Category Archives: Business

Jeff Tweedy on the secret to happiness

tweedy-620x297Wilco’s lead singer, Jeff Tweedy, has figured out a few things in life. In the most recent issue of Grid magazine, I profiled Tweedy the entrepreneur, examining how he’s built a sustainable, self-reliant business around Wilco’s music—a tricky proposition for any mid-sized act in the age of Spotify, as attested by the industry vets who discussed the article with the New Yorker.

Tweedy, a practiced interviewee, knows the power of a telling anecdote. When we first met in March, in Wilco’s loft space in northwest Chicago, he shared a story with me that didn’t fit in the article.

I asked Tweedy, whose band has a gold-certified album and two Grammys, how he defined success. Here is his reply: Continue reading

Some early validation for Michael Alter’s optimism

Tonight, the Sky go up against the Seattle Storm on ESPN2. It’s one of three nationally broadcast games for Chicago’s WNBA team this season, under a new league-wide TV deal that excited Sky owner Michael Alter when we discussed it in April.

Alter’s pre-season optimism for the team and the business centered on rookie Elena Delle Donne. With a third of the regular season in the can, she’s made good. The second over-all draft pick is leading her draft class in scoring (19.5 points per game) and percentage from the free-throw line (an outrageous .947 — Kevin Durant led the NBA’s last regular season with .905 from the charity line). Continue reading

Does new TV deal mean big things for Chicago’s WNBA team?

Sky rookie Elena Delle Donne (center) sits with teammate Epiphanny Prince at pre-season game. (Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)

Lately, I’ve been following the Chicago Sky’s business operation as the women’s basketball team gears up for its eighth season, which opens the last week of May.

It’s been interesting to poke around inside a major league team that’s still in relative infancy. Sure, readers (and editors) care more about the Bulls, but it’s easy to forget that the NBA wasn’t always a behemoth. Continue reading

Reporter’s Notebook: Jessica Rubino predicts ‘strong growth’ for natural personal care

Jessica Rubino

Jessica Rubino is a Deputy Editor at New Hope Natural Media, which monitors the healthy/natural lifestyle industry. For my recent profile of North Cost Organics founder Nathan Morin, I asked her to explain the big gains the natural personal care industry has seen in recent years.

There wasn’t space in the article for all her insights, but if you’re watching this industry, it’s interesting stuff. Here’s an edited version of our email conversation:  Continue reading