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Over 800 OnTheMarket agents have returned to ZPG, says Goddard

first_imgZPG has today claimed that 808 branches have returned to its portals over the past two years from rival since Agents Mutual launched it in 2015.And ZPG senior figure Mark Goddard (pictured, left), who heads up its Property Services division, has gone on the attack, saying that agents who spend their marketing budgets on OnTheMarket are doing so “inefficiently”.Recent returnees include 16 agency branches which ZPG says have moved over during the past week, helping increase its returning total by 58 since it last reported on its attempt to persuade agents back from OnTheMarket. This was within its 24th May half-year results.“We do not comment on individual agent relationships but the facts remain the same as they did last week when Zoopla gave a similar update,” says Ian Springett, Chief Executive of Agents’ Mutual (pictured, right).“ continues to have a positive material impact on the property portals landscape.”“Many thousands of agents switched from Zoopla/Primelocation to join us. Many thousands of agents continue to support the objectives of the business by creating a genuine alternative portal for consumers and agents alike. Many thousands of agents have not returned to ZPG portals with their advertising budgets and their data.”ZPG says it now has 14,271 branches and 928,000 properties listed on its websites, up 9% year-on-year.Somerset agentOne of the more recent agents to move over is three-branch Somerset agent Jeanes Holland Burnell. One of its directors, Ian Odam, says the company joined OnTheMarket in January.“After two years of supporting the OTM project, we felt unable to sustain our membership with them any longer as we believed we were missing out by not listing our stock with ZPG,” he says.“In December 2016, we re-listed with ZPG and such has been the response that our offices received as many leads in the first few weeks as we received in the previous 6 months with Onthemarket and is on par with the number we receive from Rightmove.”Ian Springett told The Negotiator that OnTheMarket is making “impressive headway in a very challenging market, achieving millions of monthly visits with a record-breaking month of 11.2m earlier this year – an 85% year-on-year increase”, he said.  Ian Springett Mark Goddard OnTheMarket Zoopla ZPG June 1, 2017Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Home » News » Marketing » Over 800 OnTheMarket agents have returned to ZPG, says Goddard previous nextMarketingOver 800 OnTheMarket agents have returned to ZPG, says GoddardLatest claims by portal countered by Ian Springett of OTM who says “many thousands” of agents have switched and not returned.Nigel Lewis1st June 201701,444 Viewslast_img read more


USS Nimitz Conducts Career Fair

first_img View post tag: News by topic View post tag: Career View post tag: Defence July 24, 2013 Training & Education Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) conducted a career fair on the ship’s aft mess decks July 21.“One of the Navy career counselors jobs is to provide information to the crew,” said Chief Navy Counselor Dean Miller, a career counselor aboard Nimitz. “One of the most successful ways to accomplish that task is to hold a career fair. We floated the idea up the chain of command, who were receptive and supportive of this combined event, and were given the green light.”Volunteers for the event taught Sailors about opportunities to advance their careers through commissioning programs, educational opportunities and special assignments that include recruiting and instructor duties.“If Sailors are interested in molding the future of the Navy as an instructor, I want to encourage them to do that,” said Chief Electronics Technician Timothy Hoover, an administrative leading chief petty officer for the “Blue Diamonds” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 146 currently embarked with Nimitz.Another opportunity Sailors had the chance to learn about was serving at Recruit Training Command (RTC), helping to mold newly recruited Sailors at the Navy’s only enlisted boot camp.“Depending on a Sailor’s paygrade, serving as a recruit division commander (RDC) can help advance their career a lot,” said Chief Yeoman Joel Campbell, a former RDC at RTC.Sailors seeking to serve in special operations forces or in the explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) field were guided on paths they would need to take to be eligible for those duties.“I really enjoy talking to the EOD guys,” said Gunner’s Mate 3rd Class Joseph Janelle, a Sailor who visited the career fair. “I’ve been trying for EOD. They’re helping me out with that.”The event was conducted on a Sunday, with many of Nimitz’ Sailors off duty for holiday routine. This allowed for many Sailors to take their time and visit multiple stations at the fair.“There are two things that are a prime commodity for an aircraft carrier: time and space” said Miller. “We were able to nail down a space and a time that would maximize the use of talent on board and reach the majority of the crew. This was truly a combined effort.”Sailors from a variety of different ratings and paygrades advised the participants. These volunteers offered the participants pamphlets, instruction and advice.“This is a nice forum for young Sailors wanting to do something beyond what they’re doing here on the ship,” said Hoover. “It helps them decide what they want for their future in the Navy.”With participation from Sailors with experience from many different opportunities and assignments, Nimitz’ career fair provided the crew with information on how to make the most of their futures.“We’re allowing Sailors to benefit from the experience of people who have done certain jobs,” said Hoover. “Holding career fairs like this in the Navy is important.”“Sometimes we tend to forget about taking time out of our schedule to talk about our careers because we are so focused on the mission,” said Miller. “This career fair offered an opportunity to have subject matter experts provide answers to the crew. We wanted to highlight the incredible jobs the Navy has to offer when it is your time to roll to shore duty.”Nimitz Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions for Operation Enduring Freedom.[mappress]Press Release, July 24, 2013 View post tag: Naval USS Nimitz Conducts Career Fair View post tag: Navycenter_img View post tag: conducts View post tag: Defense View post tag: USS Back to overview,Home naval-today USS Nimitz Conducts Career Fair View post tag: Nimitz View post tag: Fair Share this articlelast_img read more


Boat Races cancelled due to COVID-19

first_img“We would like to thank our partners, fans, the local businesses and community for their continued support.” “Our thoughts are very much with the athletes who have worked so hard and made immense sacrifices to represent their University and are now unable to do so. To cancel is not an easy decision and we realise this news will undoubtedly disappoint all those who look forward to the Race each year.” Robert Gillespie, Chairman of the Boat Race Company Limited,said: “Given the unprecedented situation our country and each of us asindividuals faces, the public good far outweighs all other considerations.Cancellation of The Boat Race is therefore clearly the correct decision.” The Oxford University Boat Club announced it was “bitterly disappointed” by the cancellation via their Facebook page. Its post continued: “The team has been spending its last days together before we go our separate ways. We would like to thank our alumni and all our dark blue fans for their support this year.”center_img This is the first time the men’s event has been cancelled since the Second World War, whilst the women’s race has taken place every year since its inception in 1977. The decision comes after the government issued new guidance advising against large public gatherings. The traditional boat races between Oxford and Cambridge scheduled for 29th March have been cancelled due to Coronavirus. The race’s organisers announced in a statement today that the event will no longer take place out of “concern for the welfare of our crews, our spectators, our staff and volunteers” last_img read more


