Editorial Results (free)
1. Medicare Database Reveals Top-Paid Doctors
- Thursday, April 10, 2014
WASHINGTON (AP) – Medicare paid a tiny group of doctors $3 million or more apiece in 2012. One got nearly $21 million.
Those are among the findings of an Associated Press analysis of physician data released Wednesday by the Obama administration, part of a move to open the books on health care financing.
2. Conference to Present Power of Networks
- Tuesday, April 08, 2014
The Mid-South nonprofit community is doing better than it was during the throes of the recession. And there is a report on the 2013 fiscal year as proof that things are better than they once were.
But in the nonprofit world, there is always a need to do more and to expand resources as far as possible. So, when the Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence holds its ninth annual conference on May 1 at Temple Israel, the keynote speaker will be an expert on grantmaking.
3. Dish, Disney Deal Envisions Internet-Delivered TV
- Wednesday, March 05, 2014
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Dish Network and Disney have reached a landmark deal that envisions the day when Dish will offer a Netflix-like TV service to people who'd rather stream TV over the Internet than put a satellite receiver on their roof.
4. Caissa Public Strategy Opens DC Office
- Monday, February 17, 2014
Fueled by a demand for the specialized services it provides, Memphis-based consulting firm Caissa Public Strategy has expanded with the opening of a new office in the nation’s capital.
Caissa founder Brian Stephens said the reason for the expansion there isn’t necessarily obvious. Caissa didn’t hang out its shingle in Washington to focus on landing new work there – instead, the new office is intended to help Caissa have better relationships with its clients there who need work done in the South.
5. Super Bowl ‘Ad-stravaganza’ Preview
- Wednesday, January 29, 2014
With one of the most watched television broadcasts in history just days away, buzz is building to a frenzy over which big brands will take home Best in Show in this year’s Super Bowl advertising competition.
6. Hollywood Poised for Best-Ever Box-Office Year
- Monday, December 30, 2013
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Despite a string of summertime flops, Hollywood is expected to have a banner year at the domestic box office, coming in just shy of $11 billion, the largest annual take ever. But because of higher ticket prices, actual attendance at North American theaters remained flat after a decade of decline.
7. Shopping Spree
- Saturday, November 30, 2013
Retailers have been gearing up for a frenzied Black Friday, marking the beginning of the holiday shopping season, but industry experts expect a lukewarm year compared to moderate growth in 2012.
Both nationally and locally, many stores opened earlier than ever before in an attempt to capture customers before their competitors and maximize a shorter-than-usual shopping season.
8. Health Care Impact
- Saturday, November 30, 2013
Local fitness organizations like the Kroc Center have seen increased membership numbers this year as more people in the Mid-South are working to get fit and taking an active role in their overall health.
9. Humane Aid
- Thursday, November 14, 2013
The Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County wants to take its spay and neutering services to the streets, but the nonprofit organization needs the help of local businesses to get the initiative rolling.
10. Simple Plan
- Tuesday, November 05, 2013
A new chapter has begun at a premier Downtown restaurant – Bleu Restaurant & Lounge, whose new executive chef took a circuitous professional route to his current career destination.
Kevin Rains arrived in the kitchen at Bleu, inside The Westin Memphis Beale Street hotel, a few weeks ago. He’s already rewritten the dinner menu, been pushing for the use of as many local vendors as possible and has been talking about his long-term interest in securing and catering to a loyal customer base that includes Downtown professionals.
11. Europe Mulls Sanctions Against US Over Spying
- Tuesday, October 29, 2013
BERLIN (AP) – The United States could lose access to an important law enforcement tool used to track terrorist money flows, German officials said Monday, as Europe weighs a response to allegations that the Americans spied on their closest European allies.
12. McCullough Blends Right Ingredients With ‘Chef Jenn’
- Monday, October 21, 2013
Jennifer McCullough, the white chef’s coat behind the brand Chef Jenn, began cooking up a dream in her home kitchen.
13. Office Team Helps Colliers Expand Local Footprint
- Friday, October 04, 2013
As a part of the Colliers International office in Memphis’ growth strategy, the brokerage office has been expanding its presence in the office sector over the past year by adding a new office team consisting of Frazier Baker and Will Barden.
14. Private Schools Credit Range of Reasons for Growth
- Saturday, September 28, 2013
While much of the public’s attention remains focused on the newly consolidated public schools, many of the Mid-South’s privately funded schools are quietly heralding their own milestones and new developments.
15. Levien: ‘Real Dialogue’ With Fans Crucial
- Friday, September 27, 2013
Last week in The Daily News, we brought you Part 1 of my interview with Grizzlies CEO Jason Levien. He talked about, among other things, ESPN The Magazine naming the franchise as the best in pro sports as just a starting point. He also said the Grizzlies will continue to keep an open mind about further player moves that could help the team.
