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255 posts categorized "Media news"

July 29, 2015

More on Mayo Clinic + US Postal facility

 So the Post-Bulletin is not the only Minnesota media to take note of Mayo Clinic's recent $2.11 million purchase of the unused U.S. Postal Service center at 3939 Valleyhigh Drive.

PostalcenterOn July 17, Mayo closed the $29.13 a square foot deal on the northwest Rochester property, which the US Post Office closed in January. I wrote an article about it on July 21.

The Twin Cities business newspaper, Finance & Commerce, spotlighted the deal in it's "Minnesota Snapshot" real estate feature in its July 23 issue.

While Mayo Clinic still hasn't worked out what it will do the building that it purchased, the Finance & Commerce piece by Anne Bretts does provide some new insight into how the deal played out.

Chris Gliedman, of the Minneapolis-St. Paul office of CBRE Group, which has a national contract to represent the USPS.

Gleidman and colleague Mike Marinovich most recently marketed several properties that became available after the Postal Service consolidated many of its operations in Eagan, where the USPS expanded an existing facility to create a 950,000-square-foot regional processing center.

The move affected facilities throughout Minnesota and into Wisconsin.


The Rochester property went on the market in January 2014.

“We had pretty good interest,” Gleidman said.

In fact, he was in discussions within months and had it under contract by fall. The buyer withdrew, however, leaving Gleidman and Marinovich to start over. Before they could put the building back on the market, Mayo made an offer. It was lower than the original offer, but the deal carried no risk, Gleidman said.

“We felt very comfortable that Mayo Clinic was going to deliver,” Gleidman said.

July 02, 2015

KTTC's Overlie signs up for 5 more years in Rochester

KTTC-TV's popular news anchor Tom Overlie will continue covering Rochester for at least another five years, after signing a new contract with the station.

Overlie, who has won six Emmy Awards for best newscast, has co-anchored KTTC's 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. weekday newscasts. He announced his new five-year contract on Facebook this week. When asked why he has chosen to remain in Rochester, he responded that he thinks it is "one of the finest communities" that he's seen.

"I've traveled the world, and each time I come home to Rochester, I know this is the place I want to be," Overlie wrote in a message. "I'm fortunate to work with great people who are not only colleagues, but family."

8006876_GPrior to joining KTTC, Overlie worked for KMOT-TV in North Dakota for five years and three years at KEYC-TV in Mankato.

KTTC, which is owned by Quincy Newspapers in Quincy, Ill., is "thrilled" about Overlie remaining with the station, said Jerry Watson, KTTC general manager and Quincy regional vice president.

"Tom's special. Clearly to us, he's more than an anchor. He's really superb journalist who really understands his audience," he said. "To us, he's more than an anchor. He's one of the best ambassadors KTTC has had in years."

Overlie is not the only KTTC on-air talent that is committed to Rochester. Co-anchor Robin Wolfram recently signed a three-year contract extension with the TV station through 2017. Watson pointed out that KTTC's Sports Director Pat Lund is celebrating his 25th anniversary with the station this week.

"It's really fun to talk to Pat about local sports, because he knows the generations of athletes," said Watson. 

April 21, 2015

KTTC-TV disappears from DirecTV lineup

Area DirecTV customers were surprised to find the Rochester NBC affiliate, KTTC, dark this morning, due to a contract issue.

Customers trying to tune into KTTC were met with this message: "The owner of this channel has removed it from our DirecTV lineup, despite our repeated requests to keep it available to you."

KTTC posted a news article this morning that said DirecTV had removed their station "as the result of the expiration of an extension which was in place while we were negotiating a new carriage agreement with them."

No one was available at DirecTV or KTTC to discuss this issue this morning.

The Rochester station made this CDHU_0KUEAARhtUstatement in their news article:

"KTTC and its parent company, Quincy Newspapers Inc., are in contact with DirecTV and are working hard to resolve the matter so DirecTV will return KTTC to their system. We realize this is a significant inconvenience for our viewers."

KTTC is in not the only regional station owned by Illinois-based Quincy Newspapers to disappear from DirecTV last night. Also pulled do to the dispute were WKOW-TV, an ABC affiliate in in Madison, Wis., and KWWL-TV, an NBC affiliate in Waterloo, Iowa.

DirecTV has a general statement about such disputes on its website:

"When contract disputes arise over station owners’ unnecessary increases in what you should pay for these free over-the-air stations, DirecTV will never remove them from your lineup. Period. Station owners may try to avoid their responsibilities to you, but make no mistake: the station owners are the only ones who can decide to take away your local stations."

February 10, 2015

Ex-Stifel, Nicolaus building sells for $535,000

A commercial building in northeast Rochester recently sold for $535,000.

Stifel nicolausOn Jan. 30, Pensco Trust Co. of Denver bought the 4,680-square-foot former Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. building at 305 Alliance Place. The empty building is north of 37th Street Northeast and East River Road N.E.

The former tenant, Stifel, Nicolaus, now operates an office in downtown Rochester.