Genesis gives an Irish welcome

first_imgNorthern Irish craft bakery Genesis ran a “Welcome Home” promotion over the festive period, greeting holidaymakers arriving back in Belfast City Airport with slices of its Crafty Wheaten range.Genesis marketing manager Liesa Donaldson said the company, assisted by Miss Northern Ireland Lucy Evangelista, distributed almost 24,000 slices of bread to passengers. “This promotion is our way of reminding ex-pats and émigrés about all that’s great about coming home,” said Ms Donaldson. The Crafty brand of premium breads, which the Magherafelt firm launched in the UK and Ireland in August, is promising to generate the same “level of fervour” as its wheaten and its scones, which have 30% of the home market, she claimed. The firm’s range of scones and wheatens is available in supermarkets across Northern Ireland and in Waitrose in the UK.last_img read more


65 year old arrested in Elkhart last week is a serial bank robber

first_img Twitter WhatsApp By Carl Stutsman – July 20, 2020 2 465 Twitter Facebook Previous articleBittersweet Library branch to close for renovationsNext articleLagrange officials to consider zoning for new commercial dog breeding facility Carl Stutsman Pinterest WhatsApp (Source: License: As it turns out it wasn’t the first time, second, or even third time that Allen Hanuscak robbed a bank. This would, in fact, be at least his 8th time pulling a bank robbery; and those eight robberies three of them happened at the same bank on N. Main St. in Elkhart. He was arrested last week after police found him near the scene of an Old National Bank shortly after it had been robbed of $7,000As detailed by The Goshen News, 65 year old Allen Hanuscak first robbed that Old National Bank back in 2010, went to jail, escaped from a halfway house, and then robbed it again. After that he traveled to Ohio where he was connected to a spree of five bank robberies between November 2012 and April 2013. Again, he was arrested, charged, imprisoned, and released on parole.That parole lasted only a few weeks before the robbery attempt last week. Police did find the missing on cash on him when they made the arrest.You can read more here with The Goshen News Facebook 65 year old arrested in Elkhart last week is a serial bank robber IndianaLocalNews Google+ Google+ Pinterestlast_img read more


Greening starts at home

first_img 4A Hubway bike station provides green transportation on the Harvard Medical School campus. It is one of 12 Harvard-sponsored stations in Cambridge and Boston. The University provides a Hubway membership discount to students and staff, and offers a bike expense reimbursement to employees who commute by bicycle. 8A natural gas-fired turbine in Harvard’s Blackstone Steam Plant is part of an expanded combined heat and power system that efficiently generates 7.5 megawatts of electricity. The heat created in the process is reused to provide steam heat to the campus, significantly reducing the plant’s greenhouse gas emissions. 7Alex Hem ’16, who works with the Undergraduate Resource Efficiency Program, talks with Jose “Memo” Guillermo Cedeño Laurent, a researcher at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, outside the newly renovated McKinlock Hall at Leverett House. Hem participated in a “living laboratory” study led by Laurent, who won two Climate Change Solutions Fund grants at Harvard. This study monitors students’ wellness, sleep, and fitness habits. “We want to understand how buildings can enable our students not only to be the most accomplished, but also to be as healthy and happy as they can be,” says Laurent. 1Standing on the roof of Batten Hall, Julia Musso, the energy and sustainability coordinator for Harvard Business School, shows an array of 113kW solar panels that provide energy for the HBS campus. The University has installed more than 1MW of solar panels on rooftops across its Cambridge and Boston campuses. 2William Veguilla (left), a research assistant, and Li Qiong Chan (right), operation director of the DNA Resource Core at Harvard Medical School, work with TetraScience equipment connected to ultra-low-temperature freezers at HMS. The devices, developed by a team that included Harvard students and supported by a student sustainability grant, were developed to help researchers monitor and reduce energy using wireless technology. In the background is research assistant Alexander Reynolds. 6Inside the great staircase in the Barker Center, Bradley Craig, a student in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, marvels at the antler chandelier that was donated by President Theodore Roosevelt and recently upgraded with LED bulbs. The energy-efficient bulbs are being installed throughout the University’s buildings, including the Harvard Art Museums and Widener Library, as part of Harvard’s focus on improving energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The impact of climate change and sustainability touches almost every part of life. Universities such as Harvard are well positioned to act on some of these environmental challenges, not only on Earth Day but every day, both through multidisciplinary research and teaching and by translating the findings of that research into practice.Harvard students, faculty, and staff are exploring the ideas and discoveries that will help to move the world away from fossil fuels and build a healthier, more sustainable future. The solutions generated across the University’s Schools and departments not only reduce pollution, save money, and increase energy efficiency, but they also give students the tools to address these global challenges wherever their lives may lead.“Living green and learning about the impact we have in our environment has been an essential part of my education at Harvard,” said Matheus Fernandes ’15, a doctoral student at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “I believe the challenge of sustainable living is different than any other challenges we face in modern society. It requires a joint community effort and brings together people from many different backgrounds to achieve a common goal of unquestionable importance.” 9John Carroll, horticulturist, and Kieran Clyne, operations supervisor for landscape and recycling, analyze soil samples in the organic landscaping indoor “lab” at 156 Western Ave., Allston. The new lab will be used to test and optimize the “compost teas” that are part of the University’s internationally recognized organic landscaping program. 12Tom Tribble, senior facilities manager at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, explains how a device he designed helps reduce airflow in the Northwest Laboratory building, dramatically curbing energy use. The metal disk, which is manufactured at a campus machine shop, allows Tribble’s team to reduce airflow without replacing the building’s air conditioning system. Harvard’s facilities leaders and building managers are working behind the scenes to optimize building energy systems and performance to improve efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 5Memorial Church’s property operations assistant, Jim Barbas, maintains historic chandeliers that were recently outfitted with long-lasting, energy-efficient LED light bulbs in the narthex entrance in Harvard Yard. 10Matheus Fernandes ’15 tests out green chairs and furniture inside Peabody Terrace. These chairs, used by Harvard University Housing, feature chemical flame retardant-free materials. In 2015, Harvard became the first university to sign a national pledge stating a preference for purchasing furniture manufactured without the use of toxic flame retardants. Peabody Terrace was the first project of its size to implement the new pledge on campus. 11Kieran Clyne, operations supervisor for landscape and recycling, and Franco Camporesi, volunteer and Allston resident, repair a donated table at the Harvard Recycling and Surplus Center at 156 Western Ave., Allston. The University prioritizes the reuse of furniture and other materials through donations to more than 200 local organizations, “freecycle” events, and by distributing surplus furniture and equipment to the community at the Recycling and Surplus Center. 3Susan Andrade uses the electric car charging stations in the new parking garage on the HMS campus. There are more than 25 electric vehicle charging stations located across Harvard’s Cambridge and Boston campuses. last_img read more


