Monthly Archives: February 2014

Apple tops Fortune’s ‘most admired’ companies list

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CORRECTION: This post has been updated to remove an incorrect reference to TeamHealth of Knoxville appearing on Fortune’s 2014 ‘Most Admired’ companies list. The 2014 list did not include companies in TeamHealth’s industry sector

For the seventh consecutive year, Apple is No. 1 overall on Fortune’s list of the Top 50 World’s Most Admired Companies, followed by Internet retailer Amazon.com and Internet search engine Google.
Rounding out the top five are investment guru Warren Buffett’s firm, Berkshire-Hathaway, and coffee giant Starbucks.
Tennessee’s only representative among the Top 50 is FedEx Corp. The Memphis-based package delivery company is No. 8 overall and No. 2 in the delivery industry, behind Germany’s Deutsche Post.
The Top 50 list and industry sector rankings are based on a survey of executives, directors, and analysts who rate companies in their industry on a variety of criteria, including investment value and social responsibility.

Click here for Fortune’s complete list of World’s Most Admired Companies.

John Burlingame retiring from Scripps Networks board

Scripps Networks Interactive headquarters

Scripps Networks Interactive headquarters

Scripps Networks Interactive announced that John Burlingame will retire from the Knoxville-based lifestyle media company’s board of directors when his current term expires.
Burlingame’s retirement will mark the end of a lengthy corporate relationship with the Scripps family and the Scripps companies.
A retired partner in the law firm of Baker & Hostetler, Burlingame has been a director of Scripps Networks since 2008 when it was spun-off from The E.W. Scripps Co., the owner of 19 television stations and newspapers in 13 markets, including the Knoxville News Sentinel and the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
Burlingame served as a director of E.W. Scripps for 24 years, retiring from the Cincinnati-based company’s board in 2012.
In addition, he had been a  trustee of the Edward W. Scripps Trust since 1987. The family trust, which had controlled the company since 1922, terminated in October, 2012, and is in the process of winding up.
Scripps Networks portfolio includes the cable and Internet brands Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, DIY Network, Cooking Channel, and Great American Country.

New Sea Ray yacht makes debut

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Winter has a few weeks to go, but boat show season is already here.
And Knoxville-based Sea Ray Boats is taking full advantage. The manufacturer this week introduced its new L- class yachts at the Yacht and Brokerage Show in Miami.
The flagship of Sea Ray’s new product line is the L650 Fly, a two-bridge boat that can reach a speed of more than 30 knots and comes with a master suite,  two additional staterooms, “spacious entertainment areas,” and “a robust helm station.”
The new yacht is — in the breathless prose that only a  news release writer can summon —  “a stunning example of design innovation and a paragon of Sea Ray’s Next Wave initiative to deliver a next-level boating experience.”
Or as Sea Ray President Tim Schiek says in the same news release: “The L-Class speaks not only to Sea Ray’s commitment to purposeful innovation, but also to the company’s strong legacy of impeccable craftsmanship, performance and service. It’s a marriage of style and substance— because we firmly believe in the importance of both.”
The news release doesn’t mention a price, but as the saying goes: “If you have to ask ….”
Sea Ray is a division of Brunswick Corp.
Click here for the Sea Ray news release.

Scripps Networks Interactive adds $1B to share buyback

Scripps Networks Interactive headquarters

Scripps Networks Interactive headquarters

Scripps Network Interactive has added another $1 billion to its share repurchase plan and boosted its quarterly dividend.
The Knoxville-based lifestyle media company’s board approved the extra billion for the buyback plan Thursday, a day before the company’s releases its quarterly financial report.
The billion dollars is on top of the $647 million remaining in the previous share repurchase authorization as of Dec. 31, 2013, the company said.
The board also approved a dividend payment of 20 cents, an increase from 15 cents. The  dividend will be paid March 10 to shareholders of record on Feb. 28.
The company’s lifestyle media portfolio includes  television and Internet brands HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel and Great American Country.
Shares of Scripps Networks shed 39 cents in Thursday trading to close at $77.44.
Scripps is expected to release its financial report before the market opens Friday.

Regal Entertainment wants to give you a drone

REG3circuits

Drones have been in the news recently and now you have a chance to win your very own unmanned aerial vehicle.
If you are a Regal Crown Club member, that is.
Knoxville-based movie theater operator Regal Entertainment Group announced that it will give away a drone to a lucky Crown Club member who buys a ticket for the new movie “RoboCop.”
The winner will be chosen in a random drawing.
“Just as OmniCorp maintains its role as the center of robot and drone technology in the year 2028 in the film ‘RoboCop,’ Regal wanted to provide its most loyal fans a chance to win an innovative and cutting-edge drone of their very own,” Ken Thewes, chief marketing officer for Regal said in a news release.
Drones made headlines last week Knoxville when an unmanned aerial vehicle was used to inspect the fire-damaged McClung warehouses in downtown Knoxville.
Questions were raised about a possible violation of a federal ban on using drones for commercial purposes.
Personal use of a drone is apparently OK with the feds. Think of the fun you’ll have swooping around the neighborhood, scaring dogs, snapping pictures of …. whatever.
The drone built by Lehman Aviation comes with a camera, batteries, storage/shipping case and a Sony tablet, according to a news release.
Click here for the Regal announcement.

Southland tech conference attracts impressive speakers

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An impressive list of speakers are scheduled for Launch Tennessee’s 2014 Southland Conference, an event celebrating entrepreneurship and Southern culture.
The second annual event will be held in Nashville June 9-11.
The list includes former Vice President Al Gore; PayPal President David Marcus; Evernote CEO Phil Libin; Bonobos,Inc. CEO Andy Dunn; Coatue Management Senior Managing Director Thomas Laffont; and Tristan Walker, founder and CEO of Walker & Company Brands, Inc.
Launch Tennessee is a public-private partnership focused on supporting entrepreneurship and development of high-growth companies across the state.
Launch Tennessee CEO Charlie Brock called Southland “the perfect platform to showcase the strong tech and startup culture throughout the southeast.”
The event will offer more than a bunch of talking heads.
“Yet to be announced are the buzz-worthy musical talents lined up by the co-producers of Bonnaroo, the top 50 Southeastern startups selected to participate in the Southland Village trade show, the 10 leading startup companies from throughout the country invited to pitch to investor panels and the names of investors who will comprise these panels,” Brock wrote in a recent column.
Click here for more on Southland.
Click here for a recent News Sentinel video interview with Charlie Brock