Business Week in Review

Staff reports

Monitor's Internet plan closely watched

The eyes of the media industry will be closely monitoring the Christian Science Monitor now that the Boston newspaper has decided to stop publishing a daily paper and convert much of its work to Internet-only publication along with a weekly magazine.

With its national distribution system and nonprofit ownership, the Monitor has some unusual circumstances. But it also is dealing with the same defection of readers to the Internet that most papers have seen during the past few years.

Median price of homes lowest since 2003

The latest statistics about the Massachusetts housing market offer more bad news along with some good news. The bad news includes the nearly 16 percent decline in the state's median price that The Warren Group reported for September from the same time a year ago.

That pushed the median price below $300,000 for the first time since 2003. But the steep drop in prices appears to be drawing more buyers to the market, as the volume of home sales rose for the first time in 11 months, increasing by 8.5 percent from September 2007.

Entergy puts hold on nuclear spin-off plan

The financial industry's turmoil appears to be messing up another major corporate deal as Entergy Corp. confirmed that it may put its spin-off of five nuclear power plants, including the Pilgrim plant in Plymouth, on hold indefinitely. Entergy had originally planned to spin the plants off into a new company by the end of September, but then delayed the deadline until the end of the year as it addressed regulators' concerns.

FAO Schwarz returns, as part of Macy's

FAO Schwarz has brought its iconic brand back to Massachusetts by opening shops within 11 Macy's department stores in the state, along with more than 250 other Macy's stores across the country. Most of the toy shops cover 300 square feet, although a few, including the one in the Downtown Crossing Macy's, take up 1,000 square feet.

FAO Schwarz closed its only standalone shop in Massachusetts, on Boylston Street in the Back Bay, several years ago and only has two freestanding stores today.

The Patriot Ledger