Early Briefing 10.16.07

Here's a look at some of the local business stories in today's paper:

* Staff writer Frank Ahrens takes a look at Discovery's growing digital presence following its $250 million deal to buy HowStuffWorks. And HowStuffWorks founder Marshall Brain explains how to create the perfectly integrated media company.

* Freddie Mac CEO Richard Syron takes the stand in the first day of an administrative trial involving his predecessor, Leland Brendsel, who has been accused by the government of overseeing elaborate accounting manipulations. Syron's testimony gave both the government and Brendsel ammunition in the case. See story.

* The Air Force's second-highest-ranking procurement official was found dead Sunday night at his Northern Virginia home in an apparent suicide. Charles D. Riechers, 47, principal deputy assistant secretary for acquisitions, had been questioned about a no-work procurement deal following a story in the Post.

* Plenty of folks in the District say they would be happy to see meters come to downtown taxis. See story.

* The ex-lawyer for Charles E. Johnson Jr. testifies against the former PurchasePro chief executive in the government's case accusing Johnson of conspiracy and fraud in relation to a series of questionable advertising deals with AOL. See story.

By Dan Beyers  |  October 16, 2007; 6:39 AM ET
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