New Music Monday: White Reaper

first_img Learn Guitar (and Don’t Give Up) With the Fender Play App There’s Never a Bad Time to Visit Whistler, the Four-Season Outdoor Playground White Reaper know how to make an entrance. Having played together since high school, the band made a splash last summer with their self-titled debut EP on Polyvinyl. After that the band took an excellent live show on the road with Young Widows. Now the boys from Louisville, KY are back with their first full-length album, White Reaper Does It Again. Also released on Polyvinyl, the album comes out July 17.Opening track “Make Me Wanna Die” kicks off the album with guitar feedback and a raucous drumbeat before quickly transitioning into a song much more recognizable as rock ‘n’ roll. White Reaper identify themselves as a rock ‘n’ roll band, even saying in an interview earlier this year, “We’re just a rock ‘n’ roll band. People like to call it what they want but we’re just a rock ‘n’ roll band. So, Ozzy Osbourne and classic rock—a lot of classic rock. We love that. We listen to a lot of metal.”White Reaper Does It Again is without a doubt a wild album and a thorough dose of rock, but as much as the band compares itself to classic rock and icons like Ozzy Osbourne, pop music’s influence is just as clear in the songs on the record. Every track has a great hook that catches the listener’s ear. The band makes no bones about this side of their music either, adding in that same interview, “Our new stuff is pretty reminiscent of The Cars, T-Rex, and stuff like that.”Many bands today mine those two veins—Wavves and Cloud Nothings just put out a collaborative album last month—and produce hook-laden and distorted tracks. “Garage rock” is the umbrella term for this style, but especially with White Reaper, “pop punk” would work just as well. There’s an element of derision associated with the term “pop punk,” but these are (and White Reaper is) bands playing catchy, aggressive music and doing it well. There is no shame to be found in that.White Reaper Does It Again comes out July 17 and is available for pre-order via Amazon, iTunes, and Polyvinyl. Watch the video for “Last 4th of July” below! A Beginner’s Guide to Live Band Karaoke Editors’ Recommendations The Absolute Worst Movies to Watch with a Date 7 of the Best Drink References in Musiclast_img read more

Job Opportunities Overseas for Trained Students

first_imgStudents involved in training programmes at the HEART Trust/NTA’s Rockfort Vocational Training Centre (VTC) are being encouraged to participate in the Oversees Employment Programme. Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, made the appeal as he addressed an Employers’ Forum and Open Day held on Thursday, February 28, at the institution located on Windward Road, Kingston. He said the Ministry requires skilled persons as well as seasonal agricultural and hospitality workers for jobs in the United States of America, Canada and Guantanamo Bay. “In the United States, right now, we have opportunities for those persons, who are trained in the various disciplines in hospitality such as housekeeping, front desk operations, bell men, waiter and bartending,” Mr. Kellier said, while also pointing to prospects in the food service industry. Mr. Kellier also said the Canadian Government is seeking overseas workers to fill a shortfall in its labour market of some 300,000 persons. “They cannot replenish it as their population is low and when persons retire, they can’t replace those persons in full. Because their economy is growing, there is this demand for increased workers, so there is indeed a glorious opportunity overseas for Jamaican workers,” the Labour Minister said.He said that skilled persons are needed in the construction industry such as masons, carpenters, welders, and heavy duty drivers.The Labour Minister advised interested persons to register with the Ministry’s Labour Market Information System, noting that “from time-to-time, you will be called up for interviews.”Since the 1960s, the Government of Jamaica, through the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, has had an arrangement in place with employers in the US, to supply agricultural workers and, in more recent years, hospitality workers.There have also been agreements with Canada for the provision of seasonal agricultural workers, and semi-skilled and low-skilled, non-agricultural workers.In 2012 alone, the Canadian programme contributed in excess of $1.5 billion to the economy.The Rockfort VTC, established in 2000, is an enterprise-based training facility for the HEART Trust/NTA.last_img read more

Halifax Hosting Major Transportation Conference

first_imgCanada’s largest annual gathering of transportation professionals, with more than 800 delegates runs until Wednesday, Sept. 29, in Halifax. The 2010 annual conference and exhibition of the Transportation Association of Canada is being held at the World Trade and Convention Centre. “I’m proud that our department, along with the Halifax Regional Municipality, is co-hosting this conference,” said Bill Estabrooks, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. “Not only is it important for the transportation industry but, with 800 delegates, it’s also good business for Halifax and the province.” This year’s conference theme is Adjusting to New Realities and focuses on the need for greater efficiencies and innovation as the industry deals with issues such as aging infrastructure, climate change, sustainable transportation, and urban design. More than 175 presentations will be given at various sessions, panel discussions, and workshops as well as an exhibition with the latest transportation-related products and services.last_img read more

Nova Scotia Proclaims Oct 23 as HMCS Kootenay Day

first_imgThe province is proclaiming Sunday, Oct. 23, as HMCS Kootenay Day in remembrance of the worst peacetime accident in the history of the Royal Canadian Navy. “We honour the crew of HMCS Kootenay and may we never forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving their country,” said Premier Stephen McNeil, as Minister responsible for Military Relations. On Oct. 23, 1969, nine crewmen died and 53 were seriously injured after an explosion ripped through the Kootenay’s starboard gearbox while performing sea trials about 320 kilometres off the southwest coast of England. “We offer the remaining survivors of the Kootenay disaster and their families our heartfelt thanks,” said Premier McNeil. “As members of the Royal Canadian Navy, these crew members were willing to put the lives of others ahead of their own as they helped protect the freedoms that Canadians enjoy, but often take for granted.” A commemorative event marking HMCS Kootenay Day will take place on Friday, Oct. 21, at 10 a.m., at the Damage Control Training Facility, 11245 John Brackett Dr., Halifax.last_img read more

