Early Briefing: Circuit City Still Seeking A Buyer

* Circuit City, the struggling Richmond electronics retailer, said it was still considering a sale of the company four months after the electronics retailer announced it was reviewing its options to improve shareholder value. The company remains committed to its turnaround plan but "the board continues to pursue strategic alternatives," chief executive Philip J. Schoonover said in a statement announcing the appointment of James A. Marcum as vice chairman. Marcum is one of three directors added to Circuit City's board in June to defuse a proxy battle.

Circuit City's failure to find a buyer so far follows its decision last spring to initially spurn Blockbuster's hostile bid. It later agreed to open its books to the video rental giant after billionaire investor Carl C. Icahn, then a major Blockbuster signaled he would buy the company, under certain conditions, if Blockbuster couldn't finance the deal.

* A group of Realtors in Prince George's County is criticizing developer Milton V. Peterson for hiring a realty company from Virginia to handle residential listings at National Harbor.

The Realtors say they, like most minority contractors from the county, are not reaping any financial benefits from the taxpayer-subsidized project.

But National Harbor officials say county brokers have profited from the project.

"We've reached out and worked with the broker community" in the county, said Andre Gingles, a National Harbor lawyer.

Gingles said that at least 44 transactions were made with Prince George's brokers, who made $650,000 in commissions. About 50 transactions were made through McWilliams Ballard, a real estate firm based in Alexandria. He said the firm was selected because of its national reputation and its work handling Prince George's condo sales. Gingles said the majority of the sales at National Harbor have been made without a broker because thousands of people registered to be contacted by the sales office.

By Dan Beyers  |  August 20, 2008; 8:09 AM ET
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