Mark Your Calendars! Official Tony Events Schedule Set

first_imgTime to ink some dates in your calendars! After a couple of switcheroos, here’s a roundup of all the official Tony Awards events for the 2015-16 season. Of course, everything leads up to the 70th annual ceremony on June 12, which this year will be broadcast live on CBS from the Beacon Theatre.Thursday, April 28Official cut-off for 2015-16 Tony eligibility.Tuesday, May 3The 2016 Tony Award nominations announcement, which will take place at the Diamond Horseshoe at the Paramount Hotel.Wednesday, May 4The annual meet the nominees press reception, which will also take place at the Paramount.Thursday, May 19The Tony Nominees’ Luncheon, again back at the Paramount. All very swanky and no media allowed.Sunday, June 12The 70th annual Tony Awards at the Beacon Theatre. The three-hour ceremony will be broadcast live (ET/PT time delay) on CBS from 8:00—11:00 PM. The ceremony will be followed by the invite-only Tony Gala. View Commentslast_img read more


FairPoint reports net loss for second quarter, revenues down

first_imgAs previously announced, FairPoint will host a conference call and simultaneous webcast to discuss its second quarter results at 8:30 a.m. (EDT) on August 6, 2009. Participants should call (888) 562-3356 (US/Canada) or (973) 582-2700 (international) at 8:20 a.m. (EDT) and request the FairPoint Communications Second Quarter 2009 Earnings Call or Conference ID# 22824129. A telephonic replay will be available for anyone unable to participate in the live call. To access the replay, call (800) 642-1687 (US/Canada) or (706) 645-9291 (international) and enter confirmation code 22824129. The recording will be available from Thursday, August 6, 2009 at 11:30 a.m. (EDT) through Thursday, August 13, 2009 at 11:59 p.m. (EDT). During the second quarter, the Company repurchased $12.0 million aggregate principal amount of its senior notes for $4.2 million in cash. The Company has a highly leveraged capital structure and has essentially fully drawn all borrowings available under its credit facility. In the future, the Company expects that the primary sources of liquidity will be cash flow from operations and cash on hand. Because of systems cutover issues that have prevented the Company from executing fully on its operating plan for 2009, revenue has continued to decline. In addition, cash collections have remained below pre-cutover levels and the Company has incurred significant incremental costs as a result of the cutover issues in its northern New England operations, causing further stress on the Company’s liquidity position. During the conference call, representatives of the Company may discuss and answer one or more questions concerning the Company’s business and financial matters. The responses to these questions may contain information that has not been previously disclosed. While FairPoint uses Adjusted EBITDA in managing and analyzing its business and financial condition and believes it is useful to its management and investors for the reasons described above, Adjusted EBITDA has certain shortcomings. In particular, Adjusted EBITDA does not represent the residual cash flows available for discretionary expenditures, since items such as debt repayment and interest payments are not deducted from such measure. FairPoint’s management compensates for the shortcomings of Adjusted EBITDA by utilizing it in conjunction with its comparable GAAP financial measures. FairPoint Communications, Inc. is an industry leading provider of communications services to communities across the country. Today, FairPoint owns and operates local exchange companies in 18 states offering advanced communications with a personal touch, including local and long distance voice, data, Internet, television and broadband services. FairPoint is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols FRP and FRP.BC. Learn more at is external)This press release may contain forward-looking statements by FairPoint that are not based on historical fact, including, without limitation, statements containing the words “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “seeks,” “estimates” and similar expressions and statements. Because these forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause actual results, events or developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Such factors include those risks described from time to time in FairPoint’s filings with the SEC, including, without limitation, the risks described in FairPoint’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K on file with the SEC. These factors should be considered carefully and readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. All information is current as of the date this press release is issued, and FairPoint undertakes no duty to update this information.                FAIRPOINT COMMUNICATIONS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES                Unaudited Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets                                             June 30,   December 31,                                               2009        2008                                               —-        —-                                             (Dollars in thousands)              Assets    Current assets:      Cash                                   $80,964     $70,325      Restricted cash                          1,981       8,144      Accounts receivable, net               190,551     173,589      Materials and supplies                  36,871      38,694      Other                                   30,268      28,747      Deferred income tax, net                29,241      31,418                                              ——      ——    Total current assets                     369,876     350,917                                             ——-     ——-    Property, plant and equipment, net     1,996,335   2,013,515    Intangibles assets, net                  223,105     234,481    Prepaid pension asset                      9,741       8,708    Debt issue costs, net                     23,617      26,047    Restricted cash                            1,378      60,359    Other assets                              16,432      21,094    Goodwill                                 595,120     619,372                                             ——-     ——-    Total assets                          $3,235,604 $3,334,493                                          ========== ==========          Liabilities and       Stockholders’ Equity    Current liabilities:      Current portion of long term debt      $45,000     $45,000      Current portion of capital lease       obligations                             2,046       2,231      Accounts payable                       158,863     147,778      Dividends payable                            –      23,008      Accrued interest payable in cash         3,834      18,844      Interest rate swaps                     43,438      41,274      Other non-operating accrued liability        –      19,000      Other accrued liabilities               68,234      70,887                                              ——      ——    Total current liabilities                321,415     368,022                                             ——-     ——-     Long term liabilities:      Capital lease obligations                6,584       7,522      Accrued pension obligation              49,507      46,801      Employee benefit obligations           239,152     225,840      Deferred income taxes                  117,184     154,757      Unamortized investment tax credits       5,068       5,339      Accrued interest payable in kind        14,423           –      Other long term liabilities             18,006      35,492      Long term debt, net of current       portion                             2,443,647   2,425,253      Interest rate swap agreements           19,386      41,681                                              ——      ——    Total long term liabilities            2,912,957   2,942,685                                           ———   ———    Stockholders’ equity:      Common stock                               895         890      Additional paid-in capital             736,469     735,719      Retained earnings (deficit)           (604,914)   (578,319)      Accumulated other comprehensive loss (131,218)   (134,504)                                            ——–    ——–    Total stockholders’ equity                 1,232      23,786                                               —–      ——    Total liabilities and stockholders’     equity                               $3,235,604 $3,334,493                                          ========== ==========             FAIRPOINT COMMUNICATIONS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES                      Unaudited Condensed Consolidated                          Statements of Operations                          Three months ended   Six months ended                               June 30,            June 30,                               ——–            ——–                            2009      2008      2009 2008 (1)                            —-      —-      —- ——–                                   (Dollars in thousands)     Revenues              $299,611 $344,690 $611,241 $627,104    ——–              ——– ——– ——– ——–    Operating expenses:      Cost of services       and sales,       excluding       depreciation and       amortization        122,707   133,900   267,854   269,737      Selling, general       and administrative       expense, excluding       depreciation and       amortization         97,986   102,290   190,398   165,406      Depreciation and       amortization         68,629    69,741   136,496   123,666    ——————      ——    ——   ——-   ——-    Total operating     expenses              289,322   305,931   594,748   558,809    —————        ——-   ——-   ——-   ——-    Income from     operations             10,289    38,759    16,493    68,295    ———–             ——    ——    ——    ——    Other income (expense):      Interest expense     (54,809) (45,123) (108,288) (59,645)      Gain on derivative       instruments           7,233    43,123    20,131    43,123      Gain on early       retirement of debt    7,494         –    12,357         –      Other                    (58)      264    15,857     1,250    ——-                    —       —    ——     —–    Total other expense    (40,140)   (1,736) (59,943) (15,272)    ——————-    ——-    ——   ——-   ——-    Income (loss) before     income taxes          (29,851)   37,023   (43,450)   53,023    Income tax (expense)     benefit                12,033   (13,909)   16,855   (20,366)    ——————–    ——   ——-    ——   ——-    Net income (loss)     $(17,818) $23,114 $(26,595) $32,657    —————–     ——–   ——- ——–   ——-     Weighted average shares     outstanding:      Basic                 89,364    88,725    89,168    62,077      —–                 ——    ——    ——    ——      Diluted               89,364    89,190    89,168    62,483      ——-               ——    ——    ——    ——     Earnings per share:      Basic                 $(0.20)    $0.26    $(0.30)    $0.53      —–                 ——     —–    ——     —–      Diluted                (0.20)     0.26     (0.30)     0.52      ——-                —–      —-     —–      —-    (1) FairPoint completed its acquisition of Verizon        Communication’s wireline and related operations in Maine,        New Hampshire and Vermont (the “Northern New England        business”) on March 31, 2008. As a result of that        transaction, which was treated as a “reverse acquisition”        for accounting purposes, the statement of operations for        the six months ended June 30, 2008 reflects the operating        results of the Northern New England business for the three        month period ending March 31, 2008 and the combined operating        results of Spinco and Legacy FairPoint for the three month period        ended June 30, 2008.             FAIRPOINT COMMUNICATIONS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES       Unaudited Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows                                                   Six months ended                                                      June 30,                                                      ——–                                                  2009       2008                                                  —-       —-                                                (Dollars in thousands)    Cash flows from operating activities:      Net income (loss)                         $(26,595)    $32,657                                                 ——–     ——-    Adjustments to reconcile net income to     net cash provided by operating activities     excluding impact of acquisitions:        Deferred income taxes                    (18,970)     24,489        Provision for uncollectible revenue       14,314       7,543        Depreciation and amortization            136,496     123,666        Non-cash interest expense                 14,423           –        SFAS 106 post-retirement accruals         15,908      29,103        Gain on derivative instruments           (20,131)    (43,123)        Gain on early retirement of debt, net of         cash fees                               (12,477)          –        Other non-cash items                       6,429     (26,406)        Changes in assets and liabilities         arising from operations:          Accounts receivable                    (29,094)    (24,287)          Prepaid and other assets                (3,350)    (40,750)          Accounts payable and other           accrued liabilities                   (31,286)    (38,965)          Accrued interest payable               (15,011)     18,476          Other assets and liabilities, net       (2,585)      4,113        Other                                          –     (16,221)                                                 ——-     ——-            Total adjustments                     54,666      17,638                                                  ——      ——              Net cash provided by operating               activities                         28,071      50,295                                                  ——      ——    Cash flows from investing activities:      Acquired cash balance, net                       –      11,552      Net capital additions                      (90,493)    (98,348)      Net proceeds from sales of investments       and other assets                            1,230         235                                                   —–         —        Net cash used in investing activities    (89,263)    (86,561)                                                 ——-     ——-    Cash flows from financing activities:      Loan origination costs                        (521)    (29,238)      Proceeds from issuance of long term debt    50,000   1,676,000      Repayments of long term debt               (18,673)   (687,491)      Contributions from Verizon                       –     344,629      Restricted cash                             65,143     (80,886)      Repayment of capital lease obligations      (1,122)     (1,637)      Dividends paid to stockholders             (22,996) (1,173,961)                                                 ——- ———-        Net cash provided by         financing activities                     71,831      47,416                                                  ——      ——        Net increase in cash                      10,639      11,150    Cash, beginning of period                     70,325           –                                                  ——      ——    Cash, end of period                          $80,964     $11,150                                                 =======     =======                FAIRPOINT COMMUNICATIONS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES                   Revenue and Operating Metrics (unaudited)                             (Dollars in thousands)                                      Three Months Ended                                     ——————                   June 30, March 31, December 31, September 30, June 30,                    2009      2009        2008          2008       2008                  ——– ——— ———— ————- ——–    Revenues:    ———    Local     calling     services     $126,017 $129,032     $135,610     $143,415 $149,591    Network     access (1) (2) 98,515    97,038       96,295       94,094   101,402    Long     distance     services       34,754    45,375       46,312       50,161    49,090    Data and     Internet     services       29,062    28,405       29,461       32,873    30,552    Other     services (2) 11,263    11,780       11,582        7,712    14,055                   ——– ——–     ——–     ——– ——–    Total revenue $299,611 $311,630     $319,260     $328,255 $344,690                  ======== ========     ========     ======== ========    Operating     Metrics:    ———    Residential     voice access     lines         869,698   903,965      926,610      958,324   996,531    Business     voice access     lines         382,404   390,418      392,496      403,939   412,633    Wholesale     Access lines 102,163   105,408      107,243      112,131   116,731                   ——-   ——-      ——-      ——-   ——-       Total        voice        access        lines    1,354,265 1,399,791    1,426,349    1,474,394 1,525,895     HSD     subscribers   296,107   300,882      295,360      294,134   294,412                   ——-   ——-      ——-      ——-   ——-   Total     access     line     equivalents 1,650,372 1,700,673    1,721,709    1,768,528 1,820,307                 ========= =========    =========    ========= =========     Long     distance     subscribers   605,468   623,497      631,458      643,844   656,599                   =======   =======      =======      =======   =======    (1) During the first quarter of 2009, the Company reclassified certain         revenues from network access revenues to local calling services         revenue. Prior period revenues were also reclassified for comparison         purposes.    (2) During the third and fourth quarters of 2008, the Company recorded         certain revenue adjustments/reclassifications that related to prior         periods. The table below shows the revenue for the affected category         as if the adjustments were reflected in the appropriate period:                                     Three Months Ended                                    ——————                        Normalized      Normalized       Normalized                       December 31,    September 30,       June 30,                           2008             2008             2008                       ————    ————-   ————–         Revenues:         Local calling          services        $135,610         $143,415        $149,591         Network          access            96,295           96,094          99,402         Long distance          services          46,312           50,161          49,090         Data and          Internet          services          30,814           31,520          30,552         Other          services          11,582           10,994          10,773                           ——–         ——–        ——–         Total revenue    $320,613         $332,184        $339,408                          ========         ========        ========                FAIRPOINT COMMUNICATIONS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES     Unaudited Reconciliation of Net Income under GAAP to Adjusted EBITDA                                  (Non-GAAP)                            (Dollars in thousands)                                      Three Months Ended                                      ——————                       June 30, March 31, Dec. 31, Sept. 30,   June 30,                        2009       2009       2008     2008       2008                        —-       —-       —-     —-       —-     Net Income      $(17,818)    $(8,777) $(76,072) $(25,109)   $23,114    Depreciation     and amortization 68,629      67,867    70,598    60,768     69,741    Interest expense 54,809      53,479    52,730    49,665     45,123    Income taxes     (12,033)     (4,822) (46,598) (17,176)    13,909                      ——       —–     —–     —–      —–                      93,587     107,747       658    68,148    151,887                      ——       —–     —–     —–      —–    Non-cash (gain)     loss on     derivatives      (7,233)    (12,898)   49,909     5,014    (43,123)    Non-cash gain     on repurchase     of debt          (7,614)     (4,863)        –         –          –    Transition     services agreement    –      15,895    49,597    49,550     49,476    Other merger and     cutover related     costs (1)             –       9,618    26,871    15,191     10,095    Other non-cash     items (2)        12,152       9,589     9,128     5,723      5,723                      ——       —–     —–     —–      —–     Adjusted EBITDA     (Covenant) (3) $90,892    $125,088 $136,163 $143,626   $174,058                       =====       =====     =====     =====      =====    Other adjustments     to EBITDA:       Cutover costs        in excess of        cumulative        cap (4)        8,653       9,743         –         –          –       Restructuring        and        severance        costs          1,330         451         –         –          –       Non-cash        accrual        for        compensated        absences (5)    (989)      2,966         –         –          –       Revenue and        expense        adjustments        related to        prior        periods (6)        –           –     1,353     4,956     (6,309)       Other income (7)    –     (15,000)        –         –          –                      ——       —–     —–     —–      —–    Adjusted EBITDA $99,886    $123,248 $137,516 $148,582  $167,749                       =====       =====    =====      =====      =====    (1) Other one-time items related to the merger and systems cutover         primarily include training costs, recruiting and relocation costs,         brand and promotional marketing costs, systems development costs and         travel costs.    (2) Includes non-cash pension, OPEB and stock based compensation         expenses.    (3) Adjusted EBITDA is defined in FairPoint’s credit facility as net         income (loss) before interest expense and provision (benefit) for         income taxes and depreciation and amortization, excluding unusual or         one-time non-recurring items (including costs related to the use of         Verizon’s systems and services under the transition services         agreement as well as other costs related to the cutover to         FairPoint’s newly developed systems platform), non-cash items related         to pension and OPEB, stock based compensation and other costs and         adjustments related to the acquisition of the Northern New England         business.    (4) Represents one-time costs incurred in connection with the systems         cutover which exceeded the cumulative cap of $61 million for allowed         cutover related add-backs as provided in the Company’s credit         facility.    (5) Reflects a non-cash accrual recorded in the first quarter of 2009 for         vacation pay for the full year 2009 for employees of the northern New         England operations which fully vested on January 1, 2009. The non-         cash accrual will be relieved throughout 2009 as employees use their         accrued vacation.    (6) Includes certain revenue and expense adjustments related to prior         quarters.    (7) Other income for the three months ended March 31, 2009 represents a         gain resulting from the one-time payment made by Verizon to the         Company pursuant to the transition agreement entered into on January         30, 2009.                  FAIRPOINT COMMUNICATIONS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES          Unaudited Pro Forma Combined Statement of Operations (Non-GAAP)                      For the Six Months Ended June 30, 2008                       (in thousands, except per share data)                                                                     Pro Forma                         Results of                                 Results                         Operations Legacy   Merger                for                         Under GAAP FairPoint Related   Pro Forma   Combined                            (a)        (b)    Costs(c) Adjustments Businesses                         ———- ——— ——— ———– ———-     Revenues              $627,104    67,927     –       (923)(e)    $694,108                          ——–    ——   —       —-        ——–    Operating     expenses:       Cost of        services        and sales,        excluding        depreciation        and        amortization       269,737    27,511     –    (10,131)(d)(e) 287,117       Selling,        general        and        administrative        expense            165,406    59,010     –    (50,286)(e)(f) 174,130       Depreciation        and        amortization       123,666    13,299     –      5,436(g)      142,401       Gain on        sale of        operating        assets                   –         –     –          –              –                               —       —   —        —            —         Total          operating          expenses         558,809    99,820     –    (54,981)       603,648                          ——–    ——   —    ——-        ——-         Income from          operations        68,295   (31,893)    –     54,058         