16. Facebook: Governments Demanded Data on 38,000 Users
- Wednesday, August 28, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) – Government agents in 74 countries demanded information on about 38,000 Facebook users in the first half of this year, with about half the orders coming from authorities in the United States, the company said Tuesday.
17. Fetch Brings Ikea Delivery to Memphis
- Monday, August 26, 2013
Ikea doesn’t have a store in Memphis, and the retailer doesn’t deliver some products to Memphis – which is why Ben Colar and two other guys created a venture to give fans of the retailer a guaranteed personal delivery service.
18. Reynolds Bone & Griesbeck Rolls Along With Changing City
- Saturday, August 24, 2013
The accounting firm of Reynolds Bone & Griesbeck PLC has been around since 1916, when it was known as Shannon Reynolds & Bone.
19. A Push for Harmony Among Workers, Young and Old
- Wednesday, August 14, 2013
CHICAGO (AP) – There's a sense of urgency to the quest for workplace harmony, as baby boomers delay retirement and work side-by-side with people young enough to be their children – or grandchildren.
20. Obama Challenges GOP to Accept Corporate Tax Deal
- Wednesday, July 31, 2013
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) – Seeking to ease Washington gridlock, President Barack Obama on Tuesday challenged Republicans to accept a new fiscal deal to cut corporate tax rates in exchange for more government spending on jobs programs.
21. Bank of America Executive: Small Business is on the Comeback
- Thursday, June 27, 2013
NEW YORK (AP) – Robb Hilson's job as head of small business banking at Bank of America is to convince small business owners that the bank wants to do business with them.
That's not easy when small businesses have consistently said in surveys that they find it hard to get loans from banks, and when banks have become more cautious about lending to small companies following the recession. But in the 18 months Hilson has been on the job at the nation's second-largest bank it has had some success with its 3.2 million small business customers. Last year, Bank of America made $8.7 billion in new loans to small businesses, up 28 percent from 2011.
22. US Government Collecting Huge Number of Phone Records
- Friday, June 07, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) – The government is secretly collecting the telephone records of millions of U.S. customers of Verizon under a top-secret court order, according to the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. The Obama administration is defending the National Security Agency's need to collect such records, but critics are calling it a huge over-reach.
23. Westin Addresses Overbooked Weekend
- Thursday, May 30, 2013
The Westin Memphis Beale Street Hotel has spent about $15,000 to compensate customers the hotel did not have rooms for last weekend during an overbooked three-day period that included several high-profile events Downtown.
24. Cocktail Napkin Reality
- Wednesday, May 29, 2013
North Mississippi attorney Stan Little’s private plane had become so popular with friends they joked that he should start his own regional airline.
“Anybody that knows someone who owns a plane wants to borrow it,” he said. “Once you have done that once, you never want to go back through an international airport hub ever again.”
25. Reality TV's New Stars: Small Businesses
- Thursday, May 09, 2013
NEW YORK (AP) – There's no business like small business.
Mix the high stakes of running a small business with a dash of family drama and throw in a camera crew and you get hit reality television shows such as "Pawn Stars," ''Welcome to Sweetie Pie's" and "Duck Dynasty."
26. In Need of Relief
- Saturday, April 13, 2013
Perhaps it is only too appropriate that baseball is played without a clock. For securing the future of the Memphis Redbirds may require extra innings, not to mention extra effort.
The ballpark was on the leading edge of revitalizing Downtown when it opened in 2000 at Third and Union. This, of course, was “B.G.” in Memphis – Before the Grizzlies. Also, before FedExForum. The city was ready for something big and bold – something that showed Memphis could overachieve, not underachieve.
27. Social Resumes and the Job Search
- Friday, April 05, 2013
As an adjunct accounting professor at the University of Memphis, I am constantly trying to prepare my students for their future. Part of that preparation is exposing the students to tools that will assist them in their search for employment.
28. Stretched Care
- Thursday, January 24, 2013
The Herb Kosten Foundation and the International Children’s Heart Foundation (ICHF) are two of many local health care-related nonprofit organizations that face ongoing funding challenges.
A November report from the Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence concluded that, in general, local nonprofits are facing increased costs for running operations, and some cannot fully meet the demand for their services because of funding constraints.
29. Epic Marketing Failures of 2012
- Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Despite their considerable marketing budgets and extensive teams, some of the world’s most well-known brands made significant marketing missteps in 2012. Learn from these epic fails to protect your brand.
30. Top 10 Smart Marketing Trends for 2013
- Thursday, December 27, 2012
Make it your resolution to execute these Top 10 smart marketing trends in 2013.
1. Visual Storytelling – Thanks to image-centric sites like Pinterest and Instagram, 2012 became the year of brand visualization. Visual content is now in higher demand than ever before and brands must step up and tell their story through more than words.
