On the heels of an announcement late last month that McGraw-Hill Construction was expanding its Engineering News-Record Network into seven new regional markets, the company rolled out a restructuring this week that resulted in an undisclosed number of layoffs throughout the organization.“The moves were taken to better meet the needs of our customers, take advantage of improved technology and processes, and position the business for growth in 2011,” a company spokesperson says in an e-mail to FOLIO:. The spokesperson declined to say how many people were let go, citing company policy to not disclose those numbers. One source, who wishes to remain anonymous, says as many as 2,000 jobs were affected by the restructuring. The company spokesperson, however, says that number is “completely inaccurate.”“Some people were walked out the door on Tuesday, while some have to stay to finish up the ongoing projects,” the source says. The spokesperson says no regional offices are closing as a result of the restructuring. McGraw-Hill Construction has locations all over the country, including New York City, Washington DC, Chicago and Atlanta.McGraw-Hill Construction is mainly divided into four business units: Dodge, an analytics business, a digital lead generation business called Sweets and the media brands—including Architectural Record, GreenSource, Constructor and Engineering News-Record.Late last month, the company said it was expanding ENR network into seven regional markets, including California, the Midwest, mountain states, the Southeast, Texas and New York. Starting with the January issue, the company says ENR will publish a total of 46 regional editions over the course of the year.In a recent conversation with FOLIO:, McGraw-Hill Construction president Keith Fox talked about the cyclical downturn in the construction industry, calling it a “tough market” over the last three or four years, particularly in commercial building. But despite the challenging environment, Fox says he sees opportunity. “As a data provider, as a media provider and as a company that provides intelligence to our customers, we’re more essential than we’ve ever been. When you’re competing in a difficult environment, you’re going to grow through market share, through conversion and by being smart about how you manage your business. … We’ve been successful because our customers have seen that we’re helping them drive business.”Fox declined to discuss the company’s specific revenue breakdown other than to say the Dodge database is its “core” business.
The leadership change has been in the works since at least early November, giving both Griffey and Bakley ample time to prepare for the transition. “We are also looking at our Lifesciences group, which was our fastest growing group this year,” he says. “We’ve added in a new editor for MedicalDevices and we’re going daily with that publication, really looking to build out a new market segment for Fierce in the medical devices area. I’m seeing a lot of expansion and adjacencies that are big potentials for us moving forward. I also think because of our strength in email and digital media, we’ve got an opportunity to translate that into the real world, if you will.”Bakley says that FierceMarkets will look at new opportunities to expand face-to-face events, particularly in things like life sciences and healthcare.“It’s been a whirlwind,” says Bakley. “We’ve had to step back and ask ‘What do we need for the future?’” FierceMarkets, a division of Questex Media Group, has tapped a new president to lead the company—current COO Maurice Bakley will step into this new role beginning January 3. Current president Sean Griffey will leave the company to start a new B-To-B media company of his own, Industry Dive.“I’m really excited for FierceMarkets and Maurice, who has been a key part of the company for the last 5 plus years,” says Griffey. “FierceMarkets itself has had a great growth story and is primed to do more. It will be a great time for me and for them.”While Griffey wouldn’t disclose many details about his new company, the Web site for Industry Dive positions itself as a news dashboard for the construction, marketing, legal, K12 educational, utility and retail industries.“Industry Dive makes it easy to stay connected,” its Web site says. “News, Social, Jobs, and the Market—we provide dashboards for where and when you need it. Everyone’s got a smartphone, but not everyone uses it as a business weapon.” Additionally, FierceMarkets plans to raise the frequencies on a few publications, including FierceHealthIT and FierceHealthPayer. “In terms of Fierce, we’re coming off an awesome year here,” says Bakley. “We’ve had a new launch into a new vertical, being energy, and it has been successful and we’ve hired some great new talent.”The new president says the company hired an editor-in-chief for its healthcare group, a reflection of the need for senior leadership as the division has continued to grow. The group has also added a new vice president of audience development, Sabrina Ican, who Bakley says is an expert in leadgeneration and online marketing.
