I was talking to a CEO this morning and we touched on the stunning twin news flashes from today: VSS is predicting the first two-year decline in ad spending in 75 years, and fourth quarter 2008 BIN numbers were off by more than 13 percent. He predicted that the first quarter numbers will certainly be worse. (By the way, why the heck can’t those BIN numbers be more up-to-date? The Publishers Information Bureau gets its numbers out much faster, and most b-to-b publishers have already closed our final numbers for Q1 by now. Reporting Q4 on February 24 seems just a tad late.)We both acknowledged how bad it is for the industry right now. I said it feels like the worst I’ve been through, and he agreed, but then he said: “We always say that.”So my question is this: Is this recession worse? And if it is, why? Over a three-year period from 2001 to 2003, b-to-b media lost about 35 percent of its revenue, according to the Business Information Network. During that period, it was common around the industry for conference speakers and writers to describe it as the “worst media-industry downturn since the Great Depression.”After awhile, we all took that as a given, though no one I know ever went back and actually analyzed the extent of that downturn compared with earlier ones.I also remember the 1991 downturn. That was tough, even for someone who was a junior editor at the time. There were the usual rounds of painful layoffs. I remember one day when at least six editors I worked with made the terrible walk to the corner office one by one, undoubtedly knowing their certain fate. And that ‘90s recession lasted a long time. It wasn’t until 1995 when things were really humming again in the magazine world.
Three regional magazine publishers have reported layoffs.Texas Monthly publisher Emmis Communications eliminated 91 full-time and 14 part-time positions, or about 7.5 percent of its overall workforce, across its corporate, radio and publishing divisions. Remaining employees will have their salaries reduced by 5 percent.“Facing the ongoing challenges of a struggling media sector and turbulent economy, Emmis took a series of steps to better position it for shifting global and industry realities,” a spokesperson wrote in an e-mail to FOLIO:. The spokesperson declined to say how exactly how many people were let go from the publishing division. Last November, Emmis slashed corporate salaries by 3 percent for employees who earn more than $50,000 per year, and cut about 29 full-time and six part-time positions from its radio business—or about 4 percent of the overall workforce. In August, the Emmis eliminated 4.5 percent of its workforce—about 40 positions—from its magazine publishing division and lowered remaining employee salaries by 2 percent.In Dallas, Texas, the company that owns D magazine laid off 12 staffers, or about 12 percent of its overall workforce, executive editor Tim Rogers wrote in a blog post. The cuts were made at D and its ancillary magazines: D Home, D CEO, D Weddings and D Beauty.The cuts come a little more than three months after the publisher laid off 29 staffers, which at the time represented about 19 percent of its workforce. “When we retrenched in November, we made our cuts based on what we thought at the time was a fairly pessimistic view of how the economy would hold up in 2009,” Rogers wrote in the post. “Reality has proven that we were actually not pessimistic enough.”Meanwhile, Rockport, Maine-based Down East Enterprise Inc.—publisher of Down East magazine—said “about a half dozen” employees were laid off as part of a restructuring, or about 12 percent of its workforce. President Bob Fernald cited the a decline in real estate advertising and the company’s recent sale of Performance Media LLC, publisher of Speedway Illustrated magazine, as reasons fur the cuts.About a dozen more employees will have their workweek reduced or be shifted to “independent-contractor status,” the company said. Down East also publishes Fly Rod & Reel and Shooting Sportsman magazines.
Twitter and Instagram fans of actress-producer Anushka Sharma and US singer Julia Michaels went crazy looking at their pictures in how similar they look. Finally, it reached a level when the two celebrities interacted with each other on Twitter and it was cute.Julia Michaels reached out to Anushka Sharma and said, “Hi @AnushkaSharma apparently we’re twins lol”. To which, the Bollywood actress replied, “OMG YES!! I’ve been looking for you and the remaining 5 of our doppelgangers all my life”.OMG YES!! I’ve been looking for you and the remaining 5 of our dopplegangers all my life https://t.co/SaYbclXyXt— Anushka Sharma (@AnushkaSharma) 5 February 2019Well, not exactly doppelgängers but Bollywood actor-filmmaker Aamir Khan has been compared with Hollywood actor-filmmaker Tom Hanks in terms of looks and choice of roles. Actor Kunal Khemu has been compared with Brazilian footballer Neymar. Even actress Deepika Padukone has been compared to model Irina Shayk, who is actor Bradley Cooper’s partner! But these are not really doppelgängers, like Jacqueline or Anushka’s. Jacqueline Fernandez shared a picture of her doppelgänger Amanda CernyInstagramDays after the Internet went crazy looking at the doppelgänger of Anushka Sharma, Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez has shared a picture of her doppelgänger Amanda Cerny on Instagram! What’s more, the lookalike of Jacqueline Fernandez is visiting India to meet the actress and former Miss Sri Lanka.Fans were in for a surprise when Jacqueline Fernandez posted a photo collage of her doppelgänger Amanda Cerny and her on Instagram. She captioned the post thus: “@amandacerny I think it’s about time you came visited me in Mumbai!!” Amanda simply said, “Funny you mention it.” She is on her way to India and has posted a picture from a plane, saying, “Bet you can’t guess why im so excited right now !!!!”Jacqueline Fernandez was impressed and said, “Oh my god.. that was fast!!” It seems like Amanda is a real fan of Jacqueline. She replied to her, saying, “your wish is my command Jacqueline!!!!” Woah.