31. Verso Paper Sees Third-Quarter Loss
- Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Memphis-based Verso Paper Corp. took a net loss of $104.7 million in the third quarter compared to a year ago with the closure of its mill in Sartell, Minn.
32. Green Girl to Create Indoor Vertical Farm
- Wednesday, November 07, 2012
A group of food professionals is working toward supplying restaurants with local produce while improving the health of Memphians and fighting urban blight.
Green Girl Produce plans to leverage technology to create the city’s first indoor vertical farm, providing the community with cost-effective, year-round organic mircogreens. By leasing an old 1,260-square-foot liquor store at 2655 Broad Ave., the space has the potential to store up to 2,500 square feet of growing room.
33. US Economy Adds 171,000 Jobs, Unemployment Rate Rises
- Monday, November 05, 2012
WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. employers added 171,000 jobs in October, and hiring was stronger in August and September than first thought. The solid job growth showed that the economy is strengthening slowly but consistently.
34. Time for Memphians to Rejoice Yet Again
- Monday, October 29, 2012
Each year, a Chicago firm called Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. publishes a tongue-in-cheek report on the nation’s lost productivity during March Madness.
35. National Small Business Workshop Coming to Memphis
- Wednesday, October 03, 2012
A small-business-themed workshop tour presented in part by the New York Stock Exchange is stopping in Memphis next week.
The NYSE, small-business lender Accion and Yelp, which operates a business ratings and review website and app, earlier this summer joined forces to launch their “Small Business Connections Tour,” part of the organizations’ NYSE Big StartUp initiative.
36. Weak Hiring Shows Economy Still Hurting
- Monday, July 09, 2012
WASHINGTON (AP) – A third straight month of weak hiring shows the U.S. economy is still struggling three years after the recession officially ended.
U.S. employers added just 80,000 jobs in June, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.2 percent, the Labor Department said Friday.
37. Xpedx, Distribution at Heart of IP’s Future
- Friday, June 01, 2012
International Paper Co. executives spent more than four hours last week talking with investors and analysts about the Memphis-based company’s near-term potential and future.
38. Fueling Up
- Monday, May 28, 2012
If the political ads along these lines haven’t already started by the time this story is printed, don’t worry. They’ll arrive soon enough.
Somewhere out there, a Republican political strategist is cooking up an ad that hits President Barack Obama over the average price at the gas pump these days – which, while it has fallen in recent weeks, is still a lot higher than when the president took office. At press time, the national average for a gallon of regular gas was $3.72 – up from a little less than $2 when George W. Bush left office.
39. Regulators Probe Bank's Role in Facebook IPO
- Thursday, May 24, 2012
WASHINGTON (AP) – Regulators are examining whether Morgan Stanley, the investment bank that shepherded Facebook through its highly publicized stock offering last week, selectively informed clients of an analyst's negative report about the company before the stock started trading.
40. Facebook Stock Climbs in Public Debut
- Monday, May 21, 2012
NEW YORK (AP) – Facebook updated its status to "public company" on Friday.
After an anxiety-filled half-hour delay, its stock began trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market for the first time as investors were finally able to put a dollar value on the company that turned online social networking into a global cultural phenomenon.
41. Facebook Investors to Cash Out More Shares
- Thursday, May 17, 2012
NEW YORK (AP) – Insiders and early Facebook investors are taking advantage of increasing investor demand and selling more of their stock in the company's initial public offering, the company said Wednesday.
42. Facebook Leaning Toward Nasdaq, Reports Say
- Monday, April 09, 2012
NEW YORK (AP) – Facebook will list its shares with Nasdaq, according to media reports.
That would be a big win for the Nasdaq, which competes fiercely with NYSE Euronext Inc., especially for an initial public offering as large as Facebook's, pegged at $5 billion.
43. New Network Affiliation Bolsters Investec Realty
- Monday, April 02, 2012
Commercial real estate firm Investec Realty Services has broadened its reach beyond the Memphis market thanks to a partnership with the international network of Sperry Van Ness.
A recent franchise affiliation increases the company’s footprint from 10 brokers in Tennessee to more than 700 affiliates in 145 markets, plus another 35,000 brokers who subscribe to the Sperry Van Ness network.
44. Speak Creative, Memphis Zoo Team Up With App Launch
- Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Animal, music and barbecue lovers behold – there’s an app for that.
Speak Creative has built a new app for the Memphis Zoo on a platform called The Zoo App. The firm is selling the template across the country.
45. Yelp Looking for $12 to $14 per Share in IPO
- Monday, February 20, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Online review service Yelp rated its own business Thursday, setting an IPO target of $12 to $14 per share that could value the 7-year-old company as high as $840 million.
46. Demand Media Stock Soars as Q4 Results Renew Hope
- Monday, February 20, 2012
NEW YORK (AP) – Demand Media Inc.'s stock soared by 31 percent Friday after the online content publisher's fourth-quarter earnings and outlook for this year gave investors hope that it is starting to recover from diminished traffic that had stemmed from changes to Google's Internet search formula.
