The Beginning of a New Company for Cygnus

first_imgJohn French joined Penton Media in 2006 following its acquisition by Prism Business Media. He resigned as CEO in July 2008.Now, French [pictured] has been named chief executive at fellow trade publisher Cygnus Business Media, a company that emerged from bankruptcy protection this week. Cygnus said it expects revenue to fall by $35 million to $71.4 million this year.FOLIO: caught up with French to discuss why he took the job and what he sees as his biggest challenges in turning the company around. FOLIO:: Cygnus, like many other b-to-b publishers, has experienced a tough 2009, with revenues expected to fall to $71.4 million, compared to $107 million last year. According to the bankruptcy documents, Cygnus forecasts revenue will be $75.5 million in 2013. Do you think that’s reasonable? How do you expect to turn the company around?French: Generally, Cygnus Business Media has performed the same way as other b-to-b companies. Our declines have kept pace with our industry peers. In fact, we have even fared better than some, but I’m not happy with any declines and have several initiatives in digital, tradeshows, data and even print that we are very excited about implementing. Staff has worked aggressively and a large percentage of our media has remained number one in their markets even today.FOLIO:: The documents also indicate the print revenue is forecast to make up 49.6 percent of revenue ($37.4 million) in 2013. Meanwhile, interactive revenue is expected to jump from 12.5 percent in 2009 to 24.4 percent in 2013. How do you see interactive operations evolving at Cygnus over the next few years?French: That’s a long answer. Again, we have exceptionally strong brands that provide us with online and custom online opportunities that are endless.FOLIO:: What’s your plan for market position? How do you see Cygnus’ products now and where would you like them to be (in terms of first tier, second tier, etc)?French: Several Cygnus brands are already in number one positions and are demonstrated leaders.  Over this difficult time, they have maintained those positions. For those that are number two, we plan to get them to number one.FOLIO:: What are your thoughts on editorial quality? I remember the cover of the May digital edition of Aircraft Maintenance Technology raised some eyebrows, looking a lot like the Cessna ads on the following pages. What are your thoughts about that and will practices like that continue?French: I am not aware of the AMT May issue, however, there is no question that editorial is to remain independent.FOLIO:: What about personnel? Do you anticipate having to reduce workforce again before the end of the year/into 2010?French: We have no plans to reduce workforce, but no CEO can say that layoffs may be required in the future. I don’t foresee it at this point.FOLIO:: Jim Ogle is no longer CFO. What’s the process /timeline for naming a replacement?French: We are deep in a search for a new CFO. I’ve had several interviews with unbelievably qualified and talented candidates who are excited about Cygnus and the opportunities here. Jim Ogle has done a tremendous job; he is a personal friend and we owe him our thanks for his work.  FOLIO:: Cygnus, like others, has been forced to make a significant amount of job cuts and salary reductions/freezes over the last several months. What are your thoughts on helping to restore morale?French: Perhaps surprisingly, morale is not as bad as I expected considering the economic climate and what Cygnus has endured over the past year. The best way to raise morale is through communication, communication, and more communication. Over the next few weeks, I will be meeting with as many Cygnus employees as possible. Meetings to date have been upbeat and employees are excited about the future.  Yesterday, September 21st was the beginning of a new company for us.FOLIO:: As part of the reorganization plan, Cygnus’s debt went from $180 to $60 million. Is that manageable?French: Yes.FOLIO:: Looking forward, what do you think is your biggest challenge about leading a b-to-b publishing company like Cygnus today?French: In the last five to six years, manufacturers have spent more money on their company website and search and marginalized b-to-b media in terms of reaching their customer. We need to get back to that compelling position so that manufacturers see us as a partner in increasing their sales, not in a duplicate role.The way to do that is to mine new customers and new opportunities through all the various platforms that we offer. The secret will be in delivering new and unique prospects, rather than just providing the same names. A successful b-to-b company in the future needs to use great content and editorial to drive audience development in finding new markets.  Developing a plan that is compelling is key to addressing this issue. Those companies that don’t will get left in the dust. We will not be one of those companies.last_img read more

