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10 months agoMinotti warns Cagliari midfielder Nicolo Barella against Chelsea move

first_imgMinotti warns Cagliari midfielder Nicolo Barella against Chelsea moveby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Italy international Lorenzo Minotti has warned Cagliari midfielder Nicolo Barella against a move to Chelsea.Minotti, who used to play for Cagliari, has questioned whether Barella would get a game with the Blues.He told TMW: “Risk of a [Marco] Verratti-situation? The Premier [League] is a competitive championship.”Now the Italian teams are not ready to spend a similar amount, and those with chances [to] have [full squads].”If he goes to Chelsea he will struggle to find a starting shirt and be ready for the national team.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img

a month agoHector Bellerin enjoys full 90 for Arsenal U23 in Liverpool draw

first_imgHector Bellerin enjoys full 90 for Arsenal U23 in Liverpool drawby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal fullback Hector Bellerin completed 90 minutes as they came from two goals down to draw with Liverpool at Meadow Park.The Spaniard came close to an opener when he drove through the visitors’ defence and fired a shot at goal but Ben Winterbottom saved well at his near post. Matt Macey then made a brilliant recovery save to keep out Rhian Brewster’s looping header from close range.Liverpool’s pressure paid off when Curtis Jones tapped in following Luis Longstaff’s low cross.The second then came when Jones met another Longstaff cross to head home. The Gunners were back in it on the stroke of half-time when Nathan Tormey beat the offside trap to slot the ball past Winterbottom.Early in the second half Folarin Balogun levelled the scores when he made no mistake from close range following Bellerin’s low cross. About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Bovada Releases March Madness Odds For All 68 Teams

first_imgSunday night, the 2015 NCAA Tournament field was revealed, and unsurprisingly, Kentucky was named the overall No. 1 seed. The Wildcats are also the odds-on favorite to win this year’s national title, per Bovada. In fact, Kentucky is almost at even money to take home the trophy – they’re currently listed at 6:5 to win it all.Arizona, the 2-seed in the West Region, actually has the second-highest odds. Wisconsin checks in third, with Duke fourth. Villanova and Virginia come in at 10:1.Here’s a list of all 68 tournament teams, along with their odds to win the championship. You could make a lot of money betting on a 16-seed to win it all, but we wouldn’t advise it. No 16-seed has ever even won an NCAA Tournament game, much less a title.Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 12.23.19 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-16 at 12.24.09 PMScreen Shot 2015-03-16 at 12.24.38 PMWho are you betting on?last_img

2018/19 Financial Year Officially Begins Today

first_imgThe 2018/19 Financial Year officially begins today (April 1), with the Government projecting to spend $773.6 billion for the year.When former Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, tabled the 2018/19 Estimates of Expenditure in the House of Representatives in the afternoon on Thursday, February 15, the document outlined that the Government expects to spend $560 billion for Recurrent (house-keeping) expenses and $213.6 billion on Capital (development) projects for the year.Before the tabling of the Estimates, Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, delivered the Throne Speech, outlining the programmes and policies to be pursued by the Government during the year.The fight against crime remains a major national priority, with the Government committing additional resources and support to the security forces for the 2018/19 fiscal year.The Governor-General noted that organised crime, along with the violence and homicide it produces, is the biggest threat to citizens’ security and continues to stymie the growth and prosperity of the country.He said the Administration will be seeking approval for a number of legislative measures designed to improve crime-fighting efforts and better enable law-enforcement agencies to interdict criminals.These include the Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Act, Finger Prints(Amendment) Act, Firearms (Amendment) Act, Criminal Justice (Suppression of Criminal Organisations) Act, Parole (Amendment) Act, and The Justice Protection(Amendment) Bill.In addition to the legislative measures, the Government will continue to focus on strengthening its administrative and technological capabilities, crime-prevention and community safety measures, and rehabilitation and redemption.The justice system will also be given special attention in order to reduce the backlog of cases and improve efficiency and effectiveness.The Governor-General said the Government has committed to enabling growth and national development through a sound and predictable macro-economic policy framework that maintains low inflation, a stable exchange rate and competitive interest rates; and improving revenue administration by creating a simple, equitable andcompetitive tax environment to enhance growth and ensure greater compliance.Other areas of focus highlighted in the Throne Speech include programmes to rehabilitate and make new investments in critical health infrastructure; accelerating construction of affordable housing and providing greater access to funding; construction and maintenance of water and irrigation systems; commencement and completion of road projects to ease congestion and improve road safety and security; and scaling up progammes to reach more unattached youth.Social programmes for protected groups will continue to receive priority with respect to the allocation of resources, to ensure that overall spending in these areas is not eroded by inflation.Included are programmes for youth employment, poor relief, children’s homes and places of safety, school feeding, the elderly, and pregnant and lactating women.Special attention will be placed on the Programme of Advancment Through Health and Education (PATH), which targets some of the most vulnerable segments of the population – children and students aged zero to 19 years; the adult poor, including the disabled, elderly, pregnant and lactating mothers and the destitute Measures to establish a National Identification System (NIDS) will be advanced with the National Identification and Registration Authority Regulations to be developed and tabled in the House by September 2018.Work will continue to digitise the records of the Registrar General’s Department (RGD); develop processes to link the records of births and deaths to prevent identity theft; commence transformation of the RGD into the National Identification and Registration Authority; and establish a National Address Database, which will indicatewhere all parcels of land are located within the island in order to support the enrolment of persons in the NIDS.The Government will embark on an aggressive legislative agenda to support its strategic priorities to ensure food security, sustainable use of agricultural land and fisheries resources, and facilitate an enabling local business environment.Fire stations will be constructed in Montego Bay, Port Maria and Yallahs, two drop-in centres in Trelawny and St. Thomas, and homes built for indigent persons.Additional garbage trucks will also be purchased.The Government will be putting measures in place to increase protection of women and girls with the tabling of the Sexual Harassment Bill this year.The proposed Gender Advisory Council is also to be established.Work will begin to build out entertainment zones in Fort Charles and Fort Rocky, Port Royal; Seville, St. Ann; and Westmoreland and St. Catherine.The necessary legislative work and amendments to the various laws regulating entertainment will alsobe done in parallel.As it relates to education, five new schools are to be constructed, while money is to be provided from the e-learning budget to assist in the sustainability of information and communications technology (ICT) in schools from the early-childhood to secondary levels.The support programme for children zero to three years will be given focus, and the Early Childhood Rationalisation programme continued.When Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, made his contribution to the 2018/19 Budget Debate in the House on March 20, he emphasised that achieving economic growth and curbing crime remain national priorities.Mr. Holness said the Administration is taking positive action in securing the nation’s prosperity, through effective stewardship reflected in delivering jobs and housing and undertaking infrastructural development.The Prime Minister argued that if Jamaica is to grow and develop into the desired inclusive, nurturing and caring society, Government spending will have to be “reprioritised towards critical growth areas, infrastructure spending and poverty alleviation.”last_img read more