Indias moon lander to go where no nation has dared

first_imgNew Delhi: Chandrayaan-2, India’s most ambitious second lunar mission to be launched on July 15, will be the first of its kind as it will shed light on a completely unexplored section of the Moon — its South Polar region. Leveraging nearly a decade of scientific research and engineering development, the mission is aimed at helping in better understanding of the origin and evolution of the Moon by conducting detailed topographical studies, comprehensive mineralogical analyses, and a host of other experiments on the lunar surface. Also Read – Squadrons which participated in Balakot air strike awarded citations on IAF DayIt will explore the topography of the moon and its composition and will search for water besides conducting in-situ studies. Chandrayaan-2 will be launched from Satish Dhawan Space CentRE at Sriharikota on-board heavy-lift rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III), nicknamed as ‘Bahubali’, at 2.51 am on July 15. The Lander, Vikram, will land near South Pole of the moon on September 6. Subsequently, the Rover will roll out and carry out experiments on Lunar surface for a period of one Lunar day, which is equal to 14 Earth days. The Orbiter will continue its mission for one year. The Orbiter payloads will conduct remote-sensing observations from a 100 km orbit while the Lander and Rover payloads will perform in-situ measurements near the landing site. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documents on Reliance penaltyThe lunar South Pole is especially interesting because of the lunar surface area here, that remains in shadow, is much larger than that at the North Pole, according to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) which is making preparations for the successful launch. There is a possibility of the presence of water in permanently shadowed areas around it. In addition, the South Pole region has craters that are cold traps and contain a fossil record of the early Solar System, it said. What makes Chandrayaan-2 special is that it is the first space mission to conduct a soft landing on the Moon’s South Polar region. It is also the first Indian expedition to attempt soft landing on the lunar surface with home-grown technology.last_img read more

Blocked merger between Siemens and Alstom a win for Bombardier say analysts

first_imgMONTREAL — Analysts say Bombardier Inc. can rest a little easier after European antitrust authorities blocked a plan by manufacturing giants Siemens and Alstom to merge their rail operations.The European Commission announced its decision Wednesday to bar Siemens of Germany from acquiring the French Alstom’s train-making business, arguing it could reduce competition in the signaling and high-speed train markets.The deal would have created a $22.5-billion company with more than 60,000 employees, versus Bombardier’s US$8.5 billion in train unit revenues in 2017.Analyst Cameron Doerksen of National Bank Financial says that while the scuppered merger would have given the combined company a “dominant position” in Europe, Bombardier would have remained a “top-two player” in the key markets of Germany, France and the U.K.Still, he and other analysts say the deal may have reduced opportunities for the Berlin-based division of Bombardier Inc. to team up on contract bids with Siemens and Alstom and hurt its prospects in the market for rail signalling systems. Bombardier stocks were up five per cent to $2.03 in midday trading.Bombardier says it is “pleased” with the European Commission ruling and states that such a big merger would have damaged competitiveness and left European consumers and taxpayers paying the price. Companies in this story: (TSX:BBD.B)The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister favours results over popularity

first_imgWINNIPEG — Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister genuinely appears to have little interest in being well-liked on a personal level.The Progressive Conservative Leader, who won a second majority government Tuesday, has repeatedly said politics is not a popularity contest and admits that people may not want to sit down with him and have a beer.He promotes himself as someone who may not be likable but, more importantly, can work hard and get things done.“I lack personality, I’m not inspirational, I’ve been told. But I’m a problem-solver,” Pallister said shortly after he was first elected premier in 2016.“I think Manitobans are the stars in this thing, not me.”Pallister, 65, grew up on a small farm — the homestead of his great-grandparents — near Portage la Prairie. Money was tight. He recalls having one ball that he and his younger brother Jim used for a variety of sports.Pallister grew tall at a young age and eventually reached six-foot eight. He recalls being bullied as a kid because of his lanky stature.He developed a passion for sports and hitchhiked to Brandon University to try out for the basketball team. His coach, Jerry Hemmings, recalls making Pallister run until he vomited in a garbage can. He’d then continue running.Pallister took the same grit to other sports, enjoying success in curling and softball. What he lacked in natural ability, he made up for with hard work. He went on to win a provincial curling title and was enshrined in the Manitoba softball hall of fame.That determination stayed with him. Pallister started an insurance and investment firm along with his wife, Esther, and grew the company over three decades. They sold it and used the proceeds to help pay for a $2-million, 9,000-square-foot mansion in Winnipeg — a far cry from Pallister’s humble roots.The couple later bought a second home in Costa Rica, for which Pallister has been criticized. After becoming premier, he said he planned to spend up to two months a year there. He later reduced that to five weeks — a rare change of course for a politician who seems to have never backed down from a fight.After serving briefly in the Manitoba legislature in the 1990s, Pallister became a member of Parliament from 1997 to 2008. He ran unopposed for the leadership of the Manitoba Tories in 2012 and was elected premier in 2016 with the biggest majority government in the province in a century.His hard-driving, ready-for-battle personality quickly showed.He demanded politicians and staff sell memberships and fundraise, or make way for those who would. At one meeting in 2012, he had people’s names drawn from a hat. They were assigned a constituency held by the NDP or Liberals and told to sell as many memberships as possible in that area.The party entered the 2016 election flush with cash and support.Since first becoming premier, Pallister has engaged in fights with Crown-owned Manitoba Hydro’s board members, who resigned en masse; the Manitoba Metis Federation, which is suing over a cancelled hydro benefits package; and public-sector unions suing over a wage freeze.“I’m not trying to make enemies with this job,” Pallister said in an interview. “I’m trying to stand up for the quiet people out there who are asked to pay for all this stuff.”Pallister’s personality stands in contrast to the gregarious, hand-shaking image that other politicians have, says one political analyst.“I think he’s more comfortable by himself, almost, and that comes out of a whole lifetime of being a kind of solitary person,” says Paul Thomas, professor emeritus of political studies at the University of Manitoba.Strong opposition has not stopped Pallister from pressing ahead to cut management jobs in the public sector, close some hospital emergency rooms, raise tuition fees and reduce subsidies for items ranging from sleep-apnea machines to public housing.Doing so helped him fulfil his two biggest campaign promises — reining in a string of annual deficits that had grown under the previous NDP government and cutting the provincial sales tax to seven per cent from eight.But, his critics say, those actions have broken Pallister’s promise to protect front-line services that people depend on.“We got into a situation where our provincial debt doubled in six years, partly because people couldn’t say no to special interest groups and wanted to be popular,” Pallister said.“Politicians who want to be popular today often create problems for people later.”Steve Lambert, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Prison psychological tests must be fair to Indigenous inmates high court

first_imgThe Canadian PressOTTAWA – The Supreme Court of Canada says the federal prison service has failed to ensure its psychological assessment tools are fair to Indigenous inmates.In a decision today, the high court accepts Jeffrey Ewert’s challenge of assessment techniques to gauge the risk of reoffending and potential for violence.Ewert, who identifies as Metis, alleged the Correctional Service of Canada’s assessment tools were unreliable when administered to Indigenous inmates.A Federal Court judge agreed with some of Ewert’s arguments but the decision was later overturned, prompting Ewert’s appeal to the Supreme Court.Born to a Metis mother and a British father, Ewert was adopted as a baby by a Caucasian family in Surrey, B.C.He has been locked up for more than 30 years in maximum- and medium-security institutions, serving two concurrent life sentences for second-degree murder, attempted murder and escape from custody.news@aptn.ca@aptnnewslast_img read more