90,460                          ——–    ——   —     ——         ——    Other     income     (expense):       Interest        expense           (59,645)   (11,083)    –    (21,510)(h)(i) (92,238)       Interest        and        dividend        income                  –        713     –          –            713       Gain        (loss)        on        derivative        instruments        43,123    (22,259)    –          –         20,864       Other        nonoperating,        net                 1,250    (32,419)    –     32,419(j)       1,250                            —–    ——-   —     ——          —–         Total          other          expense         (15,272)   (65,048)    –     10,909        (69,411)                          ——-    ——-   —     ——        ——-     Income     before     income     taxes                 53,023    (96,941)    –     64,967         21,049    Income     tax    (expense)     benefit              (20,366)    31,567     –    (18,650)(k)     (7,449)                          ——-     ——   —    ——-         ——         Net          income          $32,657    (65,374)    –     46,317        $13,600                          =======    =======   ===     ======        =======    Basic     weighted     average     shares     outstanding         62,077.0                                   88,669.0    Diluted     weighted     average     shares     outstanding         62,483.0                                   89,539.0     Basic     earnings     per common     share                  $0.53                                      $0.15     Diluted     earnings     per common     share                  $0.52                                      $0.15    Note: The unaudited pro forma combined financial statements have been    prepared using the purchase method of accounting as if the transaction    with Verizon had been completed as of January 1, 2008. The unaudited pro    forma combined financial statements give effect to (1) the contribution by    Verizon of assets comprising its local exchange business in Maine, New    Hampshire and Vermont to Spinco, a subsidiary of Verizon, (2) the spin-off    of Spinco to Verizon stockholders and (3) the merger of Spinco with    FairPoint accounted for as a reverse acquisition of FairPoint by    Spinco, with Spinco considered the accounting acquirer.    The accompanying notes are an integral part of these unaudited pro forma    combined condensed financial statements.    (a) Reflects the GAAP results of FairPoint Communications, Inc. and         subsidiaries for the six months ended June 30, 2008.    (b) Reflects the standalone results for the Legacy FairPoint business for         the quarter ended March 31, 2008.    (c) Reflects nonrecurring transition and transaction costs incurred by         FairPoint prior to the closing of the merger.    (d) This adjustment reflects revenues and related expenses associated         with VoIP and wireless directory assistance services which were not         transferred to Spinco. For the three months ended March 31, 2008,         the Northern New England business recorded approximately $923         thousand in revenue and $847 thousand in expenses associated with         VoIP and wireless directory assistance services. In addition, it         reflects certain revenues and related expenses associated with         customers of VSSI-CPE that were not transferred to Spinco.    (e) This adjustment reflects the reduction in pension and OPEB expense of         $11,905 thousand for the three months ended March 31, 2008 for the         Northern New England business, determined using an actuarial study of         employees to eliminate the pension and OPEB expenses that were not         transferred to Spinco. Of the $11,905 thousand adjustment, $9,284         thousand was included in cost of services and sales and $2,621         thousand was included in selling, general and administrative         expenses.    (f) This adjustment is to eliminate merger related costs of $47,665         thousand incurred by Legacy FairPoint prior to the consummation of         the merger during the three months ended March 31, 2008 which are         directly related to the merger and related transactions.     (g) This adjustment reflects the amortization of the finite-lived         identifiable intangible assets recorded in this transaction. The         weighted average estimated life of FairPoint’s customer relationships         is estimated to be 9.7 years and amortization expense is $5,436         thousand for the three months ended March 31, 2008.    (h) This adjustment reflects the removal of allocated interest expense of         $14,522 thousand recorded by the Northern New England business during         the three month period ended March 31, 2008 associated with affiliate         notes payables and long term debts held by Verizon.    (i) This adjusts reported interest expense to the pro forma interest         expense to be recognized on the debt structure of the combined         company following the spin-off and merger. The adjustment considers         (1) the interest expense for the three months ended March 31, 2008         recognized on the newly issued debt of the combined company, (2) the         amortization of capitalized debt issuance costs associated with the         newly issued debt, and (3) the elimination of interest expense and         amortization of debt issuance costs related to the debt of Legacy         FairPoint that was repaid upon consummation of the merger.    (j) This adjustment consists of fees and charges incurred in connection         with the closing of the spin-off and merger, principally including         investment banking fees, write-off of debt issuance costs on Legacy         FairPoint’s old credit facility and other costs incurred at the         closing of the merger.    (k) This adjustment reflects the income tax impact on adjustments         described above.  Non-GAAP Financial Measures The information in this press release should be read in conjunction with the financial statements and footnotes contained in FairPoint’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q which will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). FairPoint’s results for the quarter ended June 30, 2009 are subject to the completion and filing with the SEC of its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. Adjusted EBITDA (including Adjusted EBITDA as calculated under FairPoint’s credit facility) is a non-GAAP financial measure (i.e., it is not a measure of financial performance under generally accepted accounting principles) and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for consolidated statements of operations and cash flow data prepared in accordance with GAAP. In addition, the non-GAAP financial measures used by FairPoint may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies. For a definition of and additional information regarding Adjusted EBITDA, and a reconciliation of such measure to the most comparable financial measure calculated in accordance with GAAP, please see the attachments to this press release.center_img A live broadcast of the earnings conference call will be available via the Internet at is external) under the Investors section. An online replay will be available beginning later in the morning on August 6, 2009 and will remain available for one year. FairPoint believes Adjusted EBITDA is useful to investors because Adjusted EBITDA is commonly used in the communications industry to analyze companies on the basis of operating performance, liquidity and leverage. FairPoint believes Adjusted EBITDA allows a standardized comparison between companies in the industry, while minimizing the differences from depreciation policies, financial leverage and tax strategies. In addition, certain covenants in FairPoint’s credit facility and the indenture governing its senior notes as well as the regulatory orders issued in connection with the acquisition of the Northern New England business contain ratios based on Adjusted EBITDA. The restricted payment covenants in such agreements and orders regulating the payment of dividends on FairPoint’s common stock are also based on Adjusted EBITDA. If FairPoint’s Adjusted EBITDA were to decline below certain levels, covenants in FairPoint’s credit facility that are based on Adjusted EBITDA may be violated and could cause, among other things, a default under such credit facility. Consolidated Communications,FairPoint Communications, Inc. (NYSE: FRP, FRP.BC) announced