47. Turning Point
- Monday, February 13, 2012
In World War II, it was the beaches of Normandy. During the Great Recession, it was the collapse of Lehman Brothers. In Shakespeare's “Hamlet,” it's the reaction of Claudius when he storms out of the play that Hamlet staged in an attempt to guess whether his uncle killed his father.
48. Barnes’ IP Practice Bridges Law, Science
- Thursday, February 09, 2012
Some lawyers may have a background that includes previous experience in real estate or time in politics.
Kenneth Barnes, an intellectual property attorney with Crone & McEvoy PLC, was a researcher at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for five years before going to law school. And don’t let the shelves of law books fool you.
49. Time Warner Sees Growth After Harry Potter Movies
- Thursday, February 09, 2012
NEW YORK (AP) – Time Warner Inc. got a boost from its movie studio and cable TV networks in the last three months of the year, and the company expects growth to continue in 2012 even with the end of its lucrative Harry Potter franchise.
50. Status Update: Facebook to Go Public, Raise $5B
- Thursday, February 02, 2012
NEW YORK (AP) – Facebook made a much-anticipated status update Wednesday: The Internet social network is going public eight years after its computer-hacking CEO Mark Zuckerberg started the service at Harvard University.
51. Wolf River Conservancy Seeks New Stewards
- Thursday, January 05, 2012
The Wolf River Conservancy, the nonprofit dedicated to protecting and enhancing the Wolf River corridor and watershed as a sustainable natural resource, will kick off 2012 this month with its first float trip of the year, followed by a community open house.
52. Morgan Keegan Begins Coverage Of Amazon.com
- Wednesday, January 04, 2012
The equity research department of Morgan Keegan & Co. Inc. has started covering Amazon.com, telling investors they can expect the online retailer to provide a return that’s at least slightly better than that of the overall market.
53. Negative Hits Keep Coming in 2011
- Friday, December 30, 2011
While some of the Mid-South’s more than 3,000 nonprofit organizations received major gifts and successfully engaged new donor bases, the anemic economic recovery required others to hold a magnifying glass to their bottom lines in 2011.
54. Social Media, Milestones Top News
- Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Many of the headlines that came out of 2011 for local advertising and public relations firms mirrored the ever-changing scope of marketing and social media.
Platforms like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube were at the world’s fingertips to capture political unrest in Egypt, the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, members of the Occupy Wall Street movement nationwide practice their First Amendment rights – – and everything in between.
55. Going Mobile: Travel Apps Promote City
- Monday, December 26, 2011
When Shara Karasic got the urge to go walking in Memphis during a recent trip for a friend’s wedding, she reached for her trusted travel guide – her mobile phone.
Karasic, director of social strategy for the mobile-app website Appolicious.com, used and cataloged about 10 Memphis-centric apps during her trip, from the free and hyper-local ArtsMemphis and Center for Southern Folklore apps to the more general Memphis Walking Tours and Map, which is available for $4.99.
56. European Finan. Crisis Tops AP Picks of '11 Biz Stories
- Thursday, December 22, 2011
NEW YORK (AP) – Europe took the financial world on a stomach-churning ride in 2011.
The rising threat of default by heavily indebted European countries spread fear across financial markets and weighed on economies worldwide. As the year came to a close, banks and investors nervously watched Europe's political and financial leaders scramble to prevent the 17-nation eurozone from breaking apart.
57. Plugged-In Weatherman
- Tuesday, November 29, 2011
The rise of social media – and its integration with smartphones that are never far from a user’s side – has helped meteorologist Erik Proseus prove the truth behind Bob Dylan’s admonition that you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.
58. Workers Push Back Against Earlier Holiday Openings
- Thursday, November 17, 2011
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Count your blessings, then get to work.
That may be Thanksgiving for more retail workers this year, as stores desperate to pull in buyers on the first weekend of the holiday shopping season push their openings earlier and earlier. Unhappy workers who say it ruins their Thanksgiving celebrations are trying to persuade companies to back off, but retailers say they're stuck: It's what customers want.
59. 10 Steps to a Fail-Proof Business
- Tuesday, November 08, 2011
As we know, business failures are very high. Some 56 percent fail before four years and 69 percent before seven years. Nothing much sadder except maybe a serious illness. Wealth is lost, jobs, vendor relationships, credit rating and maybe health and marital statuses. A lot of it does not have to be. Here are ways to help you fail-proof.
60. Apple Expected to Unveil New iPhone This Week
- Tuesday, October 04, 2011
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Apple fans are amped. The computer and gadget maker is expected to announce a new, more powerful version of its wildly popular smartphone this week – more than a year after it unveiled the iPhone 4.
