Quoted – PBS39 pins future on new studios The public television station is approved to build $17 million media production center

PBS39 pins future on new studios

The public television station is approved to build $17 million media production center

”Diversification of revenue is a key strategy for any nonprofit,” WITF Chief Executive Officer Kathleen Pavelko said.

But Scott Testa, a professor of business administration at Cabrini College in Delaware County, said a public television station having space doesn’t guarantee it will generate revenue. The nonprofit stations are competing with for-profit studios that are veterans at renting out space to companies and nonprofits.

http://articles.mcall.com/2010-04-09/news/all-a1_4pbs.7227345apr09_1_new-studios-videos-station/2

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Quoted – Point of Sale – Portfolio.com

NEW YORK - MAY 20:  In this photo illustration...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Many a retailer offer their own credit cards, hoping to lure in shoppers who may not be able to purchase in cash. But do the benefits of offering a dedicated line of credit outweigh the risks?

Go into the fitting room at a major retailer and you’ll see an ad for its own branded credit card touting benefits from cardholder special-savings days (like Tuesdays at the Gap)—promises of exclusive sales and discounts.

But with so many credit delinquencies and defaults hitting lenders, why would retailers want to expose themselves to that kind of risk? “Credit is a source of revenue,” says Scott Testa, a retail consultant and Professor of Business Administration at Cabrini College in Philadelphia. “And most chains outsource the actual processing to larger banks. Home Depot’s consumer card, for example, is managed by Citibank. In terms of exposure, depending on how the retailer structures the deal with the bank, the stores can be minimally exposed to risk.”

“If they’re outsourcing the operation to a bank, the costs are relatively low because a major lending facility will already have financing on a major scale in place,” Testa says. “If they decide to keep it in-house, companies need to account for computers, credit processing, customer-service professionals, mailings, and other miscellaneous office supplies.”

“Since banks have been dealing with so many losses on consumer cards, they might hold stores partially responsible for costs associated with loss, especially in the case of stolen and unauthorized credit use,” says Testa referring to what’s known as “charge backs” in the industry. If a store accepted a stolen card and has a signature on file for the transactions, the credit issuer can—and usually does—share the burden with the retailer.

The other elusive element is customer service. “Since this is a service that has to be managed, it’s important that the retailer aligns with a bank or credit agency that it trusts to accurately portray the store and its values in a positive way,” Testa adds. Agents must be knowledgeable about the products sold, reflect the service standard of the company they represent, and embody its core culture, experts say.

http://www.portfolio.com/resources/2010/04/08/the-value-of-store-branded-credit-cards

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Quoted – The Ladies’ Turn – Wall Street Journal

Picture of the "Gingerbread House" i...
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The Ladies’ Turn

When it comes to house hunting, Kim Sliney is the first to admit she can be picky. The 46-year-old interior designer just couldn’t see herself living in small, chopped-up rooms. Or being happy in boxy interiors adorned with blah bathroom tiles and Formica counters. After visiting—and vetoing—37 houses, the single mom from Exeter, R.I., happened upon her just-right fit: a newly built, $350,000 home that boasted a spacious-feeling layout, killer walk-in closets and custom details like crown molding, granite countertops and a gas fireplace—for no extra charge. How did she stumble into this particular development? She was driving around in the area and saw a woman-centric sign on the entrance. “It was very intriguing,” says Ms. Sliney.

Men may think they run the world, but it’s women who are now getting the royal treatment from the housing industry. Indeed, say housing market watchers, builders are now strenuously working to win the hearts—and checkbooks—of female buyers. And with the economy punishing the sexes unevenly, single women have become an especially important force to be reckoned with in real estate. According to the National Association of Realtors, they now sign on the dotted line in nearly a quarter of all U.S. home deals—up from 14% in 1995.

And home hassles aside, skeptics say some of the marketing flurry around women is half-baked. Part of the problem, says Scott Testa, a marketing professor at Cabrini College, is that the real estate industry has been a late adopter of modern marketing techniques. Its fairly recent desire to learn what customers want simply leads to better design—like kitchens opening up into family rooms—which isn’t necessarily woman-centric. “More people like open design,” Mr. Testa says. “Whether that’s a woman preference, I don’t know that as a fact.”

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304871704575160112777930360.html?mod=WSJ_Commercial_sections_BuyingAndSelling

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Quoted – Tech consulting firm does well by feeding well

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Tech consulting firm does well by feeding well

Table XI LLC is a place found only by already knowing where it is.

Nestled away in the West Loop, the consulting and software development firm’s street entrance is an unmarked doorway between a restaurant and a home furnishing boutique. Inside, one climbs two flights of stairs, makes a U-turn, and climbs a final flight of stairs before happening upon the actual office, which resembles a home, complete with a cozy, couched living room and a full kitchen.

“Usually, in an economic upswing the consulting companies’ revenue will start to spike before the employment rate goes up,” said Scott Testa, economics professor at Cabrini College in Philadelphia.

As a consulting company, Table XI is geared to solve problems for clients, but it solved two of its own problems in inspired ways: serving in-house lunches and paying a bounty on time sheets.

http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=159004

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Quoted – Modern-day people watching

LAS VEGAS - JANUARY 23:  Paul 'DJ Pauly D' Del...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Modern-day people watching

We are constantly peering into the lives of family, friends, strangers and even celebrities through different forms of media. Instead of sitting on a bench at the park, we’re now using the screens on our TVs, phones and computers to do our people watching.

“I think people like to live vicariously through other people,” says Scott Testa, media consultant and professor of business administration at Cabrini College in Philadelphia. “People like situations that maybe they wouldn’t do in their own lives, but they enjoy watching other people do it.”

It’s a form of escapism from your normal life. Testa says reality shows such as Jersey Shore can be appealing because of this train wreck factor — it’s a horrible sight, but you can’t look away. He says people subconsciously compare themselves to others, so knowing our lives aren’t as bad as some people on TV is a satisfying thought.

Testa says some characters who know they’re being watched might act in ways that aren’t consistent with their regular actions. He says although some reality shows might skew actual reality and behaviors, viewers respond to the exaggerated characters because they evoke strong emotions, which translate to the screen well. He says sometimes the more outrageous the behavior, the bigger the audience.

Social networking helps us get a closer sense of someone’s personality and has amplified our natural tendency to observe, Testa says. He says there are those who like to know everyone’s business and those who like to tell everyone their business, which makes Facebook perfect for those two groups.

But knowing other people’s business is not always a bad thing. Facebook is a platform where people can share a common interest. You may discover that you have more in common with a stranger than you think.

Instead of being shackled to your computer or TV screen, location awareness technology allows you to actually meet the people you are watching.

“By nature, we’re curious. We’re social,” Testa says. “When you take a medium that allows us to be more social and more curious when it comes to the activities of others, you’re going to have an audience.”

http://www.kansan.com/news/2010/mar/04/modern-day-people-watching/

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