OBITUARY Thomas H Deechan Jr 71

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Thomas H. Deechan, Jr., “Tom”, age 71, of Wilmington, passed away peacefully on November 16, 2018. Tom was the beloved husband of Ann (Morgan) Deechan, devoted father of Alison (Deechan) Hajj & her husband James of Methuen and Thomas H. Deechan III of Wilmington. Loving “Papa” of Brooke Gill, cherished son of Marie (Blair) Deechan and the late Thomas Deechan of Falmouth, dear brother of Ann Reinhagen of California, Bill Deechan & his wife Deb of West Yarmouth, Kathy Roberts & her husband Glenn of Florida and the late Debbie Deechan. Tom is also survived by many nieces and nephews.Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Wednesday, November 21st at 9:00 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Dorothy’s Church, Main St. (Rte. 38), Wilmington at 10:00 a.m. Interment Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. Visiting Hours will be held at the Funeral Home on Tuesday, November 20th from 4:00-8:00 p.m.Donations in Thomas’ memory may be made to the American Stroke Foundation, 6405 Metcalf Ave. Suite 214, Mission, KS 66202.(NOTE: The above obituary is from Nichols Funeral Home.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedOBITUARY: Paul L. D’Eon, 83In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: Maureen F. (McKenna) McHugh, 80In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: Stephen J. Bowker, 58In “Obituaries”last_img read more

FCA leans on Harman and Google for new connectedcar services

first_img 2019 Maserati Levante GTS: Heart of gold 2019 Dodge Durango SRT: A big utility with big performance More From Roadshow More about 2019 Dodge Durango SRT AWD Review • 2019 Dodge Durango SRT review: Three-row muscle car Preview • 2019 Dodge Durango: Model overview, pricing, tech and specs 2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country first drive: Small changes make a big impact null 73 Photoscenter_img Tags Share your voice Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Google Auto Tech Future Cars 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid: First hybrid minivan wins on fuel economy 0 In the US, it’s been generally acknowledged that Fiat Chrysler has kept its focus on the older-school elements of the auto industry while others have gone all-in on things like electrification and connectivity. But now, its Uconnect telematics are set to receive a big boost to help adapt to the future of in-car services.Fiat Chrysler announced on Tuesday that it will rely on tech from Harman and Google to build out its connected-car services. This “ecosystem,” as FCA refers to it, is set to launch in the second half of 2019, and it’ll be part of all new FCA vehicles around the world by 2022.Harman’s Ignite cloud platform will serve as the base for the out-of-car side of FCA’s services. With 4G connectivity and tech that fosters “the evolution to 5G,” FCA says its cloud services will work with any service provider worldwide. It’ll cover all the normal stuff that other automakers have in their connected-car portfolios, like fuel and charging station locations, predictive maintenance and over-the-air updates. It should also be capable of working with vehicle-to-infrastructure communication.Enlarge ImageHere’s a quick look at the major things FCA wants its new system to deliver. Yes, it’s a lot. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Google comes into play inside the car. The next version of its Uconnect infotainment system will run on Android, further bridging the connection between phone and in-car telematics. While this might conjure memories of Volvo’s announcement that it will use Android OS in the upcoming Polestar 2, there’s one key difference. Whereas Volvo’s foray with the operating system includes Google Maps, Google Assistant and other apps and services, FCA’s system won’t have any of those ancillary bits, just the operating system.FCA was quick to note that these new foundations will allow for a number of services specific to electrified vehicles, too — an area where, at least in the US, FCA lags behind its competitors. These platforms will enable remote battery management, EV navigation that keeps range in mind and services that help the vehicle work better with the electrical grid.There’s even more than that in store. FCA has its sights set on alternate mobility methods, too — its system is capable of working with usage-based insurance, varying-term vehicle rentals and even peer-to-peer car sharing. The automaker didn’t say which parts would start rolling out first, but as we push into the next decade (just a few months away!), we’ll get a better idea of what FCA has in store.Originally published April 30, 8:08 a.m. PT.Update, 5:32 p.m.: Clarified differences between Volvo and FCA operating systems.last_img read more

