Daily Briefing

DAILY BRIEFING

October 22, 2008

CEG promotes Thayer, Berardesco

Baltimore's Constellation Energy Group announced yesterday two management appointments: Jonathan W. Thayer as chief financial officer and Charles A. Berardesco as general counsel. Thayer, 37, Constellation's treasurer, replaces John R. Collins, who stepped down as CFO to serve in an advisory capacity to assist with the company's $4.7 billion sale to Warren E. Buffett's MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. Collins will continue to serve as chairman of Constellation Energy Partners. Berardesco, 50, succeeds Irving B. Yoskowitz, who is retiring. Berardesco was previously Constellation's vice president, deputy general counsel, chief compliance officer and corporate secretary. The appointments are effective immediately. Constellation owns Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.

Hanah Cho

Westport developer to invest $500,000

Turner Development Group, the Baltimore-based developer of a $1.4 billion mixed-use waterfront project in Westport, said yesterday that it will invest more than $500,000 to start the Westport Community Partnerships. The organization will work with nonprofit groups to help local residents clean up the neighborhood, rehabilitate homes and get job training. It will start by working with Living Classrooms and Parks and People on beautification programs and job training. Bonnie Crockett, a former executive director of the Federal Hill Main Street program, will head the new program. Turner Development is building new housing, offices, shops and a hotel on Westport's formerly industrial waterfront.

Lorraine Mirabella

Tech entrepreneur seeks Magna debt

Halsey Minor, a technology entrepreneur with ties to Baltimore, wants to get into the horse racing business. Minor, the son of a Baltimore native, made public last week a proposal he submitted to the board of MI Developments, the parent of Magna Entertainment Corp., which owns Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course. Minor wants to acquire the more than $220 million in loans Magna owes MID, relieving the parent company of "the balance sheet risk of continually extending loans to a faltering business." Auto parts magnate Frank Stronach controls both Magna and MID. Some MID shareholders have been opposed to what they see as the company's bankrolling of Magna, which is strapped for cash to operate its business. Also last week, MID shareholder Farallon Capital Management criticized the MID board for continuing to delay the repayment of loans owed by Magna.

Hanah Cho

Comcast plans to cut 300 jobs in East

NEW YORK : Comcast Corp. is cutting as many as 300 jobs in its eastern division as part of a companywide restructuring. The nation's largest cable operator began informing employees Monday. Spokeswoman Beth Bacha said the division is restructuring from six geographical regions to four, including combining the Maryland, Delaware and Richmond, Va., region with the Potomac region. Other regions will be the Philadelphia metropolitan area and New Jersey; central Pennsylvania and the Three Rivers region of western Pennsylvania and parts of Ohio and West Virginia. Bacha declined to say how many of the job cuts would be in Maryland. She said less than 1.5 percent of the division's 20,000 employees would be affected and Comcast will "make every effort" to place workers in other positions within the company. Bacha said the cuts affect mainly management, not frontline workers such as cable technicians. Comcast began restructuring its operations to improve efficiency around July. The Philadelphia-based cable operator employs 100,000 nationwide. The eastern division serves customers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia and Washington.

Associated Press

3Q earnings down, Yahoo to lay off 1,500

Yahoo Inc. says it will fire at least 10 percent of its work force during the next two months to cope with a crumbling economy that dented its third-quarter profit. The cuts announced yesterday translate into at least 1,500 layoffs from a work force of 15,000 employees. It will be the Sunnyvale, Calif., company's second round of cutbacks this year as management tries to end a slump that has left the Internet company's stock price, which closed at $12.07 yesterday, at a 5 1/2-year low. Things got worse in the third quarter as Yahoo earned $54.3 million, or 4 cents per share, plunging 64 percent from $151.3 million, or 11 cents per share, last year.

Associated Press

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