BTW News Briefs

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Fox's Attempt to Block Franken Book Not Fair, Judge Rules

Calling it "ironic that a media company, which should be protecting the First Amendment, is seeking to undermine it," on Friday, August 22, a judge rejected Fox News Channel's bid to block humorist Al Franken's use of the term "fair and balanced" in the title of his new book, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right (Dutton), as reported by the Associated Press. "There are hard cases, there are easy cases," U.S. District Judge Denny Chin said. "This is an easy case. This case is wholly without merit, both factually and legally."

The network had contended that use of the term "fair and balanced" in the book's title could make consumers believe that Franken's tome was associated with Fox News, which uses the phrase as its slogan. As a result of the judge's decision, Fox dropped its lawsuit against Franken, in which it sought unspecified damages from Franken and publisher Penguin Group.

Fox's suit has helped push Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them to the top of most bestseller lists, including Number 3 on the August 28 Book Sense Hardcover Nonfiction Bestseller List. --DG

SBA and Topica to Co-Sponsor Free Web Seminars on E-Mail Marketing Strategies

On August 20, the U.S. Small Business Administration and Topica Inc., a provider of self-service e-mail solutions, announced the launch of a series of free, live online seminars on the Web, called "webinars," about e-mail marketing strategies. The series is entitled "E-mail Marketing for Small Business." The first of the 60-minute webinars will be held September 3, at 2:00 p.m. EST. It is intended for small to medium-sized businesses such as retailers and professionals, as well as e-commerce Web sites of all types. The webinar will feature a checklist of best practices for responsible e-mail marketing; tips for successful e-mail selling; resources to get started; and other e-mail commerce tips.

Small business owners can participate in the free, 60-minute session from their own computer and telephone. Interested participants can sign-up at by clicking the "Enroll" button next to the September 3 event titled "E-mail Marketing for Small Business." –KS

Ave Maria Press Acquires Forest of Peace, Christian Classics, and Thomas More

Ave Maria Press, a 138-year-old Catholic Book Publisher, has announced that it is purchasing Forest of Peace Publishing of Leavenworth, Kansas, as well as the Thomas More and Christian Classics imprints of RCL Enterprises of Allen, Texas. "Our strategy with these acquisitions is to position Ave Maria Press as the premier publisher of books on Western spirituality," said Frank Cunningham, Ave Maria Press publisher. "Our goal is to provide a resource not only for the best of Western spiritual classics, but for the work of a new generation of ground-breaking spiritual writers." --DG

Federal Reserve Bank Releases Its Beige Book

On July 30, the Federal Reserve Bank published its "Beige Book," a report based on anecdotal information on current economic conditions gathered from Bank and Branch directors and interviews with business contacts, economists, market experts, and other sources within each of the twelve Federal Reserve Districts. The Beige Book summarizes this information by District and sector and is published eight times a year.

Reports from the Federal Reserve districts gave more signs that the pace of economic activity increased slightly during June and the first half of July. The report also cited that retail sales were mixed across districts since the last Beige Book report. Sales improved considerably in the New York District, while sales in the Atlanta, Kansas City, Minneapolis, and Philadelphia districts, made only slight to modest gains. In contrast, sales revenues were said to be flat in the San Francisco District, uninspired in the Chicago District, and below year-ago levels in the St. Louis District.

For the full report click here. --KS

CDS Announces Distribution Agreement

On August 25, Client Distribution Services, Inc. (CDS) announced a distribution agreement with Learning Company Books, the publishing division of Riverdeep, Inc. CDS will provide distribution and sales effective September 1. --KS