares of Green Mountain are up more than 7 percent in morning trading on news of an expanded partnership with Starbucks Coffee Co.

Green Mountain had seen its share price drop sharply in recent weeks after Starbucks launched its Verismo single-serve coffee system in competition with Green Mountain’s Keurig Vue single-cup machines.

 

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Tell the IRS exactly what you think

Ever dreamed of telling the taxman what he can do with itemized deductions? Here’s your chance.

The Internal Revenue Service is looking for volunteers from Tennessee – and several other states – willing to serve on a federal advisory committee that will recommend ways to improve IRS service.

Volunteers must be willing to commit up to 500 hours during the year and pass an FBI criminal background check. And, committee members must be current on their federal taxes. The deadline to apply is April 27.

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HGTV Magazine passes first test

The test of HGTV Magazine apparently went well. HGTV and its partner Hearst Magazines HGTVM_020112-Cover_s4x3_al.jpgsaid today they will officially launch the new magazine with a June/July issue that will be available in mid-May.

Three more issues are planned this year.

The home lifestyle magazine will launch with a base of 450,000, “making it one of the largest consumer magazine launches of the past decade,” according to a news release.

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Crazy money in March Madness

b154a961a6560e070a0f6a70670063ec.jpgIn between watching basketball games this weekend, go online and check out
 BusinessofCollegeSports.com. The website offers some fascinating research on the truly big money involved in NCAA basketball.

Where does your favorite hoops team rank in total annual revenue? (based on the 2010-2011 season, Louisville is No. 1 with $40.8M; Tennessee is No. 13 at $13.8M, tops in the Southeasten Conference)

Which coach delivers the best “performance value per dollar of compensation”? (Jim Boeheim at Syracuse)

In the 2010-2011 season, how much money did the NCAA distribute to conferences and universities? ($478M. The Big East got the biggest slice of the pie — $24.9M, compared to $15.6 for the SEC).

Enjoy the games.

Photo: Murray State forward Edward Daniel (2) takes a charge from Colorado State forward Will Bell (23) in the second half of their tournament second-round college basketball game in Louisville, Ky., Thursday, March 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

 

Burning your bridges with style

Former Goldman Sachs exec Greg Smith has set a new standard for burning your bridges.

thumbnail.aspx.jpegSmith didn’t resign with a graceful note to HR. Nope. He blasted his former employer with an editorial in The New York Times. He questioned Goldman’s “moral fiber” and said he was sickened by former colleagues who put their own financial gain ahead of their clients’ best interests.

The notion that rich investment bankers would squeeze money from their ultra rich clients isn’t exactly surprising. I was, however, shocked to learn that some of the Goldman boys referred to clients as “muppets.” To turn the beloved muppets into a term of derision crosses the line.

Goldman needs to apologize immediately to Kermit and friends.

Meanwhile, the rest of us can celebrate Smith’s entertaining exit.

 

 

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