Pensco, a financial investment firm, purchased the 13-year-old building from Helen Properties Co. of Rochester. Helen Properties bought it for $715,000 in 2003.

It's unclear what Pensco plans to do with the Rochester building. Calls to the corporate office for comment were not returned.

Chatter in the Med City business community is that a media firm is seriously looking at the site. However, there's no firm answer either way to confirm or dispel that rumor, so stayed tuned to find out what happens next.

December 15, 2014

Longtime used book store sells to new owner

The cover and title will remain the same, but the "author" of a local used book shop is changing in the start of 2015.

Erik Olson is taking over the 34-year-old Paperback Book Palace from longtime owner Karen Meyer, who is retiring. The shop is in the Cedarwood Plaza, 4106 18th Ave. N.W.

Store"I see nothing but potential," said Olson, who has been a customer of the shop since it opened in 1980.

While he intends to expand the shop's online presence, Olson has no big changes planned for the business. The store exchanges used paperbacks for in-store credits of 21 percent of the book's original price. Credit slips are good for a year. Those books then go on the shelves priced at 53 percent of the original price.

"She has a very loyal customer base," he said. "This time of year, we're getting a lot of snowbirds coming in to stock up on books for the winter."

Olson says the Paperback Book Palace has about 25,000 books on its shelves in the 800-square-foot shop.

"It's a pretty cozy environment," he said.

Meyer's two part-time employees are staying on with the store. The main change for customers will be that Olson will replace Meyer as the primary face of the store.

He notes that though it has moved three times since opening, the Paperback Book Palace has long been a mainstay of the Rochester business scene.

"With all of the closings lately, I think it's nice to see something stick around," Olson said.

February 12, 2014

KTTC owner to add more stations

The owner of the Rochester's KTTC-TV station announced Tuesday that it's acquiring four more stations, including one in Duluth.

Ef06da64-f7c8-40c1-b090-c0d0cb609f18Quincy Newspapers Inc., which has owned KTTC since 1974, is buying KBJR-TV and its satellite, KRII-TV, in Duluth, Minn.; WEEK-TV in Peoria/Bloomington, Ill.; WPTA-TV in Fort Wayne, Ind. and WBNG-TV in Binghamton, N.Y. from New York City-based Granite Broadcasting Corp.

Financial terms of the purchase were not released.

The deal also includes Quincy providing operating services to four other stations in the same type of the relationship that KTTC has with Fox affiliate KXLT-TV in Rochester. Those stations include KDLH-TV in Duluth, WISE-TV in Fort Wayne as well as WHOI-TV and WAOE-TV in Peoria/Bloomington.

The sale will not be official until it's approved by the Federal Communications Commission. If approved, Quincy's portfolio will grow to 23 stations in 14 markets. QNI also owns and operates two radio stations plus a newspaper in Quincy, Ill., along with a newspaper in Newton, N.J.

6a00d83451cc8269e20120a6402558970c-250wiJerry Watson, KTTC's general manager and one of Quincy's two regional vice presidents, says the timing of the FCC decision is hard to anticipate, but it usually takes a few months. A lot of final details cannot be worked out until that approval. However, Watson says this is a positive step for Quincy and Rochester.

"The good news is that Quincy is one of the very few small broadcast groups who are looking to grow. Unlike the investment firms buying up stations, the Oakley family (who own Quincy Broadcasting) are truly owner-operators. That's why I've stayed with them for 25 years," he says. "Picking up new stations is fun and we get to ride in like white knights."

Quincy purchased stations in Wisconsin and Iowa in 2006 and 2009.

“We are thrilled to acquire these stations as well as the operating agreements for the others,” stated Ralph M. Oakley, president-CEO of Quincy, in an announcement Tuesday. “Our company is committed to the communities and regions it serves by providing the best in local news, community affairs and entertainment.”

New_Quincy_logoThese new stations will add more work for the already-busy Watson, who already is in charge of  six broadcast markets in four states. The plan is for him to take over the management of the Peoria/Bloomington market. He already is in charge of the Illinois stations in Quincy and Rockford. The other regional vice president will manage the other seven markets.

It's possible this acquisition also could add more duties in Rochester, if any of these stations are added to the broadcasting "hub" based at KTTC. Rochester already handles the master control broadcast services for Quincy's operations in Sioux City and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

"As the hub, we're the center of the spokes of the wheel. We could easily take on more," said Watson. "We're in a good position here in Rochester."

August 09, 2013

Rochester's 'Dirty little secret'

DeparturesarticleSince today is the first official meeting of the newly established Destination Medical Center Corp., I was looking at some travel articles on Rochester and Mayo Clinic.

I stumbled across a "Special Report" by Departures magazine, which is an American Express publication.

It was written by Aimee Lee Ball for this year's March/April quarterly issue, so it is pretty up-to-date. What makes this notable is how the article characterizes the community and Mayo Clinic.

It actually starts with a Mayo Clinic doctor talking about how many people try to smuggle monkeys onto an airplane. "Monkeys on a Plane" would probably be a better movie than "Snakes on A Plane." Heh.