61. The Art and Science Of Advertising
- Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Advertising opportunities are plentiful. It can be tough to discern the medium most likely to generate a strong return. Apples-to-apples comparisons are virtually impossible.
Absent a comprehensive plan, you may find yourself making impulsive one-off ad purchases, unlikely to produce results.
62. CA Moves Forward With Pay Wall
- Monday, September 26, 2011
The E.W. Scripps Co. has selected its largest-circulation newspaper, The Commercial Appeal, as a guinea pig market for a paid digital content plan.
63. Target's Blunder With Designer Continues
- Friday, September 23, 2011
NEW YORK (AP) – Target is a victim of its own success.
The discounter drummed up so much hype around its exclusive, limited-time line by upscale Italian designer Missoni that its website crashed and was down most of the day on Sept. 13 when the collection was launched, angering customers. More than a week later, some shoppers who bought the Missoni for Target line are posting on social media websites Facebook and Twitter that they won't shop at Target again because their online orders are being delayed – or worse, canceled – by the retailer.
64. Summit Touts Return of Demand
- Friday, August 26, 2011
“Demand is back” was the theme at the ninth annual Southern Lodging Summit held Downtown this week at The Peabody hotel and the Memphis Cook Convention Center.
Hoteliers and industry execs gathered for the 2011 Summit, which was organized by the Metropolitan Memphis Hotel & Lodging Association and hotel consulting firm Pinkowski & Co.
65. 'FarmVille' Creator Zynga to Go Public
- Monday, July 04, 2011
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Zynga, the online game maker behind "FarmVille" and other popular Facebook pastimes, is going public, the latest in a crop of high-valued Internet IPOs expected after LinkedIn Corp. showed that the online networking craze is a hot commodity on Wall Street.
66. Pandora Gains Point to Healthy Internet IPO Future
- Friday, June 17, 2011
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Internet radio station Pandora Media's IPO struck the right chord with investors Wednesday despite the static in the overall stock market.
Pandora's shares surged by as much 63 percent in their market debut before pulling back later in the session. The stock closed at $17.42, still a decent gain amid the market's broader decline. It marked a 9 percent increase from Pandora's initial public offering price of $16 and a nearly six-fold increase from what Pandora's own board thought the stock was worth just six months ago.
67. JA BizTown Shows Biz Ropes to Area Students
- Tuesday, June 14, 2011
So what would really happen if kids ruled the world? It happens all the time at Junior Achievement of Memphis and the Mid-South Inc.’s JA BizTown where elementary and middle school students tackle the basics of running a business in a widget-free environment.
68. Pandora Raises IPO Offering Price Range
- Monday, June 13, 2011
NEW YORK (AP) – Pandora raised the price range of its initial public offering Friday by at least a third and boosted the number of shares to be sold by as many as a million, demonstrating again a seemingly insatiable demand from investors for a stake a new slate of Internet companies.
69. No Octane
- Monday, May 30, 2011
Several of Memphis’ major publicly traded companies pointed to it during calls with analysts and presentations of their first quarter results.
An expected drop in automobile travel during the Memorial Day holiday weekend in Tennessee and neighboring states is expected to be influenced by it.
70. Memphis Businesses Go Ape for Marketing
- Friday, May 27, 2011
Business leaders from across the city met earlier this week to put a little monkey in their marketing at the Greater Memphis Chamber’s Lunch and Learn series.
The workshop, titled “Guerrilla Marketing: Unconventional Strategies for Outsmarting Your Competition,” drew a sold-out crowd of business professionals to First Tennessee Bank’s Ron Terry Center.
71. Liberty Media Execs Discuss Barnes & Noble Offer
- Wednesday, May 25, 2011
NEW YORK (AP) – Executives with online company Liberty Media say the "interesting interplay" between Barnes & Noble's Nook e-reader and its retail stores is one reason they have bid for the book seller, but Barnes & Noble executives launching the device's latest version Tuesday were mum on the $1 billion offer.
72. AAA: Memorial Day Travel Remains Flat
- Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Against the backdrop of gas prices that are approaching $4 a gallon in more places nationwide, the American Automobile Association is forecasting the number of Americans driving during the Memorial Day weekend to drop for the first time in three years.
73. Retail Slide Sends Broad Stock Market Lower
- Monday, May 23, 2011
NEW YORK (AP) — Signs that U.S. consumer demand may be weakening led to a broad sell-off in stocks Friday, setting the market on course for its third week of losses.
Retailers Gap Inc. and Aeropostale each lost more than 15 percent after cutting their profit forecasts for the year, in part because of higher costs for raw materials. Gap's sales have been sluggish, a worrying sign for investors who are counting on shoppers to lead a recovery in consumer spending.
74. South Main Space In Artspace Crosshairs
- Monday, May 23, 2011
National nonprofit group Artspace Projects Inc. has moved several steps closer to bringing a planned live/work development for local artists to the South Main Historic Arts District.
