Early Briefing: The Education of WaPo

*Chairman Donald Graham is rebranding The Washington Post Co. as an education and media company as its Kaplaneducation unit grows and accounts for more of the company's revenue. See story

*McLean start-up Mixx, which runs a news-sharing site, got an investment from the Los Angeles Times Media Group and will partner with the Times's Web site. See story. Here's a link to the Mixx site.

*The Prince William County supervisors have voted to let the 250-member Fireside Church hook into the county's sewer line. The church is in the Rural Crescent, an 80,000-acre swath that's suposed to be protected from development. See story

*General Dynamics said its board authorized the repurchase of as many as 10 million shares of the company's stock. The share repurchases, which could represent up to 2.5 percent of the company's outstanding shares, may be made at management's discretion, the Falls Church company said.
The company also elected J. Christopher Reyes, 53, to the board, increasing its directors to 13. Reyes is co-chairman and a founder of Reyes Holdings, a private food and beverage distributor in Illinois. See press release.

*The three-building Orbital Sciences campus in Sterling has been sold to the real estate arm of Prudential Financial. Boston Properties, a publicly traded real estate investment trust, sold the buildings to Prudential Insurance Real Estate for an undisclosed price. See press release.

*W.R. Grace named chief executive Fred Festa as chairman, effective Jan. 1. Festa is to replace Paul Norris, who has been non-executive chairman of the Columbia chemical maker since 2005.

*United Therapeutics said its OvaRex ovarian cancer treatment failed to meet the goals of two new clinical trials. The studies, done with its subsidiary Unither Pharmaceuticals, looked at 367 patients who'd had chemotherapy and found that the treatment didn't slow the relapse of the disease any better than a placebo, the Silver Spring company said.

*Dominion Resources, an integrated gas and electric company in Richmond, said it agreed to buy a power station development project in central Virginia from Tenaska, an independent power producer. Financial terms were not disclosed. The station will generate about 600 megawatts of electricity when completed, Dominion said. See release.

*Coventry Health Care, a medical benefits provider based in Bethesda, affirmed its profit and revenue forecast for 2008. Profit will be in the range of $4.42 to $4.58 a share, and revenue will be $12.4 billion to $13 billion, Coventry said. The company said its outlook calls for a gain of 100,000 members in Medicare-sponsored health plans for the elderly and disabled, which generate the most revenue per person. A Webcast for its investor day is here.

By Terri Rupar  |  December 6, 2007; 5:00 AM ET  | Category:  Morning Brief
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