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September 25, 2001

Lee Greenwood's "God Bless The USA" Most Played Song

"The response to the terrorist attacks by music radio was more immediate than anything we've ever seen, in terms of sensitivity, information delivery, and music content," said Rich Meyer, President of Mediabase 24/7.

Lee Greenwood's "God Bless The USA" dominated the airways immediately following the tragedy. The song received a total of 10 plays nationwide the day before the event and more than 2,100 plays the day after.

Mediabase 24/7, a division of Premiere Radio Networks, monitors 1,088 radio stations in the top 143 markets, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In addition to providing vital information to the music industry, the company provides its research to more than 1,000 affiliate radio stations on a barter subscription basis.

Worldwide Economic Pressures Will Push Cooperation

The disruption of the enormous travel industry, globally diverse yet so inter-related, could will be the lever that pushes cooperation among nations to find the terrorists.

Just how important travel is to the world's economic well-being is being reinforced daily. In the U.S. some 750 fully functioning, perfectly airworthy airplanes are parked, and a huge government aid program is underway as 50,000 employees are let go.

European airlines are also taking action, pressing the European Union for rule changes so their industry can weather the coming financial crisis.(They want to cut capacity as people shy away from air travel.)

Hilton Hotels expects the next 12 weeks to be the "worst times EVER seen in the travel business." Needless to say hoteliers everywhere are feeling the ripple effects of the attacks.

And the cruise industry is under pressure too, as some 7 million North Americans were taking cruises annually. With the new deliveries (of ships) coming on-stream, more decisions will be faced --until confidence is restored for travel on the high seas. Carnival's chairman Mickey Arison says five or six weaker players (cruise lines) may not survive. The cruise industry will be eliminating "high-risk ports" and consider mothballing some ships, if necessary.

So, continued stagnation in travel resulting in a slowing economy everywhere will see economic pressures growing, which could well become the unifying reason for greater cooperation, even in light of the philosophical differences evident in today's world.

Rigorous Researcher Says Selfless, Not Charismatic, CEO's Are Most Effective Builders of Companies

Jim Collins wrote the best-seller Built To Last in 1995, and it ranks as one of the best-selling business books of the 1990s. Coming out in October, after five years of research which involved 21 researchers, is Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...and Others Don't.

After years of work Collins' new book yields some provocative and controversial insights. For instance: Charisma is a liability--something to overcome, like a speech impediment. Executive compensation and company performance are not linked. And, technology has nearly zilch to do with sparking a company's transformation from run-of-the mill to top-of-the-hill.

What does it take to go from good to great? Collins says its the "Level 5" leader. The person, the CEO or top executive, tends to be a selfless individual who attracts like-minded individuals and gets them to work thoughtfully toward a set objective.

Under the guidance of this modest but determined leader, a company must come to terms with three tough questions: What can it be the best at? What drives its economic engine? And what are its people passionate about?

(Collins names 11 companies that made the leap from on an original list of 1,435 that appeared on the Fortune 500 list from 1965 to 1995. The companies had to show at least 15 years of cumulative stock returns at or below the general market, followed by at least 15 years of cumulative returns at three times the market or more. He maintains that stock performance is the best yardstick of corporate excellence, and superior to other measurements such as employee satisfaction or impact on society, as such measurements unfairly reveal the biases of the researchers.)

IRTA Convention Rescheduled

The IRTA Global Executive Committee has decided to postpone the International Reciprocal Trade Association's Convention. It will be held November 8-11...same venue. For more information call IRTA (716) 424-2940.

NATE Regional Convention Canceled

The National Association of Trade Exchanges (NATE) has canceled the upcoming regional convention, "Barter By The Lake," which was scheduled in Akron, Ohio, October 4-6. John Sobolewski, Executive Director, says the focus will now be on the National Convention in New Orleans, May 16-18, 2002.

NATE Opens Fund

A fund has been established by NATE for victims of September 11th's atrocity. The goal is to raise $50,000 worth of trade dollars, which will go to any association member who has clients, friends, or family affected by the tragedy. NATE's phone is (440) 835-3654.

Here And There. . .

  • Prior to the September 11 attack, hotel rates had fallen nationwide for the first time in a decade, according to Tennessee-based Smith Travel Research which tracks industry trends. (The decline was small overall--1.1%, but some areas more significant. Boston, Philadelphia were down 7%, San Francisco down over 6%.) In many cases, business destinations posted losses, but vacation destinations posted gains.

  • Talk America and AOL Time Warner unwound an earlier agreement with AOL agreeing to a barter type deal, in effect taking 10 million shares of Talk America in exchange for a $20 million debt obligation.

  • Credit-card accounts with delinquencies of 30 or more days past due, are at the highest rate since the American Bankers Association began tracking credit-card accounts in 1980. Given such statistics, trade exchange's across the country should see a heightened usage in the months ahead.

  • More advertising opportunities will be available as another 24-hour sports network will debut in March 2002...Yankees Entertainment and Sports, or YES. YankeeNets will own 60% and an investment group, consisting of Goldman Sachs Group and the Quadrangle Group, will have a 40% stake.

    Value of the regional sports network is $850 million. The network will operate around the clock using old games and other regional sports, lifestyle, and entertainment opportunities to fill the time.

  • Reinforcing the fragility of the world economy, the U.S. trade exports plummeted by $2.1 billion in July, the largest monthly drop ever recorded, and imports declined for the fourth straight month to $112.6 billion. The report confirmed that the health of the global economy was in a perilous state before the September hijackings.


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