Wednesday its financial results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2009. Net income for the quarter showed a $17.8 million loss, or 20 cents per diluted share. For the first six months, net income showed a loss of $26,595 or 30 cents per diluted share. Revenue totaled $299.6 million for the second quarter of 2009, a 3.9 percent decline compared with $311.6 million in the first quarter of 2009. Highlights Successfully completed an exchange offer for nearly 83 percent of outstanding senior notes enabling the Company to reduce cash interest expense for the second quarter of 2009 by approximately $14.4 million.After giving effect to the conversion of a portion of the Company’s cash interest expense to non-cash as a result of the exchange offer, the Company maintained compliance with all financial covenants contained in the Company’s senior secured credit facility.Access line equivalents declined by 3.0 percent during the second quarter of 2009 to 1,650,372 compared to 1,700,673 at March 31, 2009.Revenue totaled $299.6 million for the second quarter of 2009, a 3.9 percent decline compared with $311.6 million in the first quarter of 2009.Operating expenses, excluding depreciation, declined by $16.9 million, or 7.1 percent, to $220.7 million during the second quarter of 2009 compared to the first quarter of this year.Adjusted EBITDA (a non-GAAP financial measure as defined herein) totaled $99.9 million for the second quarter of 2009, compared with $123.2 million in the first quarter of 2009.  “Operationally, we continued to make steady progress during the second quarter,” stated David Hauser, Chairman and CEO of FairPoint. “The issues experienced with the systems cutover are continuing to improve and most of them are behind us. Going forward, we will be focusing on three primary areas: improving customer service, growing business and broadband revenue and reducing costs.” “Financially, while we were pleased with the successful completion of the exchange offer with our bondholders in July, this represented only the first step in a more comprehensive debt restructuring. While the exchange offer provides us with additional time, we remain fully committed to permanently deleveraging our current capital structure. Once completed, we will be able to focus all of our attention toward profitably growing the business,” concluded Hauser.Second Quarter ResultsRevenue for the second quarter of 2009 totaled $299.6 million, a decline of $12.0 million, or 3.9%, compared to the first quarter of 2009 reflecting the continued decrease in access line equivalents and the weak economic environment. Operating expenses, excluding depreciation, for the second quarter of 2009 totaled $220.7 million, a decline of $16.9 million, or 7.1%, compared to the first quarter of 2009. Cutover related costs totaled $8.7 million in the second quarter of 2009, a decline of $26.6 million from the first quarter which included costs under the transition services agreement with Verizon. Excluding cutover related costs, operating expenses increased by $9.7 million in the second quarter of 2009.Adjusted EBITDA totaled $99.9 million for the three months ended June 30, 2009, compared with $123.2 million for the first quarter of 2009. The decline in Adjusted EBITDA primarily reflects the reduced level of revenue and higher operating expenses incurred for services that were previously covered under the transition services agreement with Verizon, as well as higher bad debt expenses and costs related to the exchange offer.Operating MetricsTotal access line equivalents were 1,650,372 at June 30, 2009, compared with 1,820,307 at June 30, 2008, a decline of 9.3%. During the second quarter, total access line equivalents declined by 3.0% compared with a decline of 1.6% during the first quarter of 2009 (normalizing for a previously reported one-time first quarter adjustment to access lines identified during the systems cutover).HSD subscribers totaled 296,107 as of June 30, 2009, a decrease of 1.6% compared with 300,882 at March 31, 2009 and an increase of 0.6% compared with 294,412 at June 30, 2008. HSD subscribers increased by 3.4% in Legacy FairPoint during the second quarter, while declining by 3.3% in the northern New England operations. We believe the decline in northern New England reflects the absence of promotional activity during the first half of 2009 as a result of cutover related issues. Total HSD penetration was 21.9% as of June 30, 2009, compared with 21.5% at March 31, 2009 and 19.3% at June 30, 2008.Long distance subscribers totaled 605,468 at June 30, 2009, down 2.9% from 623,497 as of March 31, 2009 and down 7.8% compared with a year ago. Long distance penetration was 44.7% at June 30, 2009, compared with 44.5% as of March 31, 2009 and 43.0% a year ago. Access Line Equivalents                                                        % change % change                                                        6/30/08 to 3/31/09 to                         6/30/2009 3/31/2009 6/30/2008 6/30/09    6/30/09                         ——— ——— ——— ———- ———     Residential access      lines     ——————     Legacy FairPoint      160,065   162,059   176,891     (9.5%)    (1.2%)     Northern New England 709,633   741,906   819,640    (13.4%)    (4.4%)                         ——— ——— ———                           869,698   903,965   996,531    (12.7%)    (3.8%)     Business access      lines     ——————     Legacy FairPoint       51,235    51,344    54,619     (6.2%)    (0.2%)     Northern New England 331,169   339,074   358,014     (7.5%)    (2.3%)                         ——— ——— ———                           382,404   390,418   412,633     (7.3%)    (2.1%)      Wholesale access      lines                102,163   105,408   116,731    (12.5%)    (3.1%)        Total voice        access lines     1,354,265 1,399,791 1,525,895    (11.2%)    (3.3%)                         ——— ——— ———      HSD subscribers     —————     Legacy FairPoint       79,210    76,619    73,326      8.0%      3.4%     Northern New      England              216,897   224,263   221,086     (1.9%)    (3.3%)                         ——— ——— ———     Total HSD       subscribers         296,107   300,882   294,412       0.6%    (1.6%)      Total access line      equivalents        1,650,372 1,700,673 1,820,307     (9.3%)    (3.0%)                         ========= ========== =========      Long distance      subscribers          605,468    623,497   656,599     (7.8%)    (2.9%)                         ========= ========== ========= Cash Flow and LiquidityFor the six months ended June 30, 2009, operating cash flow totaled $28.1 million. Cash flow from operations for the first six months of 2009 was negatively impacted by $43.9 million of expenses related to the systems cutover activities and an increase in accounts receivable, before allowance for uncollectibles, of $29.1 million, largely resulting from cutover related issues. Excluding the impact of these cutover related items, cash flow from operations would have been $101.1 million. The Company also made cash interest payments totaling $107.3 million during the six months ended June 30, 2009 which reduced cash flow from operations. Capital expenditures totaled $90.5 million for the first half of 2009. Conference Call and Webcast Cash and cash equivalents at June 30, 2009 totaled $81.0 million and $2.4 million remained available under the Company’s revolving credit facility. As of June 30, 2009, after giving effect to the conversion of a portion of the Company’s cash interest expense to non-cash as a result of the exchange offer, the Company was in compliance with all of the financial covenants contained in its credit facility.The Company currently believes that the reduction in its cash interest expense resulting from the consummation of the exchange offer may not be sufficient to prevent a breach of the interest coverage ratio maintenance covenant for the measurement period ending September 30, 2009. In addition, the Company currently expects that it may exceed the leverage ratio maintenance covenant limit contained in its credit facility as early as the measurement period ending September 30, 2009. As a result, the Company has initiated discussions with its bondholders regarding a more comprehensive and permanent restructuring of its current capital structure to reduce its indebtedness and debt service obligations. About FairPoint Source: FairPoint Communicatioins.  CHARLOTTE, N.C., Aug. 5, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ —last_img read more