Water main failure causes closure of 100th Street until further notice

first_imgHarvey said that water to the area around 100 Street and 100 Avenue will remain shut off until the repairs are complete, and that there may be additional temporary water shut-offs in other areas while the repairs are completed. At this time, the City does not have an estimated time when the repairs will be completed, but that updates will be posted to the City of Fort St. John Facebook page.Residents are reminded to slow down around workers, obey all traffic signs, and avoid the area completely if possible. UPDATE: The City of Fort St. John has fixed the water main and the intersection of 100th St. North and 100th Avenue is now open.FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The failure of a water main has been confirmed as having caused the closure of 100th St. north of the intersection with 100th Ave. The City’s Communications Coordinator Ryan Harvey said that the water main broke on Thursday afternoon causing to be closed between 100th and 101st Avenues until the emergency repairs are complete. He said that city crews began repairs last night and will remain on site until the break is repaired. last_img read more

Provigo announces 100million renovation program for Quebec store network

by The Canadian Press Posted Apr 9, 2013 10:58 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Provigo announces $100-million renovation program for Quebec store network MONTREAL – Provigo plans to spend about $100 million this year on renovating and upgrading its Quebec retail network, as well as building a new store in Sherbrooke.The company, a member of the Loblaw (TSX: L) group, said a “significant number” of its locations will be among those getting a makeover.Besides operating under its own name, Provigo has stores under the Loblaws, Maxi and Maxi & Cie banners in Quebec.Provigo says it will add a total of about 100 permanent jobs in different regions and contractors will employ hundreds of construction workers for the project.A portion of the investment will be allocated towards creating the new concept version of Provigo and Loblaws stores in various regions of Quebec.In addition to the recently announced new Provigo store at Cite du Parc in Sherbrooke, the existing Provigo Prieur store (Ahuntsic) and in Boucherville and the Loblaws stores in Magog, Saint-Bruno and Saint-Sauveur will each be renovated to adopt a similarly inspired concept.The Loblaws store in Kirkland, Que., will also be renovated representing the flagship store of the company’s new conventional store model in the province.Provigo is part of the Loblaw group, which operates nearly 400 corporate, franchised and affiliated stores in Quebec and employs close to 30,000 people in Quebec, making it the province’s third-largest employer. read more

Brock volunteers make their mark in Niagara

Brock University wore its heart on its sleeve Saturday, showing Niagara some love during the 10th annual Brock Cares Day of Service.About 160 students and Brock employees spent Sept. 8 volunteering their time at 26 locations across the region. They collectively contributed more than 1,000 volunteer hours while working with a variety of organizations in St. Catharines, Thorold, Wainfleet, Welland, Port Colborne, West Lincoln, Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake.Volunteers spent time sorting donations at Community Care’s food bank, freshening up facilities for the Alzheimer Society of Niagara and Lincoln County Humane Society, and pitching in at the annual St. Catharines community cleanup, among other initiatives.The craftier helping hands also spent time sewing 60 hygiene kits for Days for Girls, with plans to donate the creations to those in need. Some of the kits will make the trip to Peru in February alongside members of the Brock community, who will travel to the South American nation to volunteer as part of the University’s Alternative Reading Week program.Brock Cares Day of Service was made possible not only through the many volunteers who offered their time, but also through partnerships with 19 campus and community organizations. The event is run by Student Life and Community Experience in partnership with the Brock University Students’ Union. read more

Ohio State womens volleyball wins third straight tournament runs winning streak to

OSU women’s volleyball players get set for a serve during a game against Penn State on Oct. 31, 2014. Credit: Lantern File PhotoHeading into conference play, the Ohio State women’s volleyball team is firing on all cylinders.OSU captured its third straight tournament title this weekend at the Golden Grizzlies Invitational in Rochester, Michigan, extending its winning streak to 11 in the process. The Buckeyes wrapped up their non-conference slate by defeating Eastern Illinois (5-8) and Western Michigan (3-11) on Friday, followed by a win against tournament-host Oakland (5-8) on Saturday.The third and final game of the weekend proved to be the toughest test for OSU, but the Buckeyes were able to defeat Oakland in four sets (25-23, 25-16, 23-25, 25-18).OSU survived a scare in the first set, but wasn’t so fortunate in the third, dropping a set for the first time on the weekend. The team responded well, however, winning the fourth set without ever trailing.Big contributions came from across the board, with five different Buckeyes recording 10 or more points in the match.Senior middle blocker Tyler Richardson led the way with 15.5 points on 11 kills and six blocks (three solo).Junior middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe and senior outside hitter Elizabeth Campbell were next with 15 points, as both had 13 kills and four block assists. Campbell also added 12 digs for her second double-double of the weekend and fifth of the season.Also registering double-digit points were senior outside hitter Katie Mitchell (13.5) and freshman outside hitter Audra Appold (10.5).After getting limited playing time in the first two games of the weekend, senior setter Emily Ruetter assisted on 36 of those points after stepping in midway through the first set.Defense again played a big role in an OSU win, as the Buckeyes recorded 11 blocks and held the Golden Grizzlies to a .154 attack percentage. In what has become a regular occurrence, junior libero Valeria León led all players with 18 digs.In game two of the weekend, OSU made quick work of Western Michigan, coming away with a convincing sweep in three sets (25-11, 25-20, 25-21).After trailing 7-6 in the first set, the Buckeyes were able to grab the lead for good and did not face a deficit again for the remainder of the contest.Campbell had her first double-double of the tournament, leading the OSU offense with 12 kills while adding 10 digs and two aces. Freshman setter Taylor Hughes also had a double-double — her fourth in five games and fifth overall — with 29 assists, 11 digs, two kills, two blocks and two aces.Sandbothe (10 kills, three blocks) and Richardson (seven kills, five blocks) again had solid all-around games.OSU fell behind only once in its first game of the weekend, as the Buckeyes handled Eastern Illinois (25-13, 25-20, 25-16) with ease.Campbell again led the OSU attack, picking up 12.5 points on 12 kills and a block assist. Mitchell added nine kills — seven coming in the second set — and Appold nearly had her first collegiate double-double with nine kills and 11 digs.Hughes saw her three-game streak of double-doubles come to an end, but she still continued her strong stretch of games with 31 assists, eight digs, five kills and three blocks against the Panthers.Fresh off her MVP performance in OSU’s previous tournament win and a Big Ten co-Defensive Player of the Week honor, León led all players with 22 digs.The game also featured the return of junior outside hitter Kylie Randall, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury last season and had yet to play this year. Randall had two kills in her 2015 debut.Sandbothe was named the most valuable player of the tournament, finishing the weekend with 29 kills, 10 blocks, nine digs and one service ace. For the third straight weekend, Sandbothe was joined by Campbell (37 kills, 24 digs) and León (56 digs, two aces) on the all-tournament team.A date at home with No. 23 Minnesota on Wednesday is next on the ledger for OSU as it starts play against the Big Ten conference, which currently boasts eight ranked teams. read more