Bajaj Finserv rises 8 on report of stake buyout in insurance ventures

first_imgBajaj Finserv was asked by the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on Monday to clarify on a news report that the company is planning to buy out the 26 percent stake held by its German partner in its two insurance ventures. The stock spurted more than 8 percent on the BSE during the day and was trading at Rs. 2,212,  a gain of 6.58 percent at around 11.20 a.m.”The Exchange has sought clarification from Bajaj Finserv Ltd with reference to the news appeared in newspaper Mint ‘Bajaj Finserv is likely to buy out Allianz’s stakes in Bajaj Allianz Life’. The reply is awaited,” the exchange said.Financial services company Bajaj Finserv holds 74 percent in the two insurance companies namely Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance company Ltd and Bajaj General Insurance Company Ltd.The cost of acquisition is expected to be about Rs. 10,000 crore, the Mint reported, citing three sources who are aware of the development.”Bajaj is willing to buy Allianz’s 26% stake each in the two firms. As per the fair-valuation method, Bajaj will have to invest around Rs.10,000 crore to buy Allianz’s stakes in the two insurance companies,” the daily quoted one of the sources as saying.A senior Bajaj Finserve confirmed that the company has initiated talks with Allianz.”The discussions between Bajaj and Allianz are on. No final decision has been taken yet on whether Bajaj will buy Allianz’s stake or a third party will come and acquire Allianz’s holding in the two insurance JVs,” Sanjiv Bajaj, managing director at Bajaj Finserv, told the Mint.The Narendra Modi government raised the foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in the insurance sector from 26 percent to 49 percent in March this year. Since then, foreign partners of many joint venture companies have been increasing their stakes in the companies formed with equity participation by Indian companies.There are 24 life insurance and 28 general insurance companies in India.The biggest player in the life insurance is state-run Life Insurance Corporation of India with an almost 70 percent share.last_img read more

3 including siblings die taking excessive liquor

first_imgNarayanganjThree young men died reportedly after taking excessive liquor during a pre-wedding party at Narayanganj’s Siddhirganj on Friday noon, reports UNB.The deceased are Ashique Hossain, 20, son of Abul Hossain and two brothers –Akib Uddin, 24, and Rasel, 28–sons of Alauddin Akhter of the area.Locals said the trio and some others consumed foreign-made alcohol during a ‘holud’ ceremony on Wednesday night. At one stage, the victims fell sick, they added.Later, they were taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital on Thursday morning.The victims died on Friday noon while undergoing treatment at DMCH, said Shahin Shah Parvez, officer-in-charge of Siddhirganj police station.The bodies were kept at hospital morgue for autopsy, the OC added.last_img

US asks Myanmar to create conditions for sustainable Rohingya return

first_imgUS State Department. File PhotoThe United States has called on Myanmar to create the conditions that would allow for voluntary, safe, dignified, and sustainable returns of Rohingyas to their place of origin in Rakhine State, reports UNB.The US also commended the government of Bangladesh’s generosity in responding to this humanitarian crisis and appreciated its continued efforts to ensure assistance reaches the affected population, said the US Department of State in a media note on Friday.Earlier, the United States announced $60 million in humanitarian assistance at the launch of the 2019 UN Joint Response Plan for Bangladesh in Geneva.This funding will help address the emergency needs of more than 900,000 Rohingyas in Bangladesh, most of whom are Rohingya women and children from Myanmar, and the related needs of Bangladeshi host communities.The beneficiaries include Rohingyas who have taken refuge in Bangladesh since August 2017, when Myanmar security forces began committing atrocities, including ethnic cleansing, against Rohingya villagers across northern Rakhine State.The United States remains the leading contributor to the humanitarian response to this crisis in Myanmar and Bangladesh, having provided nearly $449 million since the outbreak of violence in August 2017, of which nearly $406 million is for programmes inside Bangladesh.”We continue to call on others to join us in contributing to this humanitarian response,” the media note reads.US assistance provides protection, emergency shelter, food, water, sanitation, health care, psychosocial support, and education for people affected by the crisis, including Bangladeshi host communities and people displaced inside Myanmar and in the region.US assistance also supports the efforts of humanitarian organisations and the government of Bangladesh to improve camp infrastructure and shelter ahead of the monsoon and cyclone seasons.last_img read more