Trail Mix – A Tribute To John Duffey

first_imgThe first bluegrass song I ever loved was “In The Pines,” which I discovered on a 20th-anniversary concert recording from The Seldom Scene.I don’t think I had ever heard something so haunting as the harmonies in the chorus, driven by whoever was singing the high tenor. The sound was eerily intoxicating, and it is still cause for goosebumps at every listen. I later found out that the high tenor was John Duffey, founding member of two of bluegrass music’s most instrumental bands, The Seldom Scene and, earlier, The Country Gentlemen. Man, I was hooked. Since that early introduction, I have dug deep in The Seldom Scene’s catalog, and they rank as my favorite bluegrass band, with “Wait A Minute” ranking high at the top of of my list of the most beautiful songs ever written.Smithsonian Folkways Recordings recently released Epilogue: A Tribute John Duffey, a seventeen song collection chronicling Duffey’s bluegrass recording career and featuring some of the genre’s heaviest hitters. Guest musicians include Sam Bush, David Grisman, Tim O’Brien, Kenny and Amanda Smith, Tony Rice, John Cowan, and some of Duffey’s mates from The Seldom Scene.The project was fifteen years in the making, with recording sessions dating back to 2002, and was spearheaded by Akira Otsuka, whose love of Duffey’s work reaches back to his boyhood in Japan.After listening to the record a number of times, I reached out to friends in the music world about John Duffey to gauge his impact on their love of bluegrass. The responses were universally appreciative.Seldom Scene with Akira in Japan, 1985. From left to right: Mike Auldridge, Ben Eldridge, Phil Rosenthal, John Duffey, Tom Gray, Akira Otsuka. Photo by Michael Couzens.“John Duffey was a force, and a delight. He had enough love and respect for bluegrass to internalize all of the music’s traditions, yet he couldn’t help but turn all that on its ear, playing “Little Georgia Rose” in Spider Man tights and slurping whatever that godawful purple vodka drink was that he favored.”– Peter CooperSenior Director of Country Music Hall of Fame“I remember riding with my dad, as a teenager, in our old Chevrolet. It had an eight-track player and my dad had three or four bluegrass tapes in his collection. He was most proud of one by The Country Gentlemen. Listening to that tape was my introduction to John Duffey. Like most kids, I was a rock music fan, but I could hear the folk, rock, and jazz influences in their take on bluegrass. That drew in this teenager as a fan of the band. Later, when in the army, I discovered The Seldom Scene and learned that Duffey was part of the band. Hearing that first tape in a buddy’s van had me hooked. How could you not be a fan of this band? That was over forty years ago. I’ve been following bluegrass since the mid-sixties, promoting bluegrass events and working at radio stations since 1994. I like to feel that I owe my love of this music to John Duffey and the impact he had on me.”– Larry GorleyFestival promoter and radio host at WBCM/Radio BristolJohn Duffey’s flattop haircut and blacksmith’s forearms belied the beauty of his artistry. His glorious high tenor. His delicate mandolin runs. He seemed almost embarrassed at times to be so good at two skills that required such sensitivity, so much so that he seemed to revel in growling out his lead vocal lines or barking out high harmony parts inelegantly, shall we say, when the mood hit. As for his mandolin lines, he could start a solo as beautifully as anyone, but then it would start bouncing off the guardrails, and his car-crash cascades of notes would careen straight through the guardrails, all with a manic gleam in his eyes. But these different sides of John Duffey were all a part of who he was. John made sure that we knew he could sing and play as well as anyone. But he also took the time to remind us all that he was a master of a more rare skill. He was an entertainer. If I had a time machine, I would set it not for Imperial Rome, not for the Cavern Club in 1961, not for Paris in 1925, but for a Thursday night in 1975, at the Birchmere on Four Mile Run in Alexandria, Virginia, to watch John Duffey and The Seldom Scene do what they did so well and better than anyone.– Eric BraceMusician and former staff writer for the Washington PostJohn had a strong tenor voice and played a unique style of mandolin. Because he was responsible for bringing regional Appalachian music to a sophisticated urban sound, he is often called the father of modern bluegrass. I started listening to him when I was learning to play mandolin in junior high school in Japan and he was my idol. My band, Bluegrass 45, was invited to tour the United States in 1971 and we met John during the tour. He was kind enough to produce one of our albums and we became good friends. One neat part of this album is that I now own John’s Gibson F-12 mandolin and many of the mandolin players used it on this album.– Akira OtsukaMusician and producer/director of Epilogue: A Tribute to John DuffeyI don’t have many interpersonal stories about Duffey, per se. Although I knew him from the time I was a baby until I was fourteen, when he died, I can actually only recall a handful of direct interactions that I had with him. Despite his larger than life stage persona, he was actually very shy. I don’t think John knew how to interact with kids, so he didn’t. I remember the first time that he acknowledged me directly, as a person, shortly before he died. I was sitting backstage at the old Birchmere, noodling on a guitar, when John came up, scruffed my hair, and said, “Oh, hi there, guy!” I replied, “Oh, hi, John.” That was it. That was the extent of our interaction, but it felt like a big deal to me, because I had somehow crossed the threshold into being grown up enough to where John felt he could say something – anything – to me. This is the thing that people would never have known about him. He was sweet and gentle and bashful, a sheep in lion’s clothing. Personal observations aside, the sound of his tenor singing and mandolin playing is absolutely seared in my memory. It was raw, human, and powerful. He sang with the strength of ten men. But it was also sensitive. A key part of The Seldom Scene’s alchemy was the contrast of the band’s smooth, folk infected vibe with the sheer power of Duffey’s voice. He was truly one of the all-time greats of bluegrass music.– Chris EldridgeMusician and son of Ben Eldridge, founding member of The Seldom SceneFor more information on Epilogue: A Tribute to John Duffey, be sure to surf over to Smithsonian Folkways website.In the meantime, take a listen to “If I Were A Carpenter,” featuring Akira Otsuka on Duffey’s Gibson F-12, on this month’s Trail Mix.last_img read more


3 things consumers hate about online referral programs

first_imgRewardStream has years of experience providing online referral programs to our clients and one of the services we provide is customer support to end users – which is why we know so much about what our program users want!In the second part of our referral marketing CX/UX series, we take a look at what users don’t like about referral marketing programs and offer some tips on what you can do to make your users happy.Here are three of the pet peeves that online referral program users have:All Good Things Take TimeEven if the payoff will be a happy experience, most of us hate waiting. Whether it’s in line at a supermarket or waiting for a reward you are due for referring a friend to your internet provider, waiting periods can be almost intolerable.As referral marketing professionals, we understand why customers must wait before they receive a reward.  Companies can’t just hand out rewards to everyone who signs up on the program website. That would cost a small fortune! Unfortunately, for many customers there is an expectation that their reward will be issued instantly once they sign up online and without any caveats.Regardless of the industry or product, there will always be a waiting period before a reward can be issued in an online referral program. The waiting period exists primarily to accommodate a company’s business needs. Unfortunately this can contribute to customer misunderstandings about why they are being made to wait since customers are generally detached from these business idiosyncrasies.  Companies often want to make sure a new customer referred to them maintains their service for a pre-determined amount of time to ensure that a reward payment is worthwhile. There is very little to be gained from rewarding someone who then switches brands again within a few weeks. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more