75. AIA Memphis Prez: Architecture Job Outlook ‘More Positive’
- Monday, May 02, 2011
Architect Brett Ragsdale has plenty of trophies in his portfolio, but at the moment has his sights set on designing the future of his slowly recovering industry.
76. Dish Network's $228M Blockbuster Buy Approved
- Friday, April 08, 2011
NEW YORK (AP) – Blockbuster says a bankruptcy judge has approved Dish Network's $228 million offer for the movie-rental chain, paving the way for a combination of the two media companies.
77. Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence Plans Spring Workshops
- Tuesday, March 08, 2011
As many Mid-South nonprofits continue to struggle with funding, the Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence, which serves nonprofits in more than 30 counties in Eastern Arkansas, Northern Mississippi and Western Tennessee, is working to strengthen them through its 2011 annual conference and a series of spring workshops.
78. Google Tweaks Search to Punish 'Low-Quality' Sites
- Monday, February 28, 2011
NEW YORK (AP) — Google says it has tweaked the formulas steering its Internet search engine to take the rubbish out of its results. The overhaul is designed to lower the rankings of what Google deems "low-quality" sites. That could be a veiled reference to so-called online "content farms" such as Demand Media's eHow.com.
79. ‘Radical Painter’ on Display at Dixon
- Monday, February 14, 2011
The Dixon Gallery and Gardens continues its foray into the major schools of American art with a look at the loaded compositions of a worker artist with a simple name.
“Joe Jones: Radical Painter of the American Scene” opened at the Dixon last month and runs through April 17. It is the latest in a string of American exhibits to fill the galleries of Memphis’ hub for French Impressionism.
80. Report: PR Industry on Track for Employment Growth
- Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Public relations is on track to becoming one of the nation’s fastest-growing professions, with a 24 percent rise in employment predicted by 2018, according to a recent New York Times report.
The reasons for the rise are clear to Amy Howell, CEO of Memphis-based Howell Marketing Strategies. Businesses that initially reacted to the recession by slashing advertising budgets have realized the value of a comprehensive marketing strategy.
81. MED Foundation Unveils Elvis Souvenir Plate
- Monday, November 22, 2010
The MED Foundation received phone calls and e-mails from Elvis fans around the world in 2005 when it began offering the first authentic license plate bearing the image of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
82. Biofuel Firms Seek New Life Amid Changes
- Monday, November 15, 2010
While the Mississippi Delta region is considered a centerpiece of agricultural diversity and productivity in the southern U.S – distinguished by a variety of soil types, favorable climate and fairly long growing season – the biofuels industry must become viable to take advantage of the area’s assets.
83. Agents Adapt to New Market
- Monday, October 11, 2010
Molly Booth Phillips is getting back to the basics of when she started in the real estate industry 14 years ago.
84. Blockbuster’s Chap. 11 Won’t Impact Memphis
- Friday, September 24, 2010
NEW YORK (AP) – Blockbuster Inc., once the dominant movie rental company in the U.S., filed for bankruptcy protection on Thursday, reeling from mounting losses, rising debt and competitors that have better catered to Americans' changed media habits.
85. The Musician's Progress
- Thursday, September 02, 2010
Valerie June’s grandfather gave her a guitar for her 15th birthday. Since then she has worked tirelessly to make a living following her passion.
In the face of an industry in collapse – where musicians and filmmakers face challenges financing production just as large media face hard times – June has turned to an online fundraising platform called Kickstarter to raise money for a full-length album.
86. GM CEO Expects Good Demand When Co. Sells Shares
- Friday, August 06, 2010
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) – General Motors Co., anxious to get out from under government ownership, expects to sell all of its stock at once when it offers shares to the public, CEO Ed Whitacre said Thursday.
87. Games on the Go
- Monday, June 07, 2010
A gaming fan from early on, Xavier Moore’s fate was sealed when his family bought an Atari gaming console.
Now Moore is president of Enigma Games, which develops video games for mobile phones.
88. Seafood Businesses Combat Oil Spill Misconceptions
- Monday, May 24, 2010
Market repercussions from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are causing bigger problems for Memphis seafood businesses at this point than the actual environmental damage from the disaster.
Supply has been diminished as fishermen stop trawling for shrimp and dredging for oysters so they can make better money putting out oil booms for BP, whose Deepwater Horizon platform exploded last month. Shrimp prices are going up even though Gulf shrimp accounts for a small portion of the overall market. And people are becoming fearful of eating seafood.
89. Auditor’s Mistake Gives Practice $4 Million Headache
- Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Government expansion of an auditing program for Medicare and Medicaid that rewards contractors for finding overpayments to physician practices is likely to cause more disputes like the one VRF Eye Specialty Group recently settled.