Inspector warned duck boat company of design flaws last year

first_imgA private inspector said Saturday that he warned the company operating duck boats on a Missouri lake about design flaws putting the watercraft at greater risk of sinking, less than a year before the accident that killed 17 people during a sudden storm.Steve Paul, owner of the Test Drive Technologies inspection service in the St. Louis area, said he issued a written report for the company in August 2017. It explained why the boats’ engines — and pumps that remove water from their hulls — might fail in inclement weather.He also told The Associated Press that the tourist boats’ canopies make them hard to escape when they sink — a concern raised by regulators after a similar sinking in Arkansas killed 13 people in 1999.The accident Thursday evening on Table Rock Lake outside the tourist town of Branson also is raising questions about whether storm warnings in the area went unheeded and whether any agency can keep boaters off the water when inclement weather approaches.“If you have the information that you could have rough waters or a storm coming, why ever put a boat on that water?” Paul said.A witness’ video of the duck boat just before it capsized suggests that its flexible plastic windows might have been closed and could have trapped passengers as the hybrid boat-truck went down. It does not show passengers jumping clear.“The biggest problem with a duck when it sinks is that canopy,” Paul said. “That canopy becomes what I’ll call a people catcher, and people can’t get out from under that canopy.”A spokeswoman for Ripley Entertainment, the company operating the duck boats in Branson, did not respond Saturday to telephone and email messages seeking comment. Spokeswoman Suzanne Smagala has noted that Thursday’s accident was the only one in more than 40 years of operation.An archived version of Ripley’s website said it operates 20 duck boats in Branson and described them as “built from the ground up under United States Coast Guard (USCG) supervision with the latest in marine safety.”In central Wisconsin, Original Wisconsin Ducks in the Dells has no plans to change how it operates after 73 years of safe rides, general manager Dan Gavinski said. But his company operates World War II-vintage boats, not the modified modern version.Since 1999, duck boats have been linked to the deaths of more than 40 people, with a troubled safety record on the road and water alike. Their height can obscure cars, pedestrians or bicycles from a driver’s view, and maintenance problems can be severe.Paul said he won’t know until the boat that sank is recovered from the lake whether it’s one of the two dozen he inspected for Ripley Entertainment in August 2017.The U.S. Coast Guard said the boat that sank was built in 1944 and had passed an inspection in February, The Kansas City Star reported . But Paul said the boat would have been heavily modified to make it longer so that only part of it dates to World War II. He said it would still have the design flaw he identified in his report.He declined to share a copy of his report with The Associated Press but said he said he is willing to make it available to authorities.“I’m sure eventually it will be subpoenaed,” he said.Paul said the duck boats he inspected — which the company had just purchased or repaired — vented exhaust from the motor out front and below the water line. He said in rough conditions, water could get into the exhaust system, and then into the motor, cutting it off. With the motor off, he said, its pump for removing water from the hull would not operate.“If you watch that video, that water is definitely being slammed up into that exhaust without a doubt,” Paul said.After the deadly sinking in Arkansas in 1999, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended doing away with the canopies and adding more floatation capacity so duck boats could remain upright and keep floating even if they took on water.The industry took little heed, said Robert Mongeluzzi, a Philadelphia attorney who has represented victims of duck boat crashes. The canopies can protect customers from rain or sun, he noted, and closed windows allow companies to heat the cabins, extending operating hours.The NTSB called the industry’s response to the recommendations disappointing, saying companies cited the cost of engineering and installing additional flotation capacity as prohibitive.“The duck boat is notoriously unstable and unsuited for what they were attempting to do with it,” said Daniel Rose, an attorney whose New York-based law firm has represented victims in several accidents. “It tries to be a boat and a car and does neither, really, except under ideal circumstances.”State officials said the Coast Guard regulates such craft; its officials did not immediately respond to requests for more information. Spokesmen said the Department of Transportation doesn’t regulate duck boats because they’re amphibious, and the Department of Public Safety doesn’t in this case because it’s a commercial vessel, as opposed to a recreational one.It’s also not clear that any agency had the authority to keep boats off the lake. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built it in the late 1950s, but its officials said they don’t have such authority.Witnesses have said the weather appeared calm before a storm suddenly whipped up strong waves and spray.But nearly eight hours earlier, the National Weather Service had issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the western and central Missouri counties.A severe thunderstorm warning that went out at 6:32 p.m. specifically mentioned Table Rock Lake. The first emergency calls over the accident occurred just after 7 p.m.Meteorologist Elisa Raffa of KOLR-TV in Springfield said in a phone interview Saturday that her station was forecasting the threat of severe weather all morning.“This storm didn’t come out of nowhere,” she said. “That is what pains me. I feel like we did everything, at least we tried to do everything, by the book as meteorologists and we still had this horrible tragedy on our hands.”___Hanna reported from Topeka, Kansas. Johnson reported from Seattle. Jim Salter in St. Louis; Denise Lavoie in Richmond, Virginia; Roxana Hegeman in Wichita, Kansas, and James MacPherson in Bismarck, North Dakota, contributed.last_img read more

Introducing The NCAA Tournament Excitement Index

Every March Madness features a couple of exhilarating games, but can we measure which games were the most exciting? In this video, Neil Paine and Reuben Fischer-Baum introduce FiveThirtyEight’s excitement index for this year’s NCAA tournaments, which will measure how exciting each game was based on swings in in-game win probability. Plus, a friendly wager: What first-round game will be the most exciting?

