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Nation, world business briefs, Nov. 2

Nation, world business briefs, Nov. 2
Oklahoman Published: November 2, 2012



Martha Stewart to downsize

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. is downsizing its magazines and will cut publishing jobs as it increasingly focuses on online video and other digital content. The lifestyle, media and merchandising company says the move could save it $33 to $35 million per year. It did not say how many employees are being eliminated, and a message was not immediately returned. Martha Stewart will stop publishing its monthly “Everyday Food” magazine as a standalone publication, instead periodically wrapping it into the company's flagship “Martha Stewart Living” magazine. The company will also seek to sell its “Whole Living” health and lifestyle magazine. If the magazine cannot be sold, its content may also be incorporated into other company products.

Avon reports drop in income

Direct beauty products seller Avon Products said Thursday its third-quarter net income fell 81 percent, hurt by the stronger dollar and an impairment charge. The company also slashed its dividend as it works on a turnaround. Avon, whose products include Skin So Soft lotion and Mark makeup, has struggled for years to turn around results at home and in emerging markets. CEO Sheri McCoy, brought on in April to replace longtime CEO Andrea Jung, called the results disappointing and said improvement will take time.

Maine company sues Microsoft

A small technology company based in Portland, Maine, has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Microsoft over elements included in Windows 8. SurfCast Inc. filed the complaint Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Portland asking for unspecified damages. The lawsuit claims Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft Corp. is using elements known as live tiles, rectangular icons linked to websites, apps and other items. SurfCast says it developed the elements in the 1990s. The lawsuit claims Microsoft is using the tiles technology on operating systems including the recently launched Windows 8, found on personal computers, phones, tablets and other devices. Microsoft says it's confident it can prove the claims are without merit.

Winfrey, Huffington join up

Two of the most powerful women in media — Oprah Winfrey and Arianna Huffington — are joining forces. The two on Thursday launched “HuffPost OWN,” a new section on the Huffington Post website that will feature material from the Oprah Winfrey Network and The new online destination will focus on lifestyle advice and personal inspiration. Winfrey said she was “delighted to join the conversation” at the Huffington Post. In a blog post, Huffington said Winfrey is “made for the Internet,” given her qualities of engagement and authenticity. There are now nearly six dozen niche sections on the Huffington Post.

R.I. sues Red Sox ex-pitcher

The state of Rhode Island's economic development agency on Thursday sued former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling and some of its own former officials in connection with a $75 million loan guarantee to his failed video game company. The suit was filed in Rhode Island Superior Court four months after 38 Studios filed for bankruptcy after a spectacular collapse. The board of the Economic Development Corp. in 2010 lured 38 Studios to Providence from Massachusetts with the loan guarantee. In addition to Schilling, who founded the company, the suit names former EDC Executive Director Keith Stokes; Michael Saul, a former top official with the EDC who worked closely on the deal; and two law firms that also worked with the agency. Gov. Lincoln Chafee said the EDC board authorized the legal action in an attempt to recoup some of the state's money.

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