Zombicide: Black Plague, $89 Horrified, $45 See at Target See at Amazon Dan Ackerman/CNET • Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Back-to-School Tech Gift Guide Dan Ackerman/CNET The Fallout 76 video game not doing it for you? Don’t feel bad, it’s not hitting the right note with a lot of people. As an alternative, may I suggest this expansive board-game version, which feels much more like a traditional Fallout game. It’s got factions, settlements, super mutants, buying and selling — and, of course, lots of deadly radiation. It’s also a bit fiddly, so set aside some serious time to learn the rules. This behemoth of a board game is expensive and occasionally hard to find (but has recently dropped from about $130 to $95 at many stores). Still, it’s worth the effort and expense to explore a rich world spiced with deep, strategic combat. Gloomhaven replaces the traditional dice-based combat with a card-based system that reduces randomness and works stunningly well. While daunting at first, the gameplay turns out to be a surprisingly simple matter of picking the right cards at the right times to beat up the big scary monsters blocking your path forward. When not fighting, you can move the surprisingly rich story forward with choose-your-own-adventure style moments that reveal the interesting depth and complexity of this well-crafted and unique fantasy world. — Andrew Gebhart Dan Ackerman/CNET We live in a golden age of video games, to be sure. New console hardware in the works, amazing advances in PC graphics hardware and esports are big business. But there’s a potentially more interesting gaming revolution going at the same time. Old-school tabletop board games have been gaining in momentum for the past couple of years, and are just this side of mainstream. They’re a natural match for PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo Switch fans, as many take just enough of a cue from modern video games to feel familiar. Many include companion apps that run on phones, tablets or laptops, handling much of the stat-counting, card shuffling and other minutiae that can scare people off from tabletop gaming.The themes are, not surprisingly, often focused on dungeons dragons style fantasy, zombie attacks, sci-fi battles and Lovecraftian supernatural high jinks. The latest big-budget release is Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-earth, which combines miniature figures, map tiles, and a highly polished tablet app. Here are some of my current favorites for best board games, any one of which can turn game night into an epic multi-hour adventure. Feel ambitious and want to make your own extra accessories, game pieces or card holders with a 3D printer? We’ve got that covered, too. Got your own suggestions? Let me know your picks for the best board games in the comments or on Twitter. Aug 29 • Best college laptops for 2019 Steamforged Games See at Amazon See at Amazon reading • Put down the gamepad, these are the best tabletop board games for video gamers Dan Ackerman Dan Ackerman/CNET As a long-time Resident Evil fan, I had to snatch this up immediately. Like many big box board games, it started as a Kickstarter project, but is now available from Amazon and other retailers. Unlike arcade-y zombie games like Zombicide, the vibe here is much closer to the survival horror feel of the Resident Evil video games. If you have a 3D printer, there are a ton of accessories you can download and print, like 3D walls, doors and typewriters, to replace the cardboard tokens that come with the game. The best Star Wars game I’ve played in years isn’t a video game, it’s this challenging tabletop strategy game, where rebel heroes fight through various skirmishes with Imperial forces. There’s a fantastic companion app that not only teaches you how to play, it handles the storytelling and enemy placement, too. The miniatures are fantastic, and include a giant AT-ST, and sold-separately add-ons and expansions can add dozens of new figures. Fun fact — this is actually a remixed version of a game called Descent: Journeys in the Dark, so check that out if you want a game that plays like Imperial Assault, but with a D&D/Game of Thrones/fantasy theme. Aug 29 • Our favorite back-to-school picks for 2019 See at Amazon It’s time to get the fellowship back together. This is a great game for joining up with four other players (or just as a solo player) to go tromping across Middle-earth by moving cool-looking sculpted miniatures around map tiles. There’s a free, but mandatory, app available on iOS, Android and via Steam, which tells you how to lay out the map tiles and which monsters to fight, and provides for a certain amount of randomization. Built from the ground up as an app-based board game, it really makes getting set up and learning the ropes easy. Mansions of Madness, $79 Dan Ackerman/CNET Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-earth, $79 Dan Ackerman/CNET Fallout: The Board Game, $50 Star Wars: Imperial Assault, $79 Fantasy Flight Games See at Amazon Read: Fallout 76: The wasteland is more fun with friends Share your voice See at eBay Resident Evil 2, $75 Comments Deep Madness, $130 and