NFL Quarterbacks Are Leaning On The Short Pass — And Its Not

T. Taylor (BUF)38-0.5544-0.23450.42-0.37 SHORT%Z-SCORESHORT%Z-SCORESHORT%Z-SCORETOT. PASS THROWNATTEMPTSCOMP%YPATD%INT%CONV. RATE C. Wentz (PHI)35-0.9239-0.9534-1.06-2.93 D. Brees (NO)52%1.3854%1.1053%1.393.87 M. Ryan (ATL)34-0.9745-0.1041-0.09-1.17 J. Goff (LAR)40-0.1841-0.69440.26-0.60 T. Siemian (DEN)34-0.9742-0.59460.50-1.05 J. McCown (NYJ)490.97470.20460.521.69 J. Brissett (IND)460.48531.0342-0.061.45 A. Smith (KC)480.82551.32460.542.68 J. Cutler (MIA)420.02510.66561.772.45 M. Stafford (DET)40-0.22500.5437-0.70-0.38 FIRST DOWNSECOND DOWNTHIRD DOWN J. Winston (TB)30-1.6232-1.9522-2.54-6.10 Short of the sticks67273.2%6.61.2%2.4%12.5% C. Beathard (SF)501.07470.19551.652.91 B. Hundley (GB)511.24480.25470.562.05 B. Bortles (JAC)501.12480.35480.702.17 D. Prescott (DAL)36-0.8132-1.9642-0.05-2.82 C. Keenum (MIN)501.07460.02460.501.59 M. Trubisky (CHI)29-1.64531.01490.900.28 A. Dalton (CIN)39-0.43581.6636-0.760.46 E. Manning (NYG)430.12551.3440-0.221.25 C. Newton (CAR)501.0738-1.1039-0.37-0.40 C. Palmer (ARI)29-1.6346-0.0340-0.33-1.98 D. Carr (OAK)430.1145-0.12450.330.32 R. Wilson (SEA)36-0.7337-1.2738-0.52-2.52 Picture this common scene on a Sunday afternoon. Your team could really use a scoring drive to turn the tide. On a 3rd-and-10, before the quarterback is even pressured, he quickly throws a 2-yard pass, and the receiver is tackled a few yards later to bring up fourth down. The crowd grumbles, the offense casually jogs off the field and the punting unit comes on. Better luck next time.Sure, once in a blue moon the offense may throw a bubble screen on 3rd-and-33 and end up with a 52-yard touchdown, like the Rams did with Robert Woods against the Giants in Week 9 this season. But that is the rarest of exceptions.Generally, safe passes like that don’t accomplish much, and we have the data to back that up. How does that 2-yard pass on 3rd-and-10 work out? According to the ESPN Stats & Information Group, quarterback passes thrown no more than 2 yards beyond the line of scrimmage on third down with at least 10 yards to go have been converted only 10.9 percent of the time this season. On throws that travel at least 10 yards, quarterbacks have converted 38.6 percent of the time. So an offense can more than triple its conversion rate just by doing the most obvious thing when trying to move the chains: throwing the ball past the imaginary yellow line on your TV screen.And yet despite this, NFL teams are leaning on the short pass more than ever. The same league that transformed into a passing league over the past 10 years is slowing morphing into something else: the dump-off league.There are some risks with throwing deeper, of course, such as a higher interception rate. And in some special situations, getting a first down isn’t the primary goal of a drive, especially when facing third-and-long. Sometimes teams are just trying to get enough yards to make a field-goal attempt shorter. Or with a big lead in the second half, they’re hoping for an easy completion that will run some clock and gain field position.But when an offense really needs to score points, playing it safe and throwing short of the sticks on third down is often the inferior strategy. We looked at the data from ESPN Stats & Info for passes on 3rd-and-10 or longer for Weeks 1 to 13. We divided the passes between those thrown short of the sticks and those thrown at or beyond the sticks:1For reference, a 12-yard pass on 3rd-and-13 would be considered short of the sticks. Which quarterbacks are the most conservative passers?Which quarterbacks throw short of a “successful” pass distance the most relative to their peers (as measured by the z-scores — the standard deviations above/below the mean — of the Short%* for each down added together), minimum 200 dropbacks through Week 13 of the 2017 season A. Rodgers (GB)602.38520.8924-2.280.99 D. Kizer (CLE)37-0.6842-0.52440.28-0.91 D. Watson (HOU)30-1.5331-2.1340-0.26-3.92 The completion rate for short throws is more than 30 percentage points higher than the rate for longer passes and yet the conversation rate is more than 30 points lower. This is not surprising because defenses are playing to prevent the first down and are willing to concede a fraction of the yardage. However, this positioning make it very difficult for a team to throw short and run after the catch to convert.So far we have only talked about third downs, the crucial down for maintaining offensive success. However, analyzing aggressive and conservative passing on first and second down is also important. A bubble screen that loses a few yards to bring up 2nd-and-13 is also putting the offense in a position to fail.Football Outsiders’ key efficiency metrics, including Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (explained here), are built around the concept of successful plays and are adjusted for factors like the down and distance. For instance, a 5-yard pass on 3rd-and-3 is more valuable than a 5-yard pass on 2nd-and-17. For a pass to be considered a successful play, it must gain at least 45 percent of the needed yards on first down, 60 percent on second down, and 100 percent on third and fourth. A completion that does not meet those standards is considered a failed completion. Joe Flacco of the Ravens set the failed completion record last season, with 144, and he leads all quarterbacks in 2017 with 95 through Week 13.It’s not just Flacco. The ineffective dump-off is happening across the NFL. Leaguewide, 26.1 percent of all completions this season qualify as failed completions. That’s the highest rate for a season in the Football Outsiders database, which goes back to 1989, and if the 2017 rate stays at that level, it will break the current high bar set in 2015 (25.1 percent).This is not to say that the short pass doesn’t have value in the NFL playbook or that every quarterback should begin slinging the ball 25 yards downfield each time he takes a snap. There is no one right way to run an NFL offense, and some teams have been able to use the short pass to devastating effect. To get a better sense of this, let’s look at which quarterbacks throw short most often using air yards stats.2This includes passes that drew a defensive pass interference flag but excludes passes that were intentionally thrown away or became intentional grounding penalties.Football Outsiders has a stat called “Short%” to denote the percentage of attempts that a quarterback threw short of the minimum yards needed for a successful play, as defined above. So if 45 percent of needed yards are required on first downs, then anything shorter than a 5-yard throw on first-and-10 would be considered a short pass here. The league average for Short% in 2017 is 41.6 percent on first down, 45.5 percent on second down, and 42.5 percent on third down. It’s not until fourth down that most quarterbacks realize the importance of needing to convert with a big throw. Short% on fourth down is 26.2 percent (although that is only on a sample of 214 plays).We looked at Short% on first, second and third downs for quarterbacks who have had a minimum of 200 dropbacks this season. For the 35 quarterbacks, we took the z-score (standard deviations above or below average) of each percentage and added them up, to make sure we were accurately capturing quarterbacks who threw short on all of their downs relative to the league. The quarterback with the largest summed z-score in the table below is the most conservative, as a higher percentage of his passes were short of being a successful play. J. Flacco (BAL)480.79551.28511.123.19 B. Hoyer (SF/NE)450.42551.27490.902.59 B. Roethlisberger (PIT)470.6838-1.1136-0.75-1.19 Short passes become puntsKey outcomes for passes on 3rd-and-10 or longer, Weeks 1-13 Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group P. Rivers (LAC)440.30510.67450.321.29 T. Savage (HOU)38-0.4742-0.5530-1.57-2.59 T. Brady (NE)36-0.7942-0.5434-1.06-2.40 K. Cousins (WAS)470.70460.03501.051.78 M. Mariota (TEN)37-0.64460.0433-1.10-1.70 At or beyond the sticks39042.89.64.43.842.6 Higher z-scores mean a quarterback throws short more often.*Short% is the share of passes that fall short of a successful play’s distance (at least 45 percent of the needed yards on first down, 60 percent on second down, and 100 percent on third)Source: Football Outsiders Some of the names at the top of the list are predictable, including Flacco and infamous short pass maestro Alex Smith. Jay Cutler has been very dink-and-dunk oriented with Adam Gase in Miami this season, while San Francisco’s first two quarterbacks this season (Brian Hoyer and C.J. Beathard) made the top five.The real surprise here is the name at the very top: Drew Brees. Not only does he rank as the most conservative passer, but he has consistently stuck to this strategy no matter what the down is. To his credit, Brees has made it work — the Saints rank No. 1 in offensive DVOA and No. 6 in passing. Perhaps more accurately, the running backs are making this offense work. Through Week 13, rookie Alvin Kamara ranked as the best receiving running back while teammate Mark Ingram ranks as Football Outsiders’ top rusher. With two RBs capable of big gains on any play, it’s no surprise that Brees is throwing short early and often. We’ll see if this strategy can sustain itself — the Saints have failed to score 21 points in all four of their losses this season (each was to a playoff contender, including last night’s loss to Atlanta).At the bottom, seven quarterbacks had a combined z-score below 2.0 standard deviations. That includes the trio of favorites for the MVP race in Tom Brady, Russell Wilson and Carson Wentz, whose aggressive styles this year have been a positive for their offenses. Similar things could have been said about Deshaun Watson before Houston’s standout rookie tore his ACL.But being aggressive is not a magic formula for success as the list plainly shows. Watson’s backup, Tom Savage, has tried to emulate Watson’s aggressive style, but without anywhere near the same success. Likewise, Jameis Winston of the Buccaneers is routinely one of the leaders in air yards per attempt, but his lack of consistency remains a problem for Tampa Bay. In Dallas, Dak Prescott is throwing aggressively, but his receivers are getting the fewest yards per carry after the catch in the league.Like with any stat, Short% is only one piece of the puzzle, and every quarterback has his own set of circumstances. As we see with Brees, a quarterback can get away with passive play if he’s extremely efficient and the team is still winning.Few quarterbacks have this type of arsenal or this type of ability, so they would be better served trusting the numbers and resisting the easy dump-off.Check out our latest NFL predictions. read more

