The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the venerable McGraw-Hill Companies, which owns my former employer Standard & Poor’s, is decamping from its longtime home on 49th St. to the S&P building at 55 Water St. in lower Manhattan. In the process, the company will jettison the McGraw-Hill name and be called some derivative of Standard & Poor’s.
What a turn of events. There was a time when McGraw-Hill flirted with the idea of changing the name of the S&P 500 to the McGraw-Hill 500. The McGraw-Hill name was spoken with the quiet reverence and obsequiousness normally reserved for royalty.
Whenever there was a debate about a course of action, the trump card was to be able to say, “That’s what McGraw-Hill wants.” Done. Over. End of discussion.
We had Flavia coffee machines at S&P. My favorite flavor was French Roast. One day, I walked into the pantry to see just three kinds of coffee, none of them French Roast. After a few days went by, it was clear that this was not a re-stocking issue and I called the office of the people who handled such things.
When I asked the person who answered why they stopped stocking French Roast in favor of Breakfast Blend, this is the answer I got:
“The Eastern Region of the McGraw-Hill Companies has determined that these are the most popular flavors. Good day.”
Just then, I felt a little like Joe in the opening scene of “Joe vs. the Volcano.” See the clip below.
I live on a little road called Pill Hill, so named because it was where all the physicians in Hillsdale, NY lived and practiced. Near the top of the hill is the house my wife and I bought and renovated, largely with the proceeds of McGraw stock I accumulated while at S&P. In honor of that, maybe we should change the road to McGraw Hill. It’s a name that should live somewhere.
Here’s the clip: https://youtu.be/ytS4yFM4Oxw
Categories: Random PR Thoughts
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