Woman hit by falling palm tree while on holiday sunbathing recallsexcruciating pain

first_imgMrs Saywell, who is now taking legal action, said she ended up with two broken legs, and suffers nightmares, flashbacks and a fear of going abroad.She said: “Personally I would take down all of the palm trees around where people sunbathe to prevent this happening again.”We’ve been offered a free holiday but I don’t want to go back.”Larry Shaw, of law firm Slater and Gordon, which represents Mrs Saywell, said: “It is crucial that holiday resorts and tour operators ensure trees are properly inspected and maintained to avoid incidents like this happening again.”In a statement, travel operator Thomson said: “We’re sorry to hear of Mrs Saywell’s experience.”As this is now subject to legal proceedings, it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.”We’d like to reassure customers that we regularly audit all of the hotels we feature in respect of health and safety and that incidents such as this are rare.” Mrs Saywell said the tree also hit another British tourist who suffered minor injuries, and it took 45 minutes for an ambulance to come to her aidAfter being transferred to the Sri Lankan capital Colombo, she had titanium pins inserted in her legs in hospital where she spent 12 days before being flown home on a private jet. The resort in Sri Lanka where Claire Saywell’s legs were crushed by a palm tree while sunbathingCredit:PA Claire Saywell palm tree case center_img A British holidaymaker has told how she feared she would never walk again after being crushed by a palm tree while sunbathing at a resort in Sri Lanka.Claire Saywell, 42, was relaxing at the four-star Club Hotel Dolphin resort with her husband David when a 50ft tree fell across her sun-bed, shattering her legs.Commercial insurance broker Mrs Saywell, from Sittingbourne, Kent, feared she may have been left disabled as three men struggled to lift the tree off her.She said: “I was dozing in the sun with my eyes closed and the next thing I knew I had this excruciating pain in my legs.”I remember seeing the tree and screaming, ‘Get it off me’, as the pain was nothing like I’ve ever experienced.”My legs were bent down in a V shape where the sun lounger had broken and when the men managed to get the tree off, my legs looked deformed with my feet going in different directions.”I will never get that vision out of my head. I thought my legs were gone.”Everyone was running around panicking and I was trying to avoid looking at my legs as they were such a mess.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Amiante le préjudice danxiété accordé aux salariés

first_imgAmiante : le préjudice d’anxiété accordé aux salariésFrance – Les seize anciens salariés de la société Ahlstrom Labelpack, qui réclamaient une indemnité concernant le préjudice d’anxiété lié à leur exposition à l’amiante, ont vu leur demande acceptée par la Cour de cassation. La Cour de cassation a rendu son verdict : les salariés ayant travaillé au contact de l’amiante pourraient déclencher un jour une maladie liée à cette exposition. Ils pourront, conformément à l’arrêt du 11 mai 2010 de la chambre sociale de la plus haute juridiction française, prétendre à un dédommagement en ayant auparavant accepté le dispositif de la “préretraite amiante”.L’amiante est à l’origine de pathologies comme les cancers qui peuvent se déclarer jusqu’à plus de cinquante ans après les premières expositions aux fibres d’amiante. Dans le monde, environ 125 millions de travailleurs sont exposés à cette fibre cancérigène, et 90.000 en meurent chaque année. Le 25 mai 2010 à 15:04 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Texan is new Woodland police chief

first_imgThe Woodland Police Department will usher in a new chief this month as the city continues to wade through legal battles against one of its own detectives.A yearlong search for a new chief came to an end Monday night as the Woodland City Council finally saw eye-to-eye with Mayor Grover Laseke on who should take the reins during what has been a troubling time for the department.The councilors voted unanimously to hire Phillip Crochet, a commander in the recruiting and training division of the Austin Police Department in Texas. After sifting through dozens of candidates and starting the process over twice, the councilors expressed relief at bringing the search to an end, and they were pleased with Crochet’s record. “I think we’re all anxious to get him on board, and I think he’s very qualified,” Councilor Scott Perry said. Crochet, from Cedar Park, Texas, has spent the last 23 years with the Austin Police Department. He got his start in law enforcement in the mid-1980s as an undercover narcotics agent working in two Texas high schools.The new chief will come to Woodland about half a year after Detective David Plaza announced plans to sue the city for upwards of $2 million. In June, Plaza filed a tort claim making numerous misconduct allegations against former interim chief Sgt. Brad Gillaspie.last_img read more