Pryor rescues sloppy Buckeyes with fourthdown scramble in victory over Hawkeyes

Terrelle Pryor admitted he doesn’t have the most talent or the glitziest numbers. But he proved Saturday he can make plays when it counts. The junior quarterback rallied Ohio State (10-1, 6-1) to a fourth-quarter comeback to escape Iowa City, Iowa, with a 20-17 victory and keep the Buckeyes in the hunt for their sixth straight conference title. “I might not be the best quarterback or have the best stats,” Pryor said, “but I guarantee I can bring my team back and make them believe that we were coming back.” It wasn’t pretty. Pryor scrambled for 14 yards to convert a fourth-and-10 at midfield to revive a game-winning drive that was on life support. Five plays later, running back Dan “Boom” Herron punched in a 2-yard touchdown to cap the 12-play, 76-yard march and give OSU a 20-17 lead with 1:47 remaining. “Our guys don’t panic,” coach Jim Tressel said. “They believe and keep fighting. We felt like it was going to be a four-quarter heavyweight bout.” Herron rushed for 69 yards on 20 carries. The junior has scored at least one touchdown in 10 consecutive games. Iowa’s final crack at tying or winning the game was short-lived. Defensive lineman Cameron Heyward sacked quarterback Ricky Stanzi to force the Hawkeyes into a fourth-and-22, which they couldn’t convert. “I think we knew we really needed a stop,” Heyward said. “The defensive line just took that personally and went out there and played.” Pryor raved all week about OSU’s offensive game plan for Iowa, but aside from the go-ahead series, the Buckeyes struggled to muster up any sort of offensive rhythm. The junior signal-caller tossed a pair of costly interceptions, and officials flagged the Buckeyes eight times for 73 yards, including three false start penalties. “Throughout the game, a lot of things were going on,” Pryor said. “A lot of dropped passes, a lot of bad throws, a lot of inaccurate throws. We lived for another day.” Pryor’s miscues nearly cost OSU the game. Facing third-and-10 with the score tied 10-10 in the fourth quarter, Pryor, looking for receiver Dane Sanzenbacher, threw into double coverage off his back foot. Iowa’s Shaun Prater collected the errant throw after a deflection, returning the pick eight yards to the OSU 27-yard line. The pick “was kind of B.S.,” Pryor said. “It kind of bounced off Dane and bounced up. They made a great play on that.” Two plays later, running back Marcus Coker scored the first touchdown of his career from one yard out to provide Iowa a 17-10 edge. Coker totaled 70 yards on nine carries as he started in place of Adam Robinson, whom Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz benched for the first quarter for what he called “academic indigestions.” “He didn’t do anything wrong, illegal or what have you,” Ferentz said. “But just not dotting the ‘I’s and crossing the ‘T’s.” Robinson, who gained 27 yards on nine carries, left the game on Iowa’s final drive after taking a brutal hit from OSU safety Jermale Hines. With 7:38 to play, Devin Barclay converted a career-long 48-yard field goal to cap an 11-play, 30-yard drive that cut OSU’s deficit to 17-13. One play before Pryor rescued the Buckeyes on fourth down, receiver DeVier Posey, all alone in the end zone, let a downfield heave fall through his fingers. He strutted back to the huddle, hands on his helmet, shaking his head. “Was I pissed? Yeah, I was mad,” Pryor said. “But we had a fourth-and-10 to get to or we were going to lose another game. I hate losing with a passion.” Pryor atoned for Posey’s drop and his own mistakes on the next play, as Tressel opted against punting on fourth down from midfield with more than four minutes left. Instead, the notoriously conservative coach put his trust in an offense that tallied just three points in the first half. “When it was fourth-and-10 and (Pryor) went scrambling, I almost threw up on myself,” linebacker Brian Rolle said. “I held my breath the whole play.” On the Buckeyes’ final possession before halftime, Pryor tried to squeeze a pass into triple coverage for receiver Taurian Washington. After a deflection, Iowa safety Micah Hyde snagged the ball with one hand while falling to the ground to preserve the Hawkeye lead. Following the play, Pryor pleaded his case with Tressel and quarterbacks coach Nick Siciliano, insisting that the turnover wasn’t his fault. “He was probably upset about the fact he threw an interception,” Tressel said. “But in the heat of a game when you’re screaming and yelling at each other, there’s no place for the meek and mild. You need to be screamed at and you need to scream. “I don’t know if I was screaming at him or if he was screaming at me or if we were screaming at each other, but we still love each other.” Pryor completed 18 of his 33 pass attempts for 195 yards. He found backup tight end Reid Fragel for a 5-yard touchdown to cap a 12-play, 77-yard drive to start the second half and turn a 7-3 deficit into a 10-7 advantage. The score was the first of Fragel’s career. Iowa responded with a 10-play, 65-yard march of its own, which culminated in a 31-yard field goal to tie the game. Last season, the teams also entered the fourth quarter knotted at 10-10. Herron and running back Brandon Saine scored touchdowns early in the quarter before Iowa erased a 14-point deficit to send the contest into overtime. After Iowa failed to score, Barclay punched the Buckeyes’ ticket to Pasadena, Calif., with a 39-yard field goal. OSU hosts rival Michigan at the Horseshoe at noon Saturday. A victory would clinch the Buckeyes at least a share of the Big Ten title. Michigan State and Wisconsin remain tied with OSU atop the Big Ten standings with one conference loss. The Badgers beat Michigan, and the Spartans rallied to defeat Purdue. read more