up Arkham Horror: The Card Game, $31 You’ll have to hit eBay or a resale shop to find this giant game. So far it’s sold through two printings on Kickstarter, but there are no plans for a retail release. Trapped in an underwater research station, one to six players avoid flooded rooms and, you guessed it, Lovecraftian monsters. Derivative, but great atmosphere and art direction. Aug 29 • Save up to $500 on Microsoft Surface laptops and tablets See at Amazon There are a ton of different versions of this series of popular board games. Whether set in a prison, hospital or ruined city, they all have the same basic theme — an ever-growing bunch of zombies chase your crew around a map as you race for the exit. This version is the universal favorite, taking the action back to medieval times. There’s a handy iOS/Android app that can handle all the card-shuffling and inventory, leaving you free to focus on strategic thinking and filling the game board with plastic zombies. If you want more of a Walking Dead vibe, there are also several very good Zombicide games set in modern times, such as Prison Outbreak or Rue Morgue. There’s also a brand new iOS/Android standalone Zombicide game, which is great for subway rides where setting up a giant game board would be frowned upon. Get those “gonna need a bigger boat” jokes out of your system now. This clever new two-part strategy game is asymmetrical, which means one player is the overpowered super-shark, and the other players are hapless humans, who need to combine their skills and resources with the goal to survive and win. The best feature is the game board, which flips from the the beaches of Amity Island in the first half, to Quint’s boat in the second half, which slowly gets eaten by the shark. See at Amazon I’ve been playing an early version of this Universal-Monsters-inspired game, which hits stores at the beginning of August, and it’s a fun mix of nostalgia and modern game design, pitting players against all the classic Universal movie monsters of the 1940s and ’50s, from the Wolf Man to Dracula. Just don’t accidentally call Frankenstein’s Monster “Frankenstein,” or I’ll subtweet you. Another giant-box-game. This is one of my favorites because it includes tons of floor tiles with which to create a haunted mansion, plus dozens of plastic miniatures for investigators and monsters. The vibe is definitely classic old-school Lovecraft, and this board game actually requires you to use its companion app, which creates the layout, spawns monsters and even adds sound effects. See at Amazon Aug 30 • Hate subscription software? Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements are on sale for $60 each Jaws, $29 See All See at Amazon Dan Ackerman/CNET A stripped-down version of the Lovecraftian game subgenre. This is strictly a card-based game, so no map tiles or plastic game pieces. Even so, it has amazing narrative storytelling and laying out location cards on the table to give each player a clear picture of what’s going on and where. If you like this, it’s a “living card game,” which means new packs of cards are released on a regular basis. Dan Ackerman/CNET 6 Gaming Tablets Toys and Tabletop Games Tags Gloomhaven, $95
Former president of Bangladesh and Jatiya Party chairman Hussain Mohammad Ershad. Prothom Alo File PhotoThe body of former president of Bangladesh and Jatiya Party chairman Hussain Mohammad Ershad will be taken to Rangpur on Tuesday, say party officials.The 89-year-old leader of the opposition in the Jatiya Sangsad (national parliament) died at the Combined Military Hospital in Dhaka this (Sunday) morning.JP presidium member Khaled Akhter confirmed this to Prothom Alo.The Inter Services Public Relations Directorate (ISPR) assistant director Rashedul Alam Khan also said that the former president died around 7:45am.Ershad’s wife Raushan Ershad and son Saad Ershad went to CMH around 8:00 in the morning, JP said.The body has been kept at CMH morgue.JP chairman’s deputy press secretary Khandaker Delwar Jalali told Prothom Alo in the morning that the first namaaz-e-janaza of Ershad will be held central army mosque after the Zuhr prayers.His second janaza will be held at the South Plaza of the Jatiya Sangsad at 10:00am tomorrow, Monday, while the third janaza will be held at Baitul Mukarram, the national mosque of Bangladesh, at 11:00am on the same day.Ershad’s body will be taken to Rangpur on Tuesday by a helicopter and a janaza will be held there. His body will then be brought back to Dhaka.He will be buried at the army graveyard in Dhaka as was his wish, said Jatiya Party presidium member Ziauddin Bablu.JP acting chairman GM Quader on Saturday said his brother HM Ershad had been on life support at the CMH.Physicians had long been trying to make his kidney and liver functions normal, but there was no improvement in this regard, he added.Ershad, also the leader of the opposition in parliament, was admitted to the CMH on 27 June as his condition deteriorated.Ershad was born in Cooch Behar of the then British India on 1 February 1930. His father Mokbul Hossain served as a minister of the-then Maharaja of Cooch Behar. Later, his family shifted to Rangur.