Why the Big BtoB Model is Broken

first_imgAnd if interest rates go up, that could mean serious trouble for overleveraged publishers. “With companies like Penton and Cygnus, the real issue is how leveraged they remain, and the terms of those loans,” says Dan Ramella, president of Harbor Communications (and former Penton Media president). “While current levels may show they can handle the debt service with low interest rates, they still might be at risk if rates start to click up.” The financial structures may be undermining the core products themselves. “I think the core value of the business is obscured by financial dark clouds that hang over the b-to-b category,” says IDG Communications CEO Bob Carrigan. “Clearly, overleveraged deals were a huge burden. You’re bleeding for cash with little investment to launch new things. When you’re constantly trying to meet covenants it’s difficult for operating folks to be successful. We’ve seen this happen with so many great companies—they’re basically in asset sale mode. A lot of them feel like ‘it’s not a growth business anymore.’ Maybe it’s not a growth business anymore because you’re not really investing in areas of business that represent real growth.”End of the Old “Economies of Scale”Beyond the problems of being overleveraged and in debt, many of the larger publishers are based on obsolete operating structures. As traditional print vehicles are replaced by multimedia and strategic services, the economies of the current structures no longer work (in March, Advanstar announced that it had struck an agreement to outsource its production-related functions for the company’s magazines and directories to global IT services company HCL Technologies, resulting in the elimination of approximately 100 employees at its Duluth, Minnesota, facility).“It seems to be that the economics of building a large b-to-b animal with multiple titles doesn’t necessarily click anymore,” says Garrett. “What do you get? A shared back office with human resources, finance, production and a centralized circulation department. But beyond a certain point, you begin to develop a bureaucracy. That impacts the performance of individual titles and even stifles growth—particularly with a public company—because they have earnings levels to meet, or if it’s a large private company with expectations or wishes to go public and they’re trying to build a P&L record.”In February 2008, United Business Media announced the restructuring of CMP Technology into four separate businesses led by four co-CEOs. The four new businesses share support functions like finance, IT services, legal and global account and sales management. Accounts payable and receivable are part of centralized shared services. Audience development and HR roles are handled on the divisional level.Two years later, UBM CEO David Levin says the restructuring was the only option. “It wasn’t a choice around the old technology businesses, it was a piece of organizational design, which we deployed in multiple markets,” he adds. “An old magazine publishing company had various things that led you to a highly centralized structure. Those are the economics of large-scale mass production and distribution of magazines with classic departments like circulation and production. Five years ago, print accounted for two-thirds of the revenue of this company. Now, less than 5 percent of profits are attributable to the magazine businesses. The core requirement was to move the organizational structure and engage in a different way, and create a structure that allowed for scale without required centralization.”Is the Conglomerate Model Still Viable? Historically, building scale for a b-to-b publisher often meant entering several different unrelated markets (Penton Media lists 17 markets served on its corporate site, ranging from agriculture to wealth management).Today, publishers are split on whether that multi-market approach still works. “I think it’s a difficult model,” says Bill Pollak, CEO of ALM, which focuses on the legal market (and which in 2009 was spun off as an independent company from U.K.-based owner and financial publisher Incisive Media, which went through its own reorganization and refinancing). “This idea that we can take a group of markets and put them under one umbrella and think we can create cross-market synergies sounds great on paper, but I don’t think it really happens. It’s very difficult to get people in different market segments to work together.” Some observers think a gradual sell-off is the only reasonable outcome. “I don’t see how they can avoid [going the same way as Nielsen and RBI],” says Rob Garrett, founder and former president of AdMedia Partners and  president of private investing and financial advisory company Rob Garrett and Sons. “They’ve restructured but still have a lot of debt. I don’t see them being able to sell the whole company. Nielsen was smart enough not to even try. What does a company like Penton do? For a while, nothing. You hope the improving economy and the ability to run the business make the values higher. But then what? I find it hard to see what the alternative to drive value for their investors would be.”It’s a situation not necessarily limited to the b-to-b behemoths. “Summit Business Media was leveraged up. They will steer through this, but debt could be impaired. Jobson may have rumblings,” says one b-to-b CEO. “More broadly, there’s a concern that lenders are kissing the bullet, not biting it, when it comes to taking write-downs.”   Reed Elsevier shocked the industry in 2008 with the announcement that it was putting Reed Business Information on the block. RBI shocked fellow publishers again just last month, when it said it would shutter its remaining 23 unsold magazines (and most of the related digital properties)—although by some accounts, it looks like RBI never intended to sell those titles anyway.Meanwhile, Nielsen Business Media has spent the past year trimming down its portfolio piece by piece in order to focus on its research and measurement services. Elsewhere, it seemed like hardly a week went by in 2009 without news of a large b-to-b player, overleveraged and carrying enormous debt, forced to declare Chapter 11 or at least skirting along the edge of bankruptcy before all stakeholders agreed to a restructuring.Today, many of the largest U.S. b-to-b publishers  are, by their own accounts, facing the future with new structures and more manageable debt levels. But the fact is, even after restructuring, many are still carrying dizzying levels of debt that may require additional restructurings down the road. And with private equity ownership looking for a return, and very few buyers out there willing to take on even more debt, many large publishers face the same fate as Nielsen and RBI: whittling down assets through sales or closures until there’s little left of the original publishing company. Others could follow the model of the former Ascend Media, which gradually sold off piece by piece, with founder and former CEO Cam Bishop buying back the rights to the brand and launching Ascend Integrated Media around the event and custom publishing assets. “Almost every one of these restructurings leaves debt on the books that, as a multiple of cash flow, is equal to or greater than the value of the business,” says one b-to-b CEO. “There is a serious risk that another round of restructuring may need to take place in the two-to-three year horizon.”center_img It’s also a different marketplace. “I also think we’re in a private equity world,” adds Pollak. “The world when some of these businesses were put together was the pre-private equity world. Back then, you wanted diversity. PE owners don’t necessarily want you to diversify, they’re going to diversify. Why should a company like ALM be in six different businesses?”Some executives think the shift away from traditional publishing services makes the multi-market approach even harder. “Being in several different unrelated markets is difficult in this economy,” says Ron Wall, senior vice president of publications at Canon Communications. “With lead generation, database, custom digital/print and immediacy of message being the focus of so many marketers the only way these can really be achieved is having several strong and focused assets that solve a customer’s entire needs.”Others think diverse markets do work. “Yes it can work, but each publication (even within the general market cluster) should be left on their own when it comes to how they sell and serve the market,” says Carrigan. “There is nothing inherently wrong with unrelated markets. In fact, the cyclical nature of most markets should help the company smooth out the overall results of the company as each of the unrelated markets go through their own cycle.”While UBM is best known for tech publishing, it also has significant publishing, exhibition and database businesses in areas like cruise shipping, health care and global trade. “I’m a firm believer in the multi-sector approach,” says Levin. “The question is, how do you get economies of learning since you no longer have production economies?” Reinvention Versus Cost ControlWhen Cygnus announced it was entering a Chapter 11 restructuring last August, one poster at Foliomag.com wrote:  “We’ll know when they emerge from this, if they are serious about their business: Get rid of the dead-weight management, bring actual talent back, re-establish the core values that have been lost some time ago, and do business based upon principles that leave room for integrity and ethics, as well as profits.”That poster summed up the fact that while it’s easy to talk about change, it’s much harder for publishing executives (and owners) to take the steps necessary to enact it.  In Cygnus’ case, the company named former Penton chief executive John French as the replacement for departing CEOs Tony O’Brien and Carr Davis and emerged from Chapter 11 on September 21, 2009. “A big part of this job is being in front of employees and customers and telling them what the story is,” says French. “We had a balance sheet problem, we were carrying a debt load that was unmanageable for the size of the company and the previous leadership was not good. We reduced the debt from $180 million to $60 million, the business is improving and we’re bringing resources in.” That includes significant investment, according to French. Cygnus has hired a new CFO and is currently looking to hire a new vice president of digital strategies. “There was nothing wrong with the properties except two things: they were starved and they had a PR problem,” says French. “We’re investing hundreds of thousands of dollars now and that will increase a lot in the next year or two. A year or three from now, people will look back and say, ‘Damn, those guys did it.’”French says Cygnus made some incorrect technology decisions and is now investing money in infrastructure and software. On the print side,  the company has hired book and magazine designer J.C. Suarez. “The editors love it—nobody had talked to them in years, or if they did, it was just, ‘Do this Webinar, do this e-newsletter,’” says French.  Cygnus’ current debt load is manageable, according to French. “We make our payments and we’re in very good shape in terms of cash flow,” he adds. “When we were at $180 million, it was a real problem. Since coming out of Chapter 11, it hasn’t been a problem, all our cash forecasts are positive.”Dealing with the corporate culture can be the biggest challenge for large b-to-b publishers that have been forced to make massive cuts, both in budget and personnel.  The Cygnus culture has been particularly toxic (judging by comments at Foliomag.com) and French says he’s made it a priority to fix this. “Improving morale is the biggest challenge we have,” he adds. “That takes time and people seeing the proof.” That also means being straightforward about the company’s direction. “We can’t tell people we’ll be here forever, that’s crazy,” says French. “But on a day-to-day basis, we’re making the investments to put value back in the company. If we don’t improve it, we’ve done nothing. That said, our owners are banks and we’ve been honest with employees. Banks are not strategic buyers and this company will be for sale again in three or four years. In the meantime, our instructions are to get value back in company. I’ve made it known I’m not just here as a turnaround person. I want to go where this company ends up and lead its next iteration.”Print wasn’t the only dark spot for Penton Media. In an April 2009 memo announcing the reduction of the summer work week from five to four days, CEO Sharon Rowlands said that the company wasn’t showing growth and that “advertising. . . has not only collapsed in print, but as a company, we haven’t shown the growth we should on the Web. Penton is really tracking a long way behind the industry in terms of percent of revenue that is digital, and we are not showing growth.” Improving the sales process is a priority. As part of a roundtable discussion at the DeSilva + Phillips Dealmakers Summit in February, Rowlands said that, “Only a fraction of the publishing sales force today is capable of communicating effectively to clients.”Less than a month after undergoing a pre-packaged reorganization designed to reduce the company’s debt by $270 million, Penton Media emerged from Chapter 11 in March. In addition to the elimination of $270 million in long-term debt, Penton received an extension of the maturity on its senior secured credit facility through 2014. However, the company’s previous debt was estimated at close to $1 billion.