Anyway, here are a few excerpts:

There’s no Ritz-Carlton in Rochester, Minnesota—no Four Seasons or Mandarin Oriental or Peninsula, either—and the city’s idea of an Italian restaurant is the Olive Garden. This is the dirty little secret behind any visit to the Mayo Clinic: You’ll get world-class medical care, but it’s the badlands for eating or sleeping.

When asked about where to eat, one Mayo physician advised, “My house,” and shared the name of a well-stocked market three miles away.


800px-Gonda_building,_closer_upMayo has been an iconic (and ironic) name in health care for more than a century—a place surrounded by cornfields but considered the gold standard or the last-chance saloon by royalty (both actual and media-ordained).


Everyone at Mayo seems to have drunk the Kool-Aid, including the electrician who frets about the most convenient placing of outlets and the cleaning woman who declares that she saves lives (if she’s keeping the room free from infection, she’s right). “We’re not known as the heart place or the cancer place or the knee place,” says Dacy. “We do all those things, but we’re known for comprehensive care, and people work together in this collegial way. The customer service philosophy is powerful. We have a dress and decorum committee—you won’t see unshaven doctors in scruffy scrubs like on the TV shows, and the reason is to respect patients.” Monkey bites and all.

June 29, 2012

IBM to give raises to India employees, but while holding back in U.S.

Here's a kind of interesting follow-up to the IBM news that Big Blue will not give raises to most its Global Technology Services (and possibly other units) employees.

A memo did go out about the lack of raises, though an IBM media person answered a question about it by saying raises would still be given to people with "High Demand Skills."
The Times of India (a very good newspaper that I often read) says that IBM will give its workers in India raises. That adds up to this equation - India = high demand skills.
Here's some from an article by Shilpa Phadnis & Sujit John:
IBM is likely to give a salary increment to its employees in India next month.

Ibm-india_mediumEarly on Thursday, international media reported about a mail that IBM had sent to employees, saying those in the Global Technology Services (GTS) division would not receive a salary increment this year. However, the mail also said people "who have high-demand skills" would receive an increment .

Sources within IBM India indicated that "high-demand skills" refers, among others, to employees in India . The sources said that the performance assessment exercise had been completed and increments were expected across the organization in India next month. IBM follows a July-June cycle. "For the best performers, the increment may be in double digits ," one source said.

IBM does not break up its headcount by geography, but it is estimated that the company employs over 1.3 lakh people (130,000) in India. The company has been an aggressive hirer in India for several years. With several Indian IT companies …  announcing salary increments  earlier this year, it may be difficult for IBM not to follow suit.

December 29, 2011

Kiger's back and the blog is breathing again

I apologize to you all for abandoning this blog for so long.

I took a vacation and was pretty tied up even before I left. The result was that Kiger's Notebook was left barren for the longest stretch, since I launched it in March, 2005.

I couldn't stay away completely, so I did pop back in to do the CostCo piece and a few columns here and there.

RedjeffMost of my time away was spent on the banks of The Wabash in Indiana. A place Verizon as well as the rest technological world evidently do not know exisits. While I did zip out a few Tweets and email responses when the moon was in the right place, I was mostly out of the loop.

I apologize to everyone who sent me emails, voice messages, Facebook notes and direct messages on Twitter. I'll try to catch up. More than a 1,000 unread emails have piled up.

Anyway, I'm back now and revved up for the new year.

Please keep letting me know what you are interested in and passing along any business tips you might hear.

Look for lots of action on here in as 2012 kicks into gear and thank you for reading.

September 15, 2011

Rochester tech exec featured in new biz success book

Irfqhk2trnzxes88201017122 Al Berning, known in Rochester as a former IBMer, a co-founder of Pemstar and current CEO of Hardcore Computers, is one of 45 entrepenuers featured in a new business book called "How They Did It."

The book, written by Robert Jordan, asked the 45 founders, "How do you start a How+They+Did+Itcompany from scratch and turn it into a hundred-million-dollar success story"

  To promote the book, Jordan is hosting Entrepreneurial Bashes with panel discussions featuring some of the people from the book.

Look for Berning to appear in one at the New York Stock Exchange on Oct. 3.

Here's some from a press release that surfaced in my email this morning:

Each leg of the Entrepreneurial Bash features a different group of founders who have agreed to go on record about what it takes to win in any economy. "It's their way of giving back to the business community," says Jordan. If their advice on raising seed capital, hiring the right team, bouncing back from setbacks, and becoming leaner, smarter, and meaner than competitors sparks new startups that generate jobs, that would be an ideal outcome, he adds.

The founders featured in the New York Entrepreneurial Bash include Bonnie Baskin, AppTec Laboratory Services; Glenn Tullman, Allscripts and ECIN; Jim Dolan, The Dolan Company; Mark Tebbe, and Lante Corporation; and Al Berning, Hardcore Computer and Pemstar. The event runs from 4:30 to 7 p.m., at the NYSE building, 11 Wall Street, New York City.