Wednesday, April 07, 1999

The Cats Meow -- AlleyCat News Salon

The glorious day we all enjoyed on Wednesday, April 7th ended with a spectacular sunset, and if you were at AlleyCat News' salon at 55 Broadway in the Internet Financial Network's offices, you had a bird's eye view. Each salon becomes more successful than the previous and Editor-in-Chief Anna Wheatley and Publisher Janet Stites have every reason to purr with contentment at their informal yet high-end networking cocktail party, which is exclusively for members of the AlleyCat Investors Network. Special guest Howard Finberg, director of information technology for Central Newspapers Inc. and director of PAFET (Partners Affiliated For Exploring Technology) spoke briefly and then the four presenters had a brief moment to stand on the designated chair and tell guests about their companies. PAFET is a media consortium group composed of A. H. Belo Corp., Central Newspapers, Inc., McClatchy Company, Inc. and Pulitzer Publishing Co., and there were representatives from a whole assortment of papers in attendance. Mr. Finberg, Paul West (director of marketing and sales, -- a Pulitzer Technologies company) and Jody Carmack (electronic media sales manager, St. Louis Post-Dispatch -- a Pulitzer publication) found meeting me, the owner of the domain name, to be amusing. Christian Hendricks and Eric Grilly of Atlanta-based Nando Media were also up for the Salon. It was great seeing them after our initial meeting at the IAB awards dinner last fall, and it looks like Mr. Hendricks strict regime of running is doing him well. It's always nice bonding with other runners and cigar-aficionados alike! Charles Millard made a short "hello" speech and Jonathan Gilbert from his office was on hand to help education other out-of-towners about the fine work they do at the NYC Economic Development Corporation. Local cable network RNNtv owner and chairman Richard French came down from Connecticut for the networking. He introduced me to Vincent Kiernan, an attorney at Cummings & Lockwood, who just took Priceline public. Investment bankers Michael Covitt and Joni Lysett Nelson, of The Sabatier Group were finely appointed -- he with his black & white silk scarf (with red trim), red silk tie, (and suspenders with skulls and crossbones!) and she in her sparkly red and white diamond flower pin and red Ferragamo shoes. But these investment bankers are not just concerned with outward appearances; they have a fine client list to boot. Nick Rogosienski of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Marcelo Wainberg and Kailah Rovin of Redwood Partners, Robert Steinberg (associate director, Newmark), Gregory Kraut of Hunter and Christine Schnarr of Bryan Cave LLP were also enjoying the sunset and networking.

James Marciano of announced late-breaking news that MecklerMedia just bought his other company, and told us how nice it is to receive a paycheck after three years! Robert LoCascio, with a friendly visage and gregarious physiognomy stood up and announced that he's "a live person!" We learned a little bit more about his firm's ideology of "increasing sales and decreasing costs" and Owen Davis of The Thinking Media took center stage, er, chair. Owen's pure Java company has a few products that offer actual counts of pages delivered not just requests. And if this sunny weather's got you itching to go play a quick nine, the Tangueray banner's TTM did let you play while cocktailing it up with Mr. Jenkins.

My interest was definitely piqued by the Austinians, represented by Wayport's Brad Gray and Kem McClelland. Brad told us how his company provides high-speed access for the public by installing T1 connections in public places. Already at fine hotels like the Four Seasons in Austin and Hershey Pennsylvania's Hershey Lodge and Convention Center, and airports like Chicago's O'Hare, this company is well on its way to helping work-weary business travelers get their job done faster! I got the opportunity to learn more about Brad and other companies he started in Brazil, and some funny stories about Anna Wheatley from her college buddy Kem, at dinner afterwards. Look for the Wayport installations in an airport near you!