Business Diary: From Gucci to White City

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The Independent Online

In these difficult economic times, everyone at the BBC knows they have to count the pennies – even the folk at Worldwide, the Beeb's highly successful commercial arm. For Deborah Rowland, who has just been unveiled as BBC Worldwide's people director, the austerity at the corporation may come as a bit of a shock. She'sjoining the Beeb from a similar role at the luxury goods company Gucci and has previously worked at such well-funded companies as Shell and Pepsi. The hair shirt will take a bit of getting used to.

No sour taste for biscuit makers

We are delighted to report some good news in the biscuit world. When Northern Foods was taken over by 2 Sisters Food in April, workers at the company's Fox Biscuits factories in Batley and Uttoxeter feared for their future. After all, Northern Foods had for some time been saying that it intended to close one of the sites to save money – just the sort of cost-cutting plan a new owner might be tempted to embrace. But not a bit of it – workers at both plants are celebrating the news that their new bosses intend to keep them open. A lesson for Kraft, which closed that factory at Cadbury so soon after saying it wouldn't?

The ghost of Wapping past

It seems that the News of the World lives on, at least in the memory of News International's antiquated phone menu system. Call the company up on its main switchboard number and a rather sweet female voice will say "Welcome to the News of the World" before giving you a list of possible options. People ringing in with a story for the now defunct Sunday scandal sheet are, for example, instructed to press two. There was no option for those with an interest in phone hacking, we can report.

Banking journal goes online

It is truly the end of an era. Some 166 years after it was first published, Bankers' Almanac, the finance industry's go-to directory of key reference data, is to go completely digital, its publishers have announced. The latest issue of the biannual journal, came out in July – now Reed, the company that owns the title, has bowed to the inevitable and will go entirely online. It's amazing the printed version survived this long.