The practice got handed a $4 million bill after an audit by the contractor AdvanceMed. The practice challenged the audit and proved to an administrative law judge that AdvanceMed made a mistake interpreting medical coding.
The $4 million bill was reduced to $2,810.
It took a two-year legal battle that cost the practice about $350,000.
AdvanceMed did not receive any financial incentives for overpayments because it was working as a zone program integrity contractor. But more audit contractors will qualify for financial incentives with the expansion of another program, the recovery audit contractors program.
“This is medicine of the 21st century and it’s not going to get any better,” said Thomas G. Brown, the practice administrator for Eye Specialty Group.
President Barack Obama announced in March the expansion of payment recapture audits to crack down on fraud in Medicaid and Medicare. The program offers contractors “financial incentives to root out improper payments,” according to a White House press release.
But the American Medical Association characterizes recovery audit contractors as “a bounty hunter-like program” because of the incentives to identify overpayments.
The problems for Eye Specialty Group began in November 2006 when AdvanceMed auditors showed up at the practice to review records. In February 2008, AdvanceMed notified the practice that its audit determined the practice had been overpaid $3,966,500 by Medicare.
The dispute was settled last month.
Eye Specialty Group is not alone in having to fight a big demand letter as the result of an AdvanceMed audit. Premier Medical Group of Clarksville, Tenn., challenged a $1.6 million bill that resulted from an AdvanceMed audit and received a favorable ruling from an administrative law judge in May 2008.
In both instances, AdvanceMed reviewed about 120 charts over a certain length of time, then extrapolated the findings from those audits by the total volume of business with Medicaid and Medicare patients.
With Eye Specialty Group, the time frame was from Jan. 1, 2004, to May 31, 2006.
Eye Specialty Group was able to reduce its $4 million bill to $1.5 million through explanations during the first level of the review process. The practice started making payments on the $1.5 million and then appealed the findings of the AdvanceMed auditors to the administrative review judge.
“Our consultant and our attorneys had to explain to the administrative law judge that they are applying the wrong standards to these eye codes,” Brown said.
The billing dispute and any mistakes might have been avoided had there been better communication. In the 18-month period between the initial audit and the receipt of the demand letter, Eye Specialty Group did not hear from Advance Med, except for one phone call requesting one other piece of information, Brown said.
Curtis Watkins, program director for AdvanceMed Corp., declined to comment on the billing dispute and referred The Daily News to a spokesperson for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
“The program safeguard contractor made the initial determination based on the information it had received from the provider,” said Peter Ashkenaz of CMS media affairs. “From what I understand, VRF provided additional documentation during the appeals process that informed the determinations of the various arbitrators and the administrative law judge, resulting in the final determination.”
Ashkenaz said it is the responsibility of the provider being audited to supply all the documents needed to support their claims.
“We and the program safeguard contractors make their determinations based on the documentation they receive from the providers,” Ashkenaz said.
Besides program safeguard contractors, the federal government has added recovery audit contractors and Medicaid integrity contractors into the mix.
“Medicine better wake up,” Brown said. “It’s not just our office. It’s going to be every single office because this is the new funding mechanism for health care, to go and get back the money paid to doctors, apparently by hook or by crook.”
Eye Specialty Group was involved in this dispute when it learned that one of its partners, Dr. Seth Yoser, had been stealing expensive medicine from the practice, double-billing Medicare for the medicine and then selling it back to ophthalmology practices. The practice reported Yoser to federal authorities.
Yoser was sentenced in February to 42 months in prison for mail fraud, wire fraud and selling drugs without a license.
The findings in the AdvanceMed audit were not related to the criminal acts committed by Yoser.
“The practice has always been confident in its billing and operating processes and has coveted its ethical reputation so much so that when a partner was found within the practice to be committing fraud, there was no real hesitation to step forward and say we are not going to allow that,” Brown said.
In announcing the expansion of payment recapture audits, the White House said the program could return at least $2 billion in taxpayer money over the next three years. ...
90. Getting Creative
- Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Mark Montgomery urged musicians to cultivate their capitalist sides at the recent “Memphis GRAMMY GPS: A Roadmap For Today’s Music Biz.”
91. Guru: Broadcast Platform Not Dead, Just Different
- Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Broadcast television’s death has been greatly exaggerated, said Emma Armstrong, worldwide account director for BBDO – the advertising agency responsible for FedEx’s awarding winning TV spots.
92. What’s Coming Up This Election Season
- Monday, March 15, 2010
After a year of turbulence, the Memphis political scene continues to remake itself.
The May 4 and Aug. 5 elections don’t have the focused drama of last October’s special election for Memphis mayor, but they represent new chapters in a story that could end with a new generation of political leaders and at least a passing of the political baton.
