Terry McGraw, President & CEO of McGraw-Hill Companies Inc.

This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, April 23, 2002. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews. 

TERRY KEENAN, GUEST HOST: Let's start with the advertising climate because it affects a lot of stocks a lot of people own. Is it turning around at all?

TERRY MCGRAW, PRESIDENT & CEO, MCGRAW-HILL COMPANIES INC. (MHP): A little bit, but still, the numbers in the first quarter were pretty soft. And we still are seeing some continuation of that, but what we are now beginning to see as the economy starts to recover, we're starting to see some pickup.

For Business Week, we are starting to see some advanced bookings, especially in the financial services, the auto, some of the industrial material areas. And so that is starting to come. It's pretty much good according to the plan that we've thought. By May, June, you are going to start to see some year over year comparisons that are going to be positive. And the second halves should be a lot better.

I still do not expect tech spending on the advertising side to come back until, oh, probably much later in the year. And then '03 should be a much better environment. We think the second half is going to be quite good.

KEENAN: In terms of your Business Week publication, I am curious, have you changed at all the way you are covering the markets and the economy given the shifts of post-Enron and with the losses everyone has been suffering in their...

MCGRAW: No question about it. I mean, I certainly think that in terms of any of the regulatory kind of environments, anything that has any other kind of follow-up requirements that way, there is no question. You know, that kind of coverage is getting a lot more appeal.

But we are also doing that on the television stations as well as some of the other B2B vehicles that we have. But for the advertising side, that is still a small percentage of our total revenues. Right now, it's about eight percent, so, you know, as that starts to improve, that will be nice and the economy will help on that part. But the real strength is coming out. For us, the financial services areas, with Standard & Poor's, and on the education side.

KEENAN: Yes. I was going to move on to Standard & Poor's. A lot of people might not know that you own that rating service company. The rating services, of course, coming under a lot of scrutiny in the wake of Enron. To what extent are you changing your procedures at S&P?

MCGRAW: Well, no, I do not think we are changing our procedures at all. I think whenever there is something that is tragic as Enron and the effect that has hit so many people, there is a lot of finger-pointing that goes on. The fact is that when it was in the stratosphere, Enron, with its multiple and, you know, way up, barely had them investment grade. So, somebody should have been able to notice the difference between those two.

KEENAN: That you noticed the things got dramatically better for some reason that we now know.

MCGRAW: Or that it was a gap between where their multiple and where their credit rating was.

KEENAN: I see what you are saying. And in terms of S&P, you also market all of these different indexes, which then are part of index funds that everyone is investing in. What new products do you have on the horizon?

MCGRAW: Well, that is huge. And the exchange traded funds are doing exceptionally well. Lots of wonderful relationships here, Terry, with Credit Lyonnais for the S&P are at $3.50, the Borse Italiano that we just signed up and so forth.

But, you know, today actually is the 20th anniversary of Standard and Poor's and futures trading with our relationship with the CMA. It is hard to believe that 20 years ago, futures trading started. And we are going to start now trading S&P 500 sector futures, and I think that is going to do extremely well as well. These are wonderful businesses.

KEENAN: So the trading vehicles on individual sectors, those so inclined could trade during that?

MCGRAW: That's right. The S&P 500 we divide up into 10 sectors. And each of those sectors now trade. And you can get those on the American Stock Exchange, in terms of spiders. But now you are going to be able to trade the futures and eventually the options on that one.

KEENAN: All right. Well look for that as well. Thanks, Terry. Terry McGraw of McGraw-Hill.

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