“We’re seeing improved performance so far in 2010,” Penton CEO Sharon Rowlands told Folio:.  “Our digital business is performing strongly. Print remains weaker but improved in the last quarter of 2009. Custom marketing services are performing strongly. Trade shows vary show by show. We’re fortunate that our two largest shows are in the natural products area and our third largest show is in waste management—those are all sectors that are holding up pretty well. I’m starting to feel pretty good about 2010.”Questex Gets Fast Start Out of the Gate But What’s Next?Questex Media Group Holdings filed for bankruptcy in fall 2009 and said that the company’s senior lenders were expected to place a bid to acquire “substantially all” of the company’s assets, under a Section 363 sale process. The agreement, Questex said, also would provide “significant financing,” including debtor-in-possession and exit financing, which will be used to help finance the company’s operations. In December, Questex emerged from Chapter 11 with a new name (Questex Media Group LLC)Through the first quarter of 2010, Questex has seen some improvement, including hosting 10 major trade shows and events and meeting audience, customer and financial targets on each one, according to CEO Kerry Gumas.  “Questex has continued to execute on its business plan,” he adds. “We have a much more flexible organization today as a result of process changes we made and continue to make to the business. We significantly reduced our fixed cost base allowing us to yield relatively significant increases in profits from modest revenue gains. This allows us to continue to invest in organic business development and launch initiatives, reserving available capital resources for more strategic uses. Our objective is to drive value creation for all our stakeholders—that’s a given—but the U.S. economy is by no means out of this recession yet. So, we’re as concerned about managing through short-term shifts in demand as we are about long term-strategy and managing our portfolio and balance sheet accordingly.”Gumas acknowledges that the  b-to-b business model has changed and the company has to make strategic choices about customer markets, platforms and revenue models. “I think consolidation strategies will always be important in this industry, but so will specialists,” he says. “So I’d say, yes, you will continue to see acquisitions and divestitures as companies make strategic choices about where on that matrix of markets, platforms and revenue models it’s most effective to compete. The industry’s moved beyond competing narrowly around ad- or subscription-driven print models. I think five years from now b-to-b publishing will be further transformed with a much more diverse range of b-to-b service business models facilitating commerce by serving everything from mass market b-to-b audiences on a global scale to highly specialized information and very finite 1-to-1 buyer-seller interactions via very dynamic platforms.”For full-year 2009, the revenue for McGraw-Hill’s Business-to-Business Group decreased 8.6 percent to $872.7 million. Revenue growth at the Platts news service for the global energy market was offset by weakness in advertising, softness in the construction market and declines in the automotive sector at J.D. Power and Associates. Still, b-to-b remains essential, particularly as McGraw-Hill expands its “information services.” “Long term, that’s where b-to-b is going,” says Glenn Goldberg, president, McGraw-Hill Information. “We are putting various capabilities into comprehensive offerings. Look at Platts. Forty or 50 years ago, Platts was reporting on energy markets. Over the last 20 to 25 years, they migrated to being a news, pricing and analytical leader. News is part of it but so is data and that allows you to be more embedded in your customers’ workflow and be effective and aggressive in the pricing you want in that space. The days of being a solo provider—only a magazine publisher or only a news provider—are gone.”IDG, which has avoided making highly leveraged acquisitions, is one of the publishers aggressively pursuing new products from custom to databases to marketing services. But the fact remains that these services require significant investment. “There is tremendous opportunity to leverage our databases, or our information or our brand to build new businesses,” says Carrigan. “But that does take resources and a focus. In a lot of cases are these media properties to be nurtured, or assets that need to be shed in light of a restructuring?”  The fact is, many bank-owners haven’t shown a willingness to exit declining, but profitable product lines to free up management’s attention on the potential market winners.“It didn’t seem like Penton took out as much debt as they’d like to have,” says one publishing executive. “If they have upwards of $600 million or $700 million in debt remaining, they’re still at risk of going through a further reorg. That makes it difficult to reinvest in the business. While you talk the topline, you really focus on the cost side. Now, publishers will make plays and they will make investments, but it will be selective.  It will prompt them to look at their portfolio and pare off things they don’t see much future for.” When making covenants is the priority, that doesn’t leave much room to get creative. “I don’t believe anyone sits around a table and strategically works toward not improving themselves or trying to build value,” says Wall. “I know so many people inside our large companies and trust me—they haven’t given up. This is an industry that has some very smart people who want to win and compete. They have to make their ‘house payment’ first and that does make it hard to build something strategic more than six months out.”How Does This Affect the Exit Plans Of Everyone Else? The gradual whittling down of the large players could have ramifications for the broader industry, particularly as current owners look to sell down the road. “The issue to me is, let’s say you’re Doug Manoni, taking over Source, or Charlie McCurdy at Apprise. Where do they go when they decide they want to sell?” says Garrett. “They can go public, which isn’t necessarily a good move, or they can try to find someone to sell to.”Last month, the Jordan Edmiston Group released a report that said the number of deals in b-to-b media in the first quarter of 2010 was 14 (worth $7 billion), compared to just three deals worth $5 billion in the first quarter of 2009. However, much of that activity has come from distressed sales. In the first quarter, Nielsen sold Editor & Publisher, Kirkus Reviews and its Travel and Food Groups while RBI sold EDN, Design News, Packaging Digest, Test & Measurement World, Library Journal, School Library Journal, Interior Design and the Furniture Today Group. Several of the recently folded RBI titles are expected to sell as well. In late April, a group of former RBI employees bought RBI’s four Supply Chain Group brands: Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, Supply Chain Management Review and Material Handling Product News.The price on many of these sell-offs can be right for smaller publishers looking to ramp up in certain areas (and the price could be even better with shuttered products that are sold later). “The valuations are low, we’re not talking 8x, we’re talking 4x for a small company,” says Garrett. “There are people who are making acquisitions—such as Harry Stagnito, who bought several Nielsen books. My concern for Harry is, five years from now, who is he going to sell it to?”Good for the Industry? Others see a new round of investors emerging. “I’ve been in b-to-b for 30 years and have been owned by private companies, public companies, private equity and a single bank,” says Wall. “We are in a business that generates good revenue from multiple sources and has minimal capital assets and EBITDA margins that are, for the most part, above 18 percent—how many other industries can say that? It may be hard to say today, but a new group of investors will find b-to-b a nice asset.”Others see new potential for small and mid-sized publishers. “I think you’re going to have a much flatter pyramid,” says one b-to-b CEO. “There will be fewer of the big guys at the top. From an association point of view, that’s a terrific thing. I think American Business Media was overly influenced by five or six big guys and now has an opportunity to provide assistance to small and mid-sized players who need help with lobbying and professional education. That will be great for ABM, maybe not in the short-term with dues but in the long run, absolutely.” SIDEBAR Did Reed Ever Really Plan to Sell the Titles It Closed?Sources say shuttered titles were never brought to market. By Jason FellLondon-based Reed Elsevier rocked the trade magazine publishing world when it announced last month that it was shutting down the last 23 titles published under its Reed Business Information U.S. division that it did not sell or intend to keep. Knowledgeable sources, however, tell Folio: that Reed never had any intention to sell those particular titles on the open market.The shut-downs follow a nine-month period during which Reed said it put nearly all of the titles published under RBI U.S. back on the block, after a failed auction of the entire unit in 2008. During that time, the company managed to sell 20 titles, which it says collectively accounted for approximately two-thirds of the overall revenue of the portfolio it was divesting. The company intends to hold onto noted Hollywood trade Variety, Reed Construction Data, Marketcast and 411 Publishing, as well as Buyerzone, a lead generation business.Following the announcement, a Reed spokesperson told FOLIO: the company would be open to discussions with potential purchasers of the intellectual property associated with any of the closed down brands. But questions came up regarding whether those titles were ever actively up for sale.“So far as I know they were never brought to market,” says Frank Anton, CEO of construction trade publisher Hanley Wood. Among the titles shuttered by RBI were Building Design+Construction, Construction Bulletin and Construction Equipment. “Had they been, Hanley Wood would have taken a look at select assets in RBI’s construction portfolio.”“The only explanation [for not bringing the titles to market] I can think of is that Reed intends to build a strong data presence in those markets and doesn’t want anyone competing with them,” says one source who wishes to remain anonymous. “It’s what we are now calling the ‘Gourmet Magazine Must Die’ syndrome. Condé Nast owns Bon Appétit and couldn’t allow anyone to compete against it—they had no other choice. They had to kill Gourmet.”Or did management decide the process would be too big a distraction without a meaningful upside? When asked if Reed did in fact actively try to sell the shuttered magazines, the company spokesman said “our preference was to sell the titles rather than close them.”Offers RebuffedBut Adam Schaffer, president of media sales and consulting firm Media Revenue Partners, isn’t so sure. A former publisher of Tradeshow Week (one of the shuttered titles), Schaffer says he had contacted RBI about purchasing the magazine but was never given a solid response either way.“I was publisher of the magazine from 2002 to 2007, so I am intimately familiar with the brand, its P&L and its opportunities,” says Schaffer. “At one point I even offered to buy the magazine as-is, without going through the usual due diligence, but was never told yes or no. I was kept in limbo.”Schaffer says the conversations never progressed to a price negotiation phase. “This is a great argument about why big companies shouldn’t own too much media,” he says. “For a company like Reed, that makes so much money off Reed Exhibitions, to turn around and shut down the magazine that serves that market, you have to wonder how committed they are to the industry.”last_img read more

