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Business Week Will Try Again to Stop Premature Distribution

Times Staff Writer

Business Week magazine said it would again tighten security procedures after complimentary advance copies of the issue published Thursday were inadvertently delivered to news organizations in Manhattan before stock markets closed.

Business Week, published by McGraw-Hill Inc., was at the center of an insider trading scandal over the summer when it was disclosed that some stockbrokers and other individuals were obtaining advance word of which stocks were recommended in the magazine’s widely followed “Inside Wall Street” column. Most of the leaks were traced to the magazine’s printing plants.

Distribution of the magazine to the public normally begins on Fridays. Business Week officials at the time said stringent new procedures were being adopted to make sure that no copies left the magazine’s control until after the main stock exchanges close at 4 p.m. New York time on Thursdays.

But this week, a copy was delivered by messenger to the Los Angeles Times’ New York bureau at 3:25 p.m. New York time, and other news organizations apparently also received copies before the markets closed.

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“That’s a major error,” said Mary McGeachy, a spokeswoman for Business Week. She blamed a private messenger service for beginning a delivery run to about 100 Manhattan news organizations too early. She said the service would be reprimanded and steps taken to see that the magazine didn’t leave Business Week’s headquarters until 4 p.m.

When asked for comment, Michael Jay, vice president for marketing at Fleet Services Inc., which operates the messenger service, said: “That’s a new twist.” He added: “Normally we hear that we sent it out late.”


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