Many professionals, including policemen, have to work on Eid while others enjoy the holiday. Photo: Hasan RajaWhile everyone else is enjoying a long Eid holiday with family and friends, Riad Hossain is at work. He is an attendant at the emergency unit of a hospital at Farmgate and waits at his desk for any emergency patients who may be rushed in.“It’s an emergency service. You cannot leave this desk vacant,” said Riad Hossain, who is very young. He adds, “I miss my parents a lot on Eid day, but I have to stay at work because of my profession. We have to choose one of the two Eids for our holiday.”There are many more like Riad who have to sacrifice their celebrations due to professional commitments.This Prothom Alo correspondent on Saturday talked to people from several professions who were working on Eid day.Rickshaw pullers, members of the law enforcement and security agencies, doctors are all on the list.Those from such professions share similar stories. If they get leave on one Eid, they have to have to work on the next.While talking to this correspondent, a physician of Al Razi Hospital at Farmgate, Sutapa, said, “I’m lucky that my family members don’t make a fuss, but it’s not easy being away from the family during such a big festival.”Ramzan Ali, a bus driver on the Motijheel-Badda route, was generous in his attitude. “If everybody goes on leave, how will the city run?”Rafiqul Islam, a security guard at an ATM booth said, “We don’t have any leave. As this booth has no alternative guard, I have to stay stationed here on each and every festival.”Anwar Hossain, a constable at the Sonargaon intersection of the capital city, told Prothom Alo that his family has become used to this. “When I first took up this job, my family members were taken aback to hear I had to work on Eid.”“This is the first Eid after my marriage, but I can’t spend it with my wife. I have to come to work,” said Tarikul Islam, a journalist of a private TV channel in the capital’s Mahakhali.While the rest of the population enjoys the Eid after a long month of Ramadan, there are those who have to keep the cogs and wheels of the city moving. Duty calls!
Share KZENON / SHUTTERSTOCKRecent headlines, like the Trump administration’s efforts to ban travelers from certain countries, have raised questions in education circles about whether U.S. politics are having an impact on foreign student enrollment at American universities. I spoke with KERA’s managing editor Eric Aasen about a recent international enrollment report and what local university officials are saying.The enrollment studyIn a new report called “Open Doors” by the Institute of International Education, the overall number of international students grew 3.4 percent during the 2016-17 school year over the previous academic year.That brought the total number of international students to nearly 1.08 million – or 35,000 more students – than the year before.The number of new international students enrolled in fall 2016 declined by 3 percent – or 10,000 students – from the previous year. This is the first time in 12 years the number of new international students has declined.The report cites a number of reasons for the drop, including global and local economic conditions and higher education opportunities in a student’s home country. Enrollment in North TexasSome schools have seen a decline in their enrollment of international students.“We did notice and we’re told by colleagues abroad and even faculty here that there is quite a bit of talk about ‘What is happening in the United States?’”At the University of Texas at Arlington, the total enrollment number is up, but the number of foreign students is down by more than 400.UTA has the highest enrollment of undergraduate international students this year, but the number of graduate international students is down 14 percent.Troy Johnson, vice-president for enrollment management at UTA, said:“We did notice and we’re told by colleagues abroad and even faculty here that there is quite a bit of talk about ‘What is happening in the United States?’ and ‘What will happen in terms of the future opportunities for students that study there or students that even finish degrees? Will jobs and all be available?’”At the University of North Texas, foreign student enrollment was down 9 percent this fall versus last fall, according to university officials.Lauren Jacobsen, interim director for international students and scholar services at UNT, said:“We’ve seen an increase in global competition for international students, so students have more options now than they have in the past in terms of going to education in Canada or in the UK or Australia. They’ve all increased their recruitment efforts.”How local universities are respondingUTA has hosted town hall meetings with help of the university’s Office of International Education and the Division of Student Affairs. UTA’s president visited China this fall to promote the school and develop the relationship with education officials there.At UNT, President Neal Smatresk wrote a letter to students and faculty that said the school was “deeply concerned about the well-being” of those on campus. The letter welcomed students and said diversity is the school’s strength. It included a list of resources, such as counseling and legal services.
