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Business Outlook gets revised content, look

Welcome to our new-look Business Outlook.

And a special thanks to all of our readers who responded to surveys at the beginning of this year and let us know their favorite columns, stories, features and graphics – and those they could live without.

bizO-Murphy_Mike_BizOToday, you are seeing the results of those surveys, as well as an in-house re-evaluation of the look and content of Business Outlook.

The goal is to make the overall content more relevant, more readable and easier to access.

Our cover has had a major makeover. Think of it as a much more visual magazine-style index to what’s inside.

We know our business readers want substance and stories that are relevant to them, and we’ve upgraded the content with that in mind.

Here’s what’s new

Next week, you will see the initial installment of “Marshall’s Law,” a business law column by Marshall Martin, which will appear every other week on Page 3.

On alternating weeks, you will find “TechBytes” columns by staff reporter Kevin Robinson-Avila.

Veteran real-estate reporter Richard Metcalf also will be joining our column lineup every other week, and we plan to introduce a regular feature highlighting voluntary contributions made to the community by private businesses and nonprofits.

We are adding a weekly business calendar, which will spotlight business events of broad interest scheduled for that week.

“By the Numbers” also is a new weekly feature that will take a graphic look at fast facts and interesting statistics on a particular business or industry in New Mexico.

And we are adding a new listing of federal contracts and patents awarded to New Mexico companies, as well as new products introduced by state businesses, in our expanded Briefcase section.

Look for a compilation of business shorts we call “Biz Bits” on local and statewide business news on a weekly basis, too.

Favorites that stayed

Our reader favorites that remain part of Outlook include:

• The “One on One” interview by Jessica Dyer, as well as her “Retail Roundup” column.

• Jerry Pacheco’s “The Border” business column, every other week.

• Tom Philpott’s “Military Update” feature, every other week.

• A bigger, better and more-inclusive Briefcase section.

• “Your Taxes” by Jim Hamill every week.

• The popular work column “J.T. & Dale Talk Jobs” every week.

• Our “Agriculture Around the State” column from New Mexico State University once a month.

• “Executive Desk” essays and opinion columns from business leaders and our readers.

• Restaurant inspections, as well as incorporations, bankruptcies and business lawsuits.

• Letters to Business Outlook.

• And our “9 to 5” comic and weekly business graphic, such as regional employment, on Page 2.

What’s gone

Here is what you no longer will find inside Outlook:

• Judge Alan Malott’s “Judge for Yourself” column, which used to run every other week, is targeted for the Opinion section.

• The weekly “Albuquerque Air Fares” chart, in part because many of the fares listed end by publication Monday. And many readers who participated in our survey told us they didn’t find this feature particularly useful.

• “Banks vs. Money Funds.” These national CD rates and money fund yields barely change week to week or month to month. For example, in May of last year, Ally Bank advertised a 0.85 yield, and the same bank last week listed 0.84. (If the Fed begins raising rates, this feature can be reconsidered.)

• Very little measurable change also is why the “Money Market Funds” weekly listings are gone. These were the national money funds with assets of $100 million or more available to individual investors.

• The local “Money Rates” weekly listings – certificates of deposit, new and used car loan rates – also have been dropped, again because of very little difference from week to week. For example, the 12-month CD rate at Guadalupe Credit Union was 0.50 percent a year ago and 0.45 percent last week.

We invite your feedback. We took months developing what we think is the right mix, and we will continue to listen to your comments and advice.

Don’t hesitate to contact me at 505-823-3830 or mmurphy@abqjournal.com, or Assistant Business Editor Nick Pappas at 505-823-3847 or npappas@abqjournal.com.

Thanks for being an Outlook reader.

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