Newcastle reject Lascelles offer

first_imgNewcastle United have rejected an offer thought to be around £25million from West Ham for defender Jamal Lascelles, according to talkSPORT.West Ham are interested in signing the 24-year-old defender for Newcastle but have had their first offer rejected by the Toon side.The Hammers are currently undergoing a squad overhaul as new boss Manuel Pellegrini looks to improve the quality of his playing squad.West Ham have already completed the signing of Issa Diop, Ryan Fredericks, Lukasz Fabianski and Jack Wilshere.But Pellegrini is keen on adding Lascelles to his squad to improve his defence.Roberto Firmino, LiverpoolVirgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.West Ham are hoping to lure the former Nottingham Forest centre-back to the Olympic Stadium in London but Rafael Benitez is hoping to keep his captain at the club.Newcastle have made their intentions of retaining the services of the English man known and have rejected West Ham’s bid for him.last_img read more

Atalanta star Josip Ilicic admits he contemplated quitting football

first_imgAtalanta star midfielder Josip Ilicic has revealed how he had considered in many times of quitting football especially when he was sick and in hospital.Earlier, the Slovenia international spent most of the summer in and out of the hospital as a result of a bacterial infection at his lymph nodes.“As a man, the illness changed me a great deal,” Ilicic told Sky Sport Italia via Football Italia, after Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Parma.Serie A, Gian Piero GasperiniGasperini reveals why he rejected Inter Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Atalanta manager, Gian Piero Gasperini, has revealed why he rejected Internazionale Milan’s job proposal over the summer transfer window.“I want to thank everyone who stood by me during this difficult time. I look at the world differently now. I thought many times that I might have to give up football, especially when I was in the hospital.“I’m glad that Atalanta are doing well and it’s not about me, but the team. Finally, we’re getting the goals that we deserved to score earlier in the season.”The Atalanta midfielder missed out on the 2010 FIFA World Cup but made his debut for the national side in a friendly match against Australia in August of the same. He scored his first international goal against Cypruslast_img read more

Mourinho advises Arsenal on how to get the best out of

first_imgJose Mourinho knows all about Mesut Ozil and warned Arsenal manager Unai Emery that unless he finds the “right balance” in his approach then he will likely never get the best out of the GermanThe unsettled star has missed several key games over the last few months at Arsenal, which has prompted talk of a possible exit.Gunners legend Emmanuel Petit has even gone as far as to suggest that Ozil’s lost his motivation after winning everything he set out to do and added that his retirement from international football has likely had a bad impact on him.And things appear to not be improving soon for Ozil at the Emirates Stadium after being left on the bench in Arsenal’s 2-0 win over London rivals Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday.Now Mourinho, who Ozil starred for at Real Madrid, believes Emery must find a way to not take either a too soft or hard approach when it comes to dealing with the 30-year-old.“Honestly, I don’t know what is going on, if he is having a physical problem or not,’ The Portuguese coach told beIN Sports.Jose Mourinho, Lionel MessiMourinho: “Lionel Messi made me a better coach” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho believes the experience of going up against Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi at Real Madrid made him a greater coach.“I know that there was some problem in relation to his contract, he is leaving on a free then he is not leaving on a free. I think finally he signed a contract and decided to stay.“So there is not an issue with contract, so I believe there is something with the physical point of view or there is some confrontation of ideas with Unai. I think the nature of football is exactly this nature.“With me, Ozil played amazingly well but maybe not with Unai. And maybe a certain player that I don’t remember was phenomenal with Unai but doesn’t work as well with me. It’s just the nature of empathy.“I just feel that Ozil is the kind of player that needs both sides of it. By one side, if you are just sweet with him, you lose his natural aggression because he’s not naturally a very strong, physical player in terms of aggression.“If you are too strong with him and forget that he also needs a bit of care, a little bit of love, you don’t find the right balance. So I think it’s about finding the right balance with him.”last_img read more

Overseas Territories welcome New Forum on Brexit

first_img ALERT # 2 ON POTENTIAL TROPICAL CYCLONE NINE ISSUED BY THE BAHAMAS DEPARTMENT OF METEOROLOGY THURSDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER, 2019 AT 9 PM EDT #MagneticMediaNews Related Items:#magneticmedianews Recommended for you Electricity Cost of Service Study among the big agenda items at September 11 Cabinet meetingcenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppLondon, England, February 9, 2017 – The UK’s exit from the European Union will not hurt relations with the Overseas Territories and when negotiations ensue, the UK promises the territories’ interests will be remembered at the bargaining table.These are two main themes which have come out of a special convening of UK Overseas Territories in London early this week with the Foreign Minister, Baroness Anelay and Minister for Exiting the European Union, Robin Walker.The Governor’s Office reported that Territory leaders, welcomed the new forum which was explicitly designed to discuss the impact of Brexit on OTs.  Premier, Hon Sharlene Robinson and Governor, His Excellency, Dr John Freeman represented Turks and Caicos as among 10 countries at the meeting.It was said by Rt Hon Anelay that, “I…  am keen to build on this early positive engagement to ensure the deal the UK Government ultimately negotiates, works for all.”   A White Paper along these lines has already gone to British Parliament.   It was the first meeting of the new forum. The Luxury of Grace Bay in Down Town Provolast_img read more