Share Rachel Zein for The Texas TribuneState employees protest unsanitary work conditions early Friday morning outside the Texas Health and Human Services Commission Office’s Brown-Heatly building, in Austin on August 17, 2018.Joanne Day is no stranger to problems in her workspace. In her nearly 20 years working at a state health agency, she’s dealt with mold, leaking rainwater and falling drywall — all issues she blames on poor funding of the state’s facilities commission and mismanagement within her agency.But after reading a recent report by The Texas Tribune that revealed the mold incursion in the Austin State Hospital 636 building, Day still felt a shudder rip through her body.“I was surprised, but not surprised,” said Day. “I was appalled. I was disappointed that someone else is going through this.”On Friday morning, a group of state employees gathered outside of the main campus of the Health and Human Services Commission holding signs with illustrations of rats and roaches. They were protesting what they believe are poor working conditions and failed maintenance responses in state office buildings. Earlier this month, Department of State Health Services employees were relocated from a state hospital building where a mold infestation had invaded some of their desks, chairs, carpeting and keyboard hand rests. The move was announced one day after the Tribune uncovered the conditions.Simon Andrade, whose workplace was directly affected by the mold invasion, said he was “frustrated” that the problem wasn’t addressed sooner — and more frustrated that his coworkers had to go to the media to seek help instead of getting help from senior leadership.“I think [the mold] has been disruptive in our work having to move locations, having to work in conditions that don’t give us everything we need to get our jobs done,” Andrade said. “As state employees, our concerns fell on silent ears.”This isn’t the first unsanitary issue in state buildings. Last year, the health commission said its Austin building was overrun by several hundred rats— and had to pay $60,000 for exterminators.But the recent issues with mold has energized workers with the Texas State Employees Union to call on the Health and Human Services Commission and the Texas Facilities Commission to not ignore requests for building maintenance, and to move employees immediately if there’s a building issue. State employees are already calling on lawmakers to properly fund the Texas Facilities Commission next session in order to avoid problems with building conditions.“If you’re seeing multiple state agencies dealing with issues around facilities, it just begs the question of what’s been the state’s approach to establishing safer work environments for their employees,” Andrade said.But state employee Sarah Swallow said the recent case can’t be the only the state building that has mold — she’s heard that most state buildings have the same issues. Swallow said she’s looking at the Legislature to “do whatever it needs” to sort out the problems so working conditions can improve for her and thousands of other state employees.“The Legislature needs to do something, do whatever it takes,” said Swallow, who declined to give the specific agency where she works. “Because for whatever reason, the Texas Facilities Commission is not willing or not able. It’s just ridiculous the amount of things that go unaddressed.”The Texas Health and Human Services Commission and Texas Facilities Commission didn’t immediately return requests for comment Friday morning.Disclosure: The Department of State Health Services has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.
Laura IsenseeHISD Trustee Sergio Lira joined other Latino school leaders at a press conference on Sept. 6, 2018, to urge Hispanic families to enroll their children in school.School board members from Aldine, Houston and Goose Creek are worried about the same thing: Early figures show a dip in enrollment, especially in predominantly Hispanic communities.In Aldine, they’re down about 500 students, according to Trustee Viola Garcia.In the Goose Creek Consolidated School District in Baytown, Trustee Agustin Loredo said that they expected a 2 percent jump in enrollment because business is booming in the surrounding petrochemical industry — but that growth hasn’t appeared. And in Houston, Trustee Sergio Lira said that some principals have seen enrollment for Hispanic students drop between 3 and 5 percent. He added it’s especially a concern in the southwest part of Houston. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: “It’s the fear factor because of the anti-immigrant, zero-tolerance policies that are very prevalent in our country right now,” Lira said.Other factors, Lira said, could involve families displaced by Harvey and more transfers to charter schools. Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo raised similar concerns last week and urged families that schools are safe.“We just implore the families to come back,” said Garcia, who’s served on the Aldine school board since 1992. UPDATE:The Houston Independent School District said that preliminary numbers this week show a decrease of less than 2 percent in student enrollment compared to enrollment at the end of last school year. What’s more, HISD reports that decrease is shown across several ethnic groups. Administrators plan to have a “Grad Walk” later in September to encourage students who haven’t returned to school to come back to class. X 00:00 /00:50 Listen Share
Kolkata: West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee today told the assembly that state colleges had been informed not to allow any kind of intervention by student unions during admission. Replying during the question hour, Chatterjee said application to the colleges had been made online as well as payment of admission fees eliminating the need for any manual intervention. He said that some stray incidents took place in one or two colleges out of so many and some sections of the media was creating an unnecessary hype about it. The minister said that the government had taken strict action against those trying to disrupt the admission process and also some arrests had been made. Regarding recruitment of teachers in schools, he said some people were going to court for cancelling panels. He said that if this practice continued, then the government would also move the High Court and also examine alternative ways of recruitment.