POLICE LOG for May 2 Needles Found Angry McDonalds Customer Airbnb Confusion

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Here are highlights from the Wilmington Police Log for Wednesday, May 2, 2018:Wilmington Police assisted with the Special Olympics event. (9:02am)A resident reported needles location on the side of Federal Street. Police responded and retrieved needles for disposal. (11:17am)Staff reported an injured bird in a bush near the playground at Wildwood Early Childhood Center. Animal Control Officer responded and transported a pigeon to a nearby rehab center. (11:27am)A caller reported losing their cell phone at Market Basket while shopping yesterday. (12:25pm)A Sheldon Avenue caller reported to the Animal Control Officer that birds keep flying into his glass slider. Officer advised residents of options and will follow up at end of week. (2:06pm)A Heather Drive resident reported a package was taken off their front steps. Resident has security video to turn over to detectives. (2:41pm)Police located in snapping turtle in the road on Adelaide Street. Animal Control Officer safely relocated the turtle across the street. (3:01pm)Police received report of a man outside McDonald’s yelling and threatening employees via the drive-thru window. Police responded and was unable to locate vehicle. (8:19pm)A Mill Road resident reported a large dark SUV parked in front of home and a younger female with long brown hair tried to unlock her front door. Resident asked through the door was she was doing, and the girl asked if “this is the air bnb,” then left. (9:17pm)(DISCLAIMER: This information is public information.  An arrest does not constitute a conviction.  Any arrested person is innocent until proven guilty.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip?Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedPOLICE LOG for July 25: Wilmington Man Arrested For OUI; Men Carrying Sledgehammers Down Street; Turkeys Causing TrafficIn “Police Log”POLICE LOG for September 5: Train Conductor Helps Locate Missing Puppy; Rented Trucks Not Returned To UHaulIn “Police Log”POLICE LOG for June 25: Road Rage On Butters Row Bridge; Turtle Troubles; Car KeyedIn “Police Log”last_img read more

