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Schieffer Symposium news: Pauley joining CBS

What do good newshounds do? They break news, which is exactly what Bob Schieffer did last night during his 10th annual Schieffer Symposium on the News at Texas Christian University.

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Rick Perry, 2 other GOP governors blast Medicare Advantage rates

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Three Southern Republican governors are writing President Barack Obama to complain about newly announced Medicare Advantage payments.

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Shale gas boom leaves wind power developers seeking more subsidy

NEW YORK — Wind power in the United States is on a respirator.

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Panther FW, Atlas CP snap up Dallas property

Panther FW Investments LLC has purchased a five-building industrial portfolio in the Valwood and East Brookhollow submarkets of Dallas.

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I-30 entrance ramps near downtown to close permanently on Friday

Major traffic changes await Fort Worth motorists when the westbound Forest Park Boulevard exit from Interstate 30 and the Summit-Eighth avenues I-30 entrance ramp close permanently.

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Penney hires Kraft executive as marketing chief

 

ANNE D'INNOCENZIO,AP Retail Writer


NEW YORK (AP) — J.C. Penney Co. has hired an executive from the food world to reconnect with its shoppers.

The beleaguered department store on Monday named Kraft Foods executive Debra Berman as senior vice president of marketing to help revitalize the struggling brand.

Penney is trying to win back customers who fled during a transformation plan spearheaded by chain's former CEO, Ron Johnson, that backfired and led to massive losses and sales drops.

Berman, who has worked for Kraft since 2009, served as vice president, marketing strategy and directed global brand strategy for all Kraft-owned brands

J.C. Penney, which is based in Plano, said Berman joins the company's executive board and will report directly to CEO Mike Ullman III. The appointment took effect Friday.

Berman fills the void left by Michael Francis, who left the company in June 2012 after being hired by Johnson eight months earlier. Francis, who was president and marketing chief, was responsible for marketing a new pricing plan created by Johnson. After Francis left, Johnson himself oversaw marketing, until he was fired in April.

Berman's appointment is the latest management change under Ullman, who returned to Penney's helm in April when the board fired Johnson after only 17 months on the job. Ullman has been assembling a new management team to help reverse Penney's fortunes. He's also working to stabilize the business by bringing back basic merchandise and more frequent sales that were eliminated by Johnson in a failed bid to attract younger, hipper customers.

However, analysts say that while traffic is improving as a result of stepped-up discounts, there has been no evidence of a turnaround yet as the company heads into the bulk of the critical back-to-school shopping.

Penney amassed nearly a billion dollars in losses and its revenue dropped 25 percent for the fiscal year that ended Feb. 2 in the first year of the failed transformation strategy. Losses and sales drops continued into the first quarter, as the shadow of Johnson's legacy remained. Penney is expected to report second-quarter results later this month.
 

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