SECURING ANTWERP: Antwerp, Belgium, has been added to the list of foreign ports to allow U.S.-bound cargo to be prescreened, as part of the U.S. strategy to protect shipments from being used to smuggle terrorist weapons, the U.S. Customs Service announced Wednesday. On Tuesday, as reported, the agency said Rotterdam, Netherlands, would join Canadian ports and border crossings and the port of Singapore in signing up for the program that will put U.S. Customs officials at foreign ports to work alongside foreign inspectors. Antwerp, Singapore and Rotterdam are among 20 foreign “mega” seaports through which 68 percent of the U.S.-bound cargo passes. It ranks 11th in terms of cargo volume shipped to the U.S.
STAFFING UP: Teen Vogue, which will begin bimonthly publication starting with the February-March 2003 issue, announced several new hires on Wednesday. Lina Kutsovskaya, currently an art director at Nylon, will be the magazine’s art director. Gloria Baume will continue as fashion market director, a post she held during the four test issues of Teen Vogue. Sarah Meikle, who joined Teen Vogue for its last test issue, will take over as senior fashion editor. Nicole Vecchiarelli, a former articles editor at Premiere, will be the magazine’s senior editor, entertainment. Suzanne D’Amato, a fashion writer at Vogue, joins the staff as a fashion news editor. The new staffers will begin after Labor Day, except for Kutsovskaya, who begins July 8. All will report to Amy Astley, the magazine’s editor in chief. Gina Sanders is the magazine’s publisher.
RECEIVABLES SALE: In a deal that could save more than 800 Fingerhut employees their jobs, Federated Department Stores Inc. has agreed to sell about $1.2 billion of Fingerhut receivables to CompuCredit Corp., an Atlanta-based credit card company. The transaction, expected to be completed within the next month, also includes the assumption of $450 million in receivables-backed debt issued by Fingerhut Master Trust. CompuCredit intends to retain Fingerhut employees currently servicing the receivables portfolios at its St. Cloud and Monticello, Minn., facilities. FAC Acquisitions, owned by Tom Petters and former Fingerhut chief executive Ted Deikel, earlier reached a definitive agreement to acquire the Fingerhut name, headquarters and distribution center, among other assets.”