93. MAAR Prez: Stage Set for Better Home Sales
- Monday, January 11, 2010
2009 went into the books as the worst year for home sales in 18 years, but a slight improvement in the final quarter signaled a sliver of hope for a beleaguered real estate industry.
Shelby County saw just 14,600 home sales last year, an 11 percent decline from 16,406 home sales during 2008 and a 29 percent decline from 20,706 home sales during 2007, according to the latest data from real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.
94. Tunica's New Cash Crop?
- Monday, December 07, 2009
When Xiaolin “Charles” Wang was introduced at an October press conference announcing plans to build a $1 billion hybrid automotive plant in Tunica County, he was described by the emcee as a man who “dreams big and drives fast.”
95. Expert: Social Media Here to Stay
- Tuesday, October 27, 2009
For businesses, the first secret to leveraging Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other networks is not to be afraid of social media.
After all, as social media consultant Glen Gilmore has noted, social media is where a business will most likely find its customers as well as its competition. Social media is simply a fundamental shift in the way businesses communicate, he told about 102 people at a social media conference late last week.
96. AP Sources: Comcast Exploring Stake in NBC
- Friday, October 02, 2009
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Comcast Corp. is exploring whether to buy a controlling stake in NBC Universal, which would increase Comcast's ownership of the TV shows and movies it distributes to its cable subscribers, people familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Thursday.
97. Fed Scales Back 2 Emergency Lending Programs
- Friday, September 25, 2009
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Federal Reserve on Thursday said it is further scaling back two emergency lending programs as the economy improves.
The Fed will reduce the amount of money available to banks in short-term loans under a program called the Term Auction Facility, or TAF.
98. City Attorney Dispute Moves Into Chancery Court Today
- Wednesday, August 05, 2009
A turbulent turn of office at City Hall moves into a courtroom two blocks away this afternoon.
Memphis Mayor Myron Lowery delayed a City Council vote Tuesday on Veronica Coleman Davis as his nominee to be city attorney.
99. UPDATE: Council Vote On City Attorney Delayed
- Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Memphis Mayor Myron Lowery today delayed a City Council vote on Veronica Coleman Davis as his nominee to be city attorney.
Lowery told council members he wanted the delay to let a Chancery Court hearing tomorrow resolve any legal issues.
100. SEC Could Bring Enforcement Proceedings to CSG
- Thursday, July 09, 2009
At this week’s Shelby County retirement board meeting, board members didn’t appear likely to support any changes to the county’s arrangement with Memphis-based Consulting Services Group, the investment adviser to the county’s pension fund.
It remains to be seen what the effect will be of news about CSG reported by Bloomberg the day after Tuesday’s meeting. CSG was told about a month ago by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission the agency is poised to bring civil charges against the Memphis firm, according to the Bloomberg report.
The SEC sent CSG a Wells Notice, which is a formal alert the federal agency soon will bring a civil enforcement action. Upon receiving the Wells Notice, a firm like CSG would still have a chance to convince representatives of the SEC there’s not enough evidence to bring a case in court.
CSG told the county’s chief administrative officer – who was at this week’s pension board meeting – about the Wells Notice, according to Shelby County mayor A C Wharton Jr. Both Wharton and county CAO Jim Huntzicker knew about the Wells Notice, but neither they nor CSG representatives said anything about it at the meeting.
When asked by one pension board member to elaborate in general on any pending legal action against the firm, CSG co-founder Fred Hodges was blunt.
“We haven’t been charged with anything,” he said.
Hodges added that the company has “never paid as much as a pack of gum to buy an account” and that the company has had three problems with regulators. He did not include the Wells Notice in that list.
Recent critical press coverage of CSG has followed several high profile episodes of late involving the company, including its link to the outer edges of the so-called “pay to play” pension consulting scandal unfolding in New York.
A complaint filed in March by the SEC against two political figures in New York says CSG was approached to pay “what amounted to a kickback demand” to get additional business from New York’s retirement fund.
“I get very emotional about this,” Hodges told the county’s pension board. “The relationship we’ve got down here is very important. How were we to know the New York trustee might be a crook? Or that the chief investment officer might be on the take?”
The day before Bloomberg reported news about the Wells Notice, the county pension board expressed satisfaction with the company and criticized the recent media scrutiny, including an article in the June issue of Forbes magazine titled “Tainted Pension Fund Advice.” That article noted a litany of supposed red flags surrounding CSG’s arrangement with the county.
The general consensus around the table in the mayor’s eighth floor conference room in the County Administration Building was that CSG has served the county well, helped the county’s pension fund perform successfully and that should be what mattered most.
Wharton told the board the group nevertheless will be voting on several items at its August meeting to clear up some lingering questions.
“I still feel there’s a need for the board to have access to a greater level of independent expertise,” Wharton told The Daily News. “I want to go on record on this: performance is not the only indicator. If performance had been the only important barometer, then Bernie Madoff should not be in jail. His investments were performing.”