Royal Robinson picks on government over health issue claims

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppTurks And Caicos Islands, May 19th 2017 :Royal Robinson is accusing the government of downplaying of the outbreak of Scabies among Prisoners. In a release, where he describes himself as the shadow Health Minister, Robinson highlighted plans to relocate the prisoners, to the Green Door Facility, located adjacent to the Community College in Grand Turk. However, the forty men were sent with a clean bill of health back to the Dominican Republic on Tuesday via two government chartered flights. The TCI court was a part of the arrangements made to charge, reduce sentence to time serve and deport, putting on halt any relocation plans for the detention centre, at least for now.Robinson highlighted the scabies parasite as mites, not native to the TCI and a possible threat to students at the college if the relocation happened.  The TCI Government had agreed with the DR consular to have the men sent home, after it was proving too costly and troublesome to continue their detention.Meanwhile, the opposition member says government has not done much to control an apparent mosquito outbreak. In the release, the self named shadow health minister says “government failed to utilise chemicals, trucks and manpower in the fight against mosquitoes, allowing its population to expand to exponential proportions”, describing it as the “most brutal mosquito assault in the TCI in recent years”.His comments come a month after Zika Communications Strategy consultant, Salorne McDonald says there were no new cases of Zika in the TCI for 2017. Last week, government carried out a carried out its Mosquito Awareness week campaign, which involved awareness activities highlighting the ills of breeding mosquitoes.Robinson warns of the high alert for Zika which still remains in the western world. He says TCI cannot waste anymore time while “there is potential for the ill-health of the nation”, as the virus is a real threat to the Caribbean. Robinson says the time had come for no more excuses. He adds that months ago the same government was boasting of change and promising a better life, but now is “failing on basic community health issues.” #MagneticMediaNews#RoyalRobinsonPicksOnTCIGcenter_img Related Items:#magneticmedianews, #RoyalRobinsonPicksOnTCIGlast_img read more

BAHAMAS BAIC Made Donation to the Exuma Farmers Association

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, December 5, 2017 – Exuma – Executives of BAIC made a donation to the Exuma Farmers Association at the Fish and Farm Store, Produce Exchange, Potter’s Cay Dock on Friday, December 1, 2017.Pictured from left: Gaylord Ingraham, BAIC Assistant General Manager; Troy Sampson, BAIC General Manager; Miriam Emmanuel, BAIC Chairman; Patrick Dwyer, Exuma Farmers Association and Vermon Lockhart, Store Manager, Fish and Farm Store.(BIS Photos/Letisha Henderson)last_img

Hugo Sanchez offers himself to coach Real Madrid

first_imgIn a feeble attempt to get noticed by Real Madrid, Mexican legend Hugo Sanchez offered himself to manage the club on television.When anybody talks about Hugo Sanchez the player, we immediately revive the incredible years he had in Spanish football playing for both Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.During that time, the Pentapichichi won a total of five top-scorer trophies and became the biggest player in Mexican football history without a doubt.Maybe Rafael Marquez won more collective accolades when he played for Barcelona in modern times, but nobody can ever rival what Hugo did for Real Madrid during his golden era.The problem here is the following, all that success happened over 30 years ago and the players from the new generations barely remember Hugo Sanchez despite what he did in Spanish football.Another problem is his managerial career, one that was relatively short-lived and very controversial.Coaching Pumas was the best moment of Hugo’s career as a manager, he won the championship twice in a row and even defeated Real Madrid in the Santiago Bernabeu trophy during the summer of 2004.That success he has with Pumas was the biggest at club level, everything changed when he tried his luck in Europe as the Almeria boss.💥 ¡GOLAZO DE CHILENA! 🇲🇽 @hugosanchez_9🗓 1988/89🆚 @realvalladolid#RMHistory https://t.co/7UovG4pld9— Real Madrid C.F.⚽ (@realmadrid) November 2, 2018Sanchez’s first year in La Liga was relatively successful as he managed to save the club from relegation, but wasn’t able to maintain the level during the next season and he was ultimately sacked.His biggest moment for that club apart from saving it was the 1-0 defeat against Barcelona, on the day when his player Chico neutralized Xavi Hernandez.But that was about it, nothing more exciting happened for Hugo Sanchez during his managerial career in European football.A different story was told when he coached the National Team from his country, Sanchez was able to leave the Mexican squad on third place at the 2007 Copa America in Venezuela and completed an impressive achievement on the international stage.Hugo’s whole plan with Mexico was to reach the 2010 World Cup and compete at the highest level, but this man is historically famous for not controlling his ego and it played him a bad joke when the 2008 Olympics were about to happen.Hugo being himself, decided that he would manage the u-23 Mexican squad and didn’t count on being eliminated from the competition that qualified every nation to the event. This got Sanchez sacked and nobody ever looked back on that decision.⏱ #Cronómetro📋 #ENCUESTA🗣 @hugosanchez_9: “Son pocos en el mundo que pueden estar al frente de ese vestuario y se lo digo a Florentino Pérez, ya estoy listo”.Sergio Ramos, Real MadridZidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.🤔 ¿Hugo Sánchez es buena opción para dirigir a @realmadrid?🔃 RT: Sí❤ MG: No🎙 #JoserraVSPuig pic.twitter.com/J6nNM2nkqk— Cronómetro (@ESPN_Cronometro) October 30, 2018Today, Sanchez works as a football pundit for Mexican ESPN and keeps looking for that second chance with Mexico… or that golden opportunity for Real Madrid which he attempted last week.In the wake of Julen Lopetegui’s dismissal, Sanchez took it upon himself to offer Florentino Perez his services and let everybody make a mockery out of his strange approach.“Very few people in the world can handle that locker room and I want to tell Florentino Perez that I’m ready to his face. If you call me, you know where to find me,” sputed Hugo Sanchez.“I am capable and well-prepared for the challenge, but if you don’t call me, then keep on looking and see if you find someone. Now you know Florentino, I’ll be waiting for your call.”“Zidane is the most recent example with one La Liga trophy, three Champions League, two Club World Cups, and two European Supercups.”“He won many titles, but the players are looking for someone to respect and admire. I’ve been where they are right now, I’ve done everything they have and I can tell them what to do,” he added.#HugoSanchez se candidatea para dirigir al Real MadridSe escucha ya hasta malSe candidateo para dirigir a:@miseleccionmx @tigres @Rayados @ClubAmericaEtcéterasY nadie lo pela, ya se lo dijo @Faitelson_ESPN no tiene curriculum como DT por Dios. Ya hablen con él pic.twitter.com/dU9YSUuMV5— Golden Boy ⚽️️👍🏻 (@intelecto7) October 30, 2018What do you think about Hugo Sanchez’s offering to Real Madrid and Florentino Perez? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.last_img read more

