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Boston Globe, Boston.com to meld news operations

THE REGION
The Boston Globe will integrate its news-gathering operations with the Boston.com website as part of its strategy of making its content more readily accessible on various media. Globe editor Martin Baron will oversee editorial operations for both operations and will coordinate how news and features are reported, edited, and presented online and in print. Boston.com general manager Richard Gair will continue to oversee technology functions. No layoffs will result from the move. Globe publisher Richard Gilman said the integration ``will help us to expand our reach and influence, gain revenue and market share, and fiercely compete with a host of rapidly changing and expanding media options for readers and advertisers." Both the Globe and Boston.com are owned by The New York Times Co.

Local employers turning to online ads for hiring
Boston-area employers are among the nation's heaviest users of online advertising to recruit workers, the Conference Board, a nonprofit economic research group, reported. In May, local employers posted 3.5 ads for every 100 people in the labor force, exceeded only by San Diego, with 3.66 ads per 100 workers, and Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area in Washington, with 3.58. The Conference Board also reported that online help wanted advertising rose 14 percent in New England over the past year, below the national average of 17 percent. Gad Levanon, a Conference Board economist, said the growth is consistent with an improving job market -- the nation added 1.9 million payroll jobs in the last year -- but also is probably driven by the shift from newspaper to online advertising. (Robert Gavin)

Bank promotes Boston employee to unit president
Bank of America Corp. has appointed one of its top Boston executives, Mark Hogan, as president of small business banking. Hogan will run the national business from Boston. His appointment is part of the bank's broader push to win small-business customers, executives said. Banks nationally have been focusing on their small-business efforts this year, in part because the current interest-rate environment has made it harder for them to earn money in consumer lending. Hogan had been Bank of America's top consumer banking executive in the Northeast. He will be succeeded by Michelle Shepherd. (Sasha Talcott)

Mercer Management taps 25-year company veteran
Mercer Management Consulting Inc., a global strategy and operations consulting firm with its leadership in the John Hancock building in Boston, has named Robert C. Fox Jr., 51, managing director and chief operating officer. Fox will replace David J. Morrison, 58, who is scheduled to retire in August. Fox, a 25-year company veteran, currently heads the communications, information, and entertainment industries practice. (Robert Weisman)

Zoots to take over all five Sarni Cleaners locations
Zoots, the Newton dry cleaning chain, said it acquired Sarni Cleaners , a five-store operation with locations in Dover, Newton, Wellesley, and Weston. Zoots will also take over Sarni's six home delivery routes. Terms were not disclosed. Zoots now operates 78 stores in nine states. Zoots was founded in 1998 by Todd Krasnow and Tom Stemberg , creators of the Framingham office supply chain Staples Inc. (Jenn Abelson)

Fidelity UK fund manager to bet on falling stocks
Fidelity's Anthony Bolton, who runs Britain's biggest mutual fund, plans to bet some of his portfolio on falling stocks. Bolton, who is ceding half his $12 billion UK Special Situations fund to colleague Jorma Korhonen, said they intend to place some assets in investments that gain when stocks decline. The European Union in 2004 loosened rules to allow mutual fund managers, like hedge funds, to bet on falling stocks. (Bloomberg)

THE NATION
Institutional investors' confidence rises in May
Investor confidence rose in June, suggesting that stock prices will rebound after the recent sell-off in global markets, State Street Global Markets reported. The company's monthly index of sentiment among institutional investors rose to 91, from May's 86.3. State Street Global Markets is the research and trading arm of State Street Corp. Harvard University professor Ken Froot, a developer of the index, said the rebound indicates professional investors have adjusted to the idea that interest rates may go a little higher as central banks work to keep the lid on inflation. (Robert Gavin)

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