ONGC plans 5B investment to develop eastern gas asset

first_imgOil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has said it will unveil an investment of around $5 billion by the end of March to develop a major gas asset in the east, with a view to tapping higher gas prices.The asset, which the state-owned company acquired in 2005 under a swap agreement with the UK’s Cairn Energy Plc, can produce up to 17 million metric standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd) of natural gas and 75,000 barrels of oil per day by 2020.The level of output will make it ONGC’s second-biggest hydrocarbon asset in India, DK Sarraf, chairman and managing director of the country’s biggest explorer, told reporters Saturday. He indicated the investment could be more than $5 billion.The announcement follows a government decision to let producers demand a higher price for gas extracted from hydrocarbon basins located in the deepwater and ultra deepwater, where costs can be significantly higher.”With the new gas price announced by the government, our discoveries in the KG (Krishna Godavari) basin are now viable,” said Sarraf, adding that an investment plan would be announced by the end of March or by the first week of April at the latest.The new investment may boost ONGC’s natural gas output by a quarter and crude oil production by almost 15 percent over the next 4-5 years, a major leap for a company often criticised for failing to arrest a production decline from its ageing fields.After a decade-long trend of falling production, the company reported a marginal rise in its overall production for the fiscal year ended March 2015. Sarraf said the company expected to maintain the annual production growth.last_img read more

Microsoft claims Killer Instinct is the worlds most generous game demo

first_imgLast week Microsoft revealed exactly how it intends to offer fighting game Killer Instinct to gamers on Xbox One launch day. It’s basically a free game in limited form, but scales up to a full price and fully featured title if you are willing to pay.Microsoft is using the fact the game is playable for free to claim Killer Instinct is the “world’s most generous demo.” But I’d argue it’s just a free-to-play fighter with content Microsoft would really like you to spend money acquiring. A technique that has been used countless times before.The basic, free version of the game only comes with one playable character in the form of Jago. If you want more they will cost $4.99 each, with five others available from launch. You can buy the Combo Breaker pack, though, which gets you all six playable characters for $19.99 alongside two more DLC players that you get earlier than anyone else.Carrying on that spend more-get more value proposition, you can also choose to spend $39.99 buying the Ultra Edition of the game. It includes everything in the Combo Breaker bundle, but you can also customize your characters with accessories and costumes. To sweeten the deal an emulated version of the original arcade game is also included.Microsoft insists Killer Instinct doesn’t class as a free-to-play game because it has a key differentiator over other F2P titles: you can actually own the complete game. That’s pretty thin. It also doesn’t fit when you consider Microsoft intends to continue launching DLC for the game in the form of seasons, the first of which should appear in 2014 and offers another eight characters for another $20, or $40 for those customization options and some other unknown bonus like the arcade game.Microsoft explains that they are taking this approach to get more people playing fighting games. Whether it ends up being profitable remains to be seen and a lot depends on how much fun Killer Instinct is to play. A free version will certainly mean a lot of people will play initially, but how many will stick around and invest in extra characters?last_img read more

The best teams in sports are run by the smartest people They

first_imgColin thinks the Cubs 9th inning comeback win against the Giants to win the NLDS last night was the best baseball game of the year. It had urgency, drama, historic franchises, curses, and all of it took place on the biggest stage. When baseball has urgency, it’s incredible and beautiful sports.Sports is being dominated by smart front offices. The best teams use data, not hunches, and are run by Ivy leaguers and number crunchers, not “baseball guys going with their gut.”“Sports used to be a lot of hunches, and “go with your gut”, it’s not anymore. The front office of the Warriors. Cleveland and the Cubs. Very analytically driven. New England, and San Antonio, with their international scouting. If you like sports to be about smart. It’s smarter than ever.”Major UFC announcement with Dana White exclusive to The Herd regarding the return of Ronda Rousey’s return to the Octagon.“Ronda Rousey is back. She will fight December 30th against Amanda Nunes for the (women’s bantamweight) title. The champ is Amanda Nunes, who took the title from Miesha Tate.” -Dana WhiteColin thinks Tom Herman can make the leap straight to the NFL. He’s MENSA smart, has a blue blood coaching pedigree and a brilliant offensive mind. If Adam Gase can coach in the NFL, so can Herman, tomorrow.Colin thinks even if Romo is healthy, the Cowboys should set him up for success by giving Prescott a couple more starts, so he can return against the Browns, who they’ll crush. It’s not disrespectful to Romo, it’s just being savvy, and understanding the politics of football.Colin’s two rules to live by:“Be in bed by 10 and don’t do meth.”Guests:Dana White – UFC President is in-studio to for a major announcement regarding the return of ronda Rousey, why he thinks the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s $250,000 fine levied against Conor McGregor for throwing water bottles at a press conference is absurd, and why it’s important to have a loaded UFC 206 card for the sport’s New York debut at MSG, weight classes be damned.Peter King –Founder/Editor-in-Chief of the MMQB joins the show via the Cowherd Global Satellite Network to discuss Colin Kaepernick being named the starter in San Francisco, how much leash he gets, why most teams would kill to have a QB controversy like the Cowboys, and why the elections are definitively to blame for the NFL ratings drop.Eric Mangini – Former Jets and Browns Head Coach is in-studio to give his opinion on the Niners starting Kaepernick, the dynamics of the NFL coach/GM relationship, whether the Cowboys should hand the starting job back to Romo immediately if he’s fully healthy, and whether the Bears should cut ties with Jay Cutler.Joel Klatt- Fox Sports College Football Analyst stops by to explain why he would call Greg Schiano first if he had to fill a coaching vacancy, whether Charlie Strong  is out at Texas, why Brian Kelly’s player blaming style doesn’t work, his Ohio State/Wisconsin preview, and his Almost Maybe, Possible, but not Guaranteed Upset of the Week.last_img read more