Former Aston Villa player recalls relentlessly negative youth coach MacDonald

first_imgGareth Farrelly, who played at Aston Villa in the ’90s, is now an attorney at law and recalls the abuse players were subjected to under coach Kevin MacDonald.Gareth Farrelly, 43, touched on his time under coach Kevin MacDonald, the Aston Villa youth coach suspended over these new “bullying” claims. Farrelly says the time he spent at Villa was a “relentlessly negative” regime under MacDonald.“It was a culture of verbal and physical bullying, but there were no checks and balances; he operated with impunity. It was like a dark shadow came over,” Farrelly told the Guardian.Jose Mourinho is sold on Lampard succeeding at Chelsea Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho wanted to give his two cents on Frank Lampard’s odds as the new Chelsea FC manager, he thinks he will succeed.There really…“He would say: ‘You think you’re a f***ing player? You’re not a f***ing player. You’ve got f***ing no chance.’ He would be calling players ‘c**ts’ all the time; crazy stuff when you think about the role of responsibility he operated in.”“In training, it wasn’t unusual for people to end up squaring up to him, games would have to be stopped. It became normal. People were lucky not to have their legs broken. Every day you’d go into work, put your boots on, and think: ‘Here it comes again’. It took a huge toll.”last_img read more

Suspect wanted for armed robbery at La Mesa Baskin Robbins

first_img KUSI Newsroom, April 4, 2018 Posted: April 4, 2018 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter Updated: 4:11 PMcenter_img LA MESA (KUSI) — The La Mesa Police Department Wednesday asked the public to help locate and identify a suspect wanted for armed robbery at a local Baskin Robbins.On Monday at approximately 9:53 p.m., a male armed with a handgun robbed the Baskin Robbins located at 8807 ½ La Mesa Boulevard, in La Mesa.The suspect entered the store and walked behind the counter, where he brandished a semi-automatic handgun and demanded the money from the register. After one employee complied, the suspect ordered the two employees to lay face down on the floor.The suspect then fled out the front door of the business in an unknown direction.La Mesa Police Officers searched the surrounding areas with assistance from the San Diego Sheriff’s Department helicopter ASTREA, but were unable to locate the suspect.The suspect is described as a light-skinned black male adult, approximately 6’00 tall and weighing approximately 200 pounds. The suspect was wearing a black ski mask, black sweatshirt, light colored pants, and dark shoes.Anyone with information is encouraged to call the La Mesa Police Department. You may also call Crime Stoppers’ anonymous toll-free tip line (888) 580-TIPS or www.sdcrimestoppers.com.  You can remain anonymous, and be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 for information in this case. KUSI Newsroom Suspect wanted for armed robbery at La Mesa Baskin Robbinslast_img read more

Vice President Mike Pence to visit San Diego Thursday

first_img KUSI Newsroom, KUSI Newsroom Posted: July 9, 2019 SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The office of Vice President Mike Pence Tuesday announced plans for him to visit San Diego County later this week, part of a three-day swing through California and Texas to visit constituents, military bases and immigrant detention centers.Pence is expected to arrive in San Diego on Wednesday night, then visit U.S. Naval Amphibious Base Coronado on Thursday. While at the base, Pence is also expected to tour the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Munro, which is normally homeported in Kodiak, Alaska, and is tasked with seizing drugs in international waters.While in San Diego, Pence will also attend a fundraiser for President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign.Although Pence has not visited San Diego County in an official capacity since taking office in January 2017, he traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border in Calexico, located about 100 miles east of San Diego in Imperial County, in April 2018 to discuss immigration policy and view renovated areas of border fencing.“We’re thrilled to have the vice president in town,” said Tony Krvaric, chairman of the Republic Party of San Diego County. “The Trump-Pence administration has provided more support and respect for our military service members than the previous administration and it’s much appreciated.”Pence is scheduled to visit U.S. Naval Air Station Lemoore and Vandenberg Air Force Base on Wednesday. On Friday, he plans to visit the Donna immigrant detention facility in McAllen, Texas. Vice President Mike Pence to visit San Diego Thursday Categories: Local San Diego News, Politics FacebookTwitter July 9, 2019last_img read more

Advertising Sales Salary Survey

first_imgADVERTISING SALES OR REGIONAL MANAGERSALES PERSON, ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE, OR MANAGER METHODOLOGYThe survey sample of 771 was selected by Red 7 Media and Readex Research and represented all FOLIO: subscribers classified as sales management at the time of sample selection. Data was collected via mail survey from February 25 to April 9, 2008. The survey was closed for tabulation with 315 responses (a 41 percent response rate). To ensure representation of the audience of interest, results have been filtered to include only the 249 respondents who completed the compensation information, work full time, and indicated their job functions are best described as advertising sales director; advertising sales or regional manager; advertising salesperson, account executive, or category manager. The margin of error for percentages based on all 249 respondents is 4.8 at the 95 percent confidence level. Advertising sales is a hot field to be in right now. According to FOLIO:’s Industry Job Trends report from March, it’s one of the most in-demand areas of magazine publishing—so much so that Discover Media’s CEO Henry Donahue said demand was outstripping supply, driving salaries up. Executives from Aspire Media, National Geographic and CurtCo all noted plans to staff up on sales people to help drive revenue during economic downturn.But the sales directors, managers and reps who responded to FOLIO:’s Advertising Sales Salary Survey this year present a mixed report from the field—especially when it comes to the impact of e-media. “Online sales will offer additional earning potential,” one respondent said in a verbatim response. “Can’t make as much selling Web offerings as print pages, but they are just as time consuming,” said another.Still, the survey shows ad salaries, in many areas, are healthy and growing, particularly for ad sales or regional managers at consumer magazines who saw an increase of almost 27 percent in base salary last year over the year before.SALARY BY CATEGORY:ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTORlast_img read more

