This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, October 1, 2002, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.
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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Fortune magazine out with its annual list of the 50 most powerful women in business. Carly Fiorina leads the pack for the fifth straight year, followed by Betsy Holden at Kraft, eBay's Meg Whitman, Indra Nooyi over at PepsiCo, and Andrea Jung from Avon. Well, character matters just as much as profits. Martha Stewart didn't make this list this time around. But here are two women that did: Betsy Bernard, who was just appointed president of AT&T today.
Congratulations to you.
BETSY BERNARD, PRES., AT&T: Thank you, Neil.
CAVUTO: Also Ann Moore, the chairman and CEO of Time Inc.
Ann, welcome to you.
ANN MOORE, CEO, TIME INC.: Thank you.
CAVUTO: Ann to you first, it is interesting, we are talking about the perceived comeback in the economy or hoped for comeback in the economy, what people don't realize, at least in the media front, there has been a comeback. And Time Inc., you have been enjoying, what? 10 straight quarters of good revenue growth, right?
MOORE: Ten straight years, 41 straight quarters. You know, we weathered the recession pretty well, at Time Inc. But that is due in part I think to the diversity of the portfolio. I would say the old Time Inc. would have a tougher time because we were so much more concentrated in those ad categories when advertising went soft in financial and telecom and everything. But we were coming out OK this year because the diversity of the portfolio, a lot of the women's titles, a lot of the niche magazines, they held on. And the third quarter is showing some recovery. And I have got my fingers crossed for the fourth.
CAVUTO: You must be glad that when you came out of college that you didn't go into that cable business, right?
MOORE: I picked right. I picked magazines.
CAVUTO: You picked right, you picked right. Betsy Bernard, let me ask you something, you are the right woman in the right place at the right time with all of the Global Crossing investigations and Qwest and WorldCom, AT&T is expected to benefit and pick up a lot of that slack, it has not happened in droves yet, do you suspect it will?
BERNARD: Absolutely, we have got a time of unprecedented opportunity for AT&T. As our competitors are focused on their creditors, we're focused on our customers. So the cycle times in this business are long. But we have at least 1,000 opportunities in our sales funnels that are a direct result of what's going on in our industry.
CAVUTO: Let me ask you both something, because the economy is crucial to what you are doing and the growth that obviously has been going on here doesn't necessarily reverberate unless you're at Time Inc. and you've seen 10 years of growth here. But Ann, to you at Time, on this notion that the advertising market is picking up, Mel Karmazin saying as much over at Viacom, that he is noticing it, Rupert Murdoch, my boss, has said that he's noticed anecdotal evidence of a pick-up in advertising, that generally presages a pick-up in the economy, do you buy that?
MOORE: Well. I hope so, I hope so. On the consumer side, we have held up on the consumer side, so people have been buying and reading magazines. And you know, post-9/11, we saw a real surge in some of our news magazines and a lot of our lifestyle magazines. We have a new one called Real Simple, how to simplify your life. And that, it just took off like a rocket ship. And so with the consumer revenue stream strong and with advertising coming back, it is just hard to say. You know, the package goods advertising never went away, and we've had continued strength throughout the year there. So, you know, who knows? I am betting the economy is going to get back to business hopefully by mid-year. But I am just really pleased to say.
CAVUTO: Midyear next year?
MOORE: Next year. I would be very thrilled, Neil, if we would just continue this recovery, at the progress we have seen third quarter, fourth quarter. I feel optimistic about next year.
CAVUTO: Betsy, let me ask you about AT&T, of course, a beaten down issue. A lot of people say it is trading cheaper than the value of its assets. So it's a screaming buy. I am sure you are in that camp. But there is a perception out there that telecom is dead, that that is the problem. How do you get people over that, I'm sure in your eyes, ridiculous notion?
BERNARD: Well, I think it is a question of executing and performing. We have two great opportunities, one is to take share from our competitors which given that the economy is slow at this time, is a great opportunity. As well as we have categories that are still growing, our managed services grew 20 percent as we announced in the second quarter.
CAVUTO: Betsy, could I ask you something, C. Michael Armstrong, we're picturing there next to you, he runs the cable outfit, right? you become president in this new restructured company, right?
BERNARD: Correct. The new restructured company being communications services. Those we provide the businesses and those we provide to consumers.
CAVUTO: OK. Ann, a general question on the economy, on the markets right now. Do you worry that we go back into a double-dip? We had two interesting numbers out today that showed construction slowing, manufacturing activity slowing, not quite recessionary levels but causing people pause, do you share that?
MOORE: I know, I don't see any evidence that we're in for a double-dip in my business. What I see is a difference in booking patterns, you know, a shorter time horizon. And so that is making difficult to call anything. I think that, you know, you almost wait until the presses roll before you commit to the advertising these days.
CAVUTO: True enough, true enough.
MOORE: And so it makes it very hard to budget, but we don't see any evidence that we are in trouble, everything looks pretty good for the coming weeks.
CAVUTO: Ann Moore, Betsy Bernard, thank you both very much, congratulations, again.
BERNARD: Thank you, Neil.
MOORE: Thank you.
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