Smackdowns aplenty: Business North brings the news

If you aren’t getting Business North’s weekly e-alerts, you should. On Thursday, Wayne Nelson and the staff at BN put out some great stories.

Cleveland-Cliffs merger with that Appalachian coal company is being held up by Wall Street dealmakers. Apparently Cliffs has played the opening chords of the banjo music from “Deliverance” and are waiting for the strange red-headed kid to respond in kind. Fun fact: the hedge fund manager putting on the brakes is the same Chisholm native Phil Falcone who was profiled in the Star Tribune and here on the blog a few weeks ago. Oh, ya! Sure is good ta’ see a local boy playing with the fate of our local economy … FOR ONCE! Anyway, Falcone may try to oust Cliffs management in a takeover bid to get them to sell to a big steelmaker. Meantime, Cliffs CEO Joseph Carrabba somehow reminds me of an old line art depiction of William McKinley. That can’t be good.

Forum Communications — in downsizing its Superior (Wis.) Telegram from a daily paper to a twice weekly publication with an “online focus” — got the ball rolling by canning the Telegram’s editor. Ha! They won’t need editors on the Internets because of the Spell Czech! Score one for the suits. (Actually, according to the story, he was fired for being angry about the downsizing … which bodes so well for how this will all turn out)

And Biz du Nord also features a Beth Bily story about how the political battles among Range legislators and the Iron Range Resources agency is threatening a budgetary earmark for the Range Readiness initiative. While everyone supports “readiness,” it seems there are arguments to be made against “Readiness.” Perhaps, after some negotiation, they’ll be ready for Readiness. When they are, I’ll be ready.

Huzzah, Business North! I work less because of your fine journalism.

UPDATE: I’ve been corrected. The Superior editor was mad because he found out about the job cuts on the radio, not specifically about the job cuts, though the point remains.

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