For Publishing Companies and Their Suppliers a Surge in Bankruptcies

first_imgSome publishing companies that have been at the top of their categories (or even remain so) are now financially troubled and facing speculation about their fate. One is the residential construction giant Hanley Wood, long considered one of the best-run companies in b-to-b media. Another is Advanstar Communications, which was acquired by Veronis Suhler Stevenson in 2007 for $1.1 billion and is saddled with several hundred million in debt. (Advanstar is no stranger to bankruptcy—it endured the process in the early 1990s.)To be clear, our sources suggested that these companies might be vulnerable to a dramatic restructuring, not necessarily bankruptcy. Hanley Wood CEO Frank Anton said the company is not considering a Chapter 11 filing. Advanstar did not immediately return a request for comment. “That big media companies with a lot of leverage [usually from private-equity related M&A activity] are filing for protection is understandable right now,” said one financial observer. “When you start seeing pure strategic companies filing, that will be the bigger story. This fall should be interesting for the traditional media landscape. Only a few companies, probably, have not breached their covenants.”Clay Hall, CEO of Aspire Media—the sprawling enthusiast publisher based in Loveland, Colorado—said there are some telltale signs for companies that might be in danger. “Companies that are not number-one or number-two in their markets are likely candidates for bankruptcy,” he said. “Companies that continue to operate with the same strategies they had several years ago. Companies with debt rations of higher than four-times EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization). Companies with greater than 50 percent of revenue coming from advertising.”Leverage is usually the culprit. Even profitability doesn’t matter if the debt ratio is too large. “The companies that are vulnerable are the ones that have a lot of debt and are aggressively leveraged,” said Cam Bishop, founder of Clearview Resource Group, and a former CEO of both Intertec Publishing and Ascend Media. “And that’s the profile of most companies in the last five to eight years. That doesn’t mean they’re unprofitable. Some are extremely so, but covenant breaches that occur are primarily ratios that fall out of the range they’re allowed to be in, given the credit agreement. A publisher may only have one covenant—or several depending on the structure. They can be in compliance on all but one and then they’re in breach. That can force them into Chapter 11 or some kind of restructuring.”Coming Out of BankruptcyFOLIO: spoke with several publishing company operators about the bankruptcy potential within the industry, what publishers need to do to come out of it and the dangers along the way. Filing Chapter 11 filing doesn’t have to be the kiss of death. RDA CEO Mary Berner yesterday told staffers that its voluntary pre-arranged Chapter 11 filing is “the best type of bankruptcy to be in” and is “strictly a balance-sheet issue” with no mass lay-offs or salary cuts planned. The move will reduce Reader’s Digest’s debt from $2.2 billion to $550 million. RDA, which had been a publicly traded company, was acquired by the private-equity firm Ripplewood Holdings for $1.6 billion in 2006 ($2.4 billion if debt assumption is included).But that doesn’t mean it’s a painless process,  particularly for the equity holders that get squeezed out and wiped out. The average Chapter 11 process in the U.S. runs for a year and a half and should be considered a last resort. “Once you go into Chapter 11, the courts have the authority to make decisions and you never know what the result will be,” said a publishing executive who wished to remain anonymous. “You go in with something prepackaged and the court could still cut a different deal. One thing to keep in mind is that when a publisher declares bankruptcy, its lenders aren’t collecting debt service. The only people that make out in Chapter 11 are the lawyers. They get paid first.” Chapter 11 also limits investment in a business—which can be fatal at a time when publishers are trying to reinvent themselves. “By the time a company gets to the Chapter 11 stage they’ve probably taken so much out that they’ve done irreparable damage to the brand,” said Harbor Communications president and co-founder (and former Penton president) Dan Ramella. “They probably need operating cash to give their properties a chance to revive themselves. As you continue to cut and trim back, the immediate effect is pretty imperceptible but as time goes on you’ve done so much damage to a brand it’s almost impossible to get it back.” Bankruptcy Not the Only OptionStill, filing for Chapter 11 isn’t the only recourse (and often it’s the threat of Chapter 11 that sends a company looking for alternatives). “Restructuring is an alternative to bankruptcy, but different classes of lenders have different rights when it comes to negotiating a restructuring,” said Canon Communications CEO Charlie McCurdy. “To accomplish one, lenders need to agree to a lower level of debt obligations. Often the threat of bankruptcy is used as a deterrent to bankruptcy in order to expedite an out-of-court restructuring.” Sometimes investors can put more money into the company to bring it back into compliance, but often credit agreements don’t allow that. “The PE guys would like to sell the business, that’s ideal,” said Ramella. “But given the nature of multiples and what’s happened in last couple years, business media is not as attractive to financial buyers as it has been in past. Historically, once they got in the game, they just kept selling to one another. Now the music finally stopped and the guys holding the businesses that are struggling can’t find someone to buy them.” Some private equity owners may just walk away. With Reader’s Digest reducing 75 percent of its debt, that’s basically what Ripplewood is doing. “Bankruptcy is all about not being able to pay creditors, whether it’s suppliers or banks or whatever,” said Ramella. “If one of these companies trips its covenants and the bank comes calling, they’re left with no option. They have to convince investors to put more in play and they don’t like to do that. It’s like people who have upside down mortgages—they just walk away. That’s what PE is doing when they have to go that route.” What Happens Next? While lenders began seeking stricter covenants last year, the industry may now see a return to “covenant-lite” deals that offer the publisher a little breathing room and flexibility to operate. Sales multiples will remain low, even as the “fire sales” so many financial observers were predicting earlier in the year become more common. “There are a lot of pre-backed businesses that aren’t overleveraged or at risk of going under,” said Ramella. “Some may be interested in taking such a business piecemeal, but how many want to try a whole business? That remains to be seen. A lot of companies are loath to sell individual properties over bundles, but the price of entry in publishing is not prohibitive. You do need deep enough pockets to find a good prospect, and if you’re patient, you’ll be a survivor. A lot of companies are struggling to have profit centers and brands that make money. They’re probably throwing cash off but not enough to cover the debt service. That’s where lot of these companies got caught.” With annual revenue of more than $2 billion, the Reader’s Digest Association may be the largest magazine publisher to ever file for bankruptcy. But it probably won’t be the last this year. The private-equity frenzy of the past decade, combined with the unprecedented downturn, has caught up with the industry. So far in recent months, supplier companies including distributor Source Interlink and printer Quebecor World filed for protection, and publishers including the newspaper giant (and owner of Connecticut magazine) Journal Register Co. and Cygnus Business Media have as well. Summit Business Media is said to be in the process of addressing several leverage covenant issues in its bank lending agreement, with sources saying the company has experienced a technical or paperwork default with its covenants rather than payment default issues. The publisher recently closed or sold off several business lines, including its art group and Executive Enterprise Institute. last_img read more