In the News: Northern Trust Upsets Congress, Mardi Gras Carries on Despite Recession

By Michael O'Connell February 25, 2009, 4:06 PM EST

Magazine Publishers of America Downsize Conference: The annual American Magazine Conference, planned as a three-day function in Boca Raton, Florida, this October, won't go ahead as planned. Instead, the Magazine Publishers of America will host a one-day event in New York. [Mediaweek]

Washington Riled Over Northern Trust Corp. Spending:
A group of congressional representatives, led by Barney Frank, has called out Northern Trust Corporation for misuse of the $16 billion in U.S. bailout funds it received last year. TMZ reported earlier this week that a firm-sponsored golf tournament in California included nights in the Beverly Wilshire and Ritz-Carlton hotels for clients and employees, lavish parties with A-list entertainment, and Tiffany souvenirs. A spokesman wouldn't divulge details of costs, but insisted the spending “is part of a business decision regarding an annual event to show appreciation for clients.” [Bloomberg]

Mardi Gras May Be Recession Proof: Local businesses and city officials seemed hesitant about New Orleans's annual pre-Lenten celebration this year, given the state of the economy, yet strong crowds and hotels at near-capacity mean the week of debauchery, parties, and parades might carry on unscathed by the recession. No official estimates on attendance will be released until the end of the week, but convention and visitors bureau spokeswoman Mary Beth Romig said officials were cautiously optimistic. [AP]

Post Ends Liz Smith's Reign of Gossip: The New York Post announced yesterday that it has axed gossip maven Liz Smith's 14-year-old column, citing financial considerations. Over the past two decades, the writer had gained national notoriety from her blind items and dispatches from parties and events. Smith's last column will run tomorrow. [Editor & Publisher]

Oscar Ratings Up, But Not By Much: Sunday night's telecast of the Academy Awards didn't fall as flat as last year's all-time lowest-rated broadcast, but it did rank second worst in the key demographic of 18- to 49-year-olds. Still, the ceremony was able to rebound overall with 36.3 million total viewers. That’s an improvement of 4.3 million viewers and 13 percent over last year. [TV Week]

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