Ford Endeavour facelift is all set to be introduced in India on February 22. Ahead of the launch, the company has officially revealed the 2019 version of the premium SUV. It will take on the likes of Toyota Fortuner and Mahindra Alturas G4.There were already rumours that the front portion of the 2019 Endeavour will get some tweaks and these have been justified by the minor cosmetic changes in the facelift in the form of a refurbished grille and bumper. Instead of the expected 20-inch alloy wheels, the SUV will sport 18-inch ones. On the inside, the company has given the vehicle more luxurious feel with fresh upholstery. It also gets keyless entry and a smart boot opening system.Presently, Ford Endeavour gets two diesel powertrain options — a 2.2-litre TDCi engine churning out 160 PS of power and 385 Nm of torque and a 3.2-litre TDCi mill good for 200 PS of power and 470 Nm of torque. Both the motors are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.The outgoing Endeavour is available in three variants — 2.2-litre 4X2 AT Trend, 2.2-litre 4X2 AT Titanium and 3.2-litre 4X4 AT Titanium. While Trend is priced at Rs 26.82 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), 4X2 Titanium comes in at Rs 31.07 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The top-end 4X4 Titanium costs Rs 33.31 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).The 2019 Endeavour will not have the Trend variant. It will only come in two trims — Titanium and Titanium+. The facelift will be powered by the same engines that are offered on the outgoing variant. One major update in the facelift is that the 2.2-litre variant will now be available with a manual gearbox, which was earlier discontinued in this model.advertisementFord has not revealed the prices of the 2019 Endeavour. While Fortuner is priced between Rs 27.58 lakh and Rs 33.28 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), Alturas G4 costs Rs 26.95 lakh and Rs 29.95 lakh (ex-showroom, pan-India). Keeping the prices of these two SUVs in mind, one can imagine that Endeavour facelift will be offered at a very competitive cost.ALSO READ | Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza: Five reasons why the compact SUV is popular among the buyersALSO READ | Skoda offers six-year warranty under Shield Plus initiative, applicable on Octavia and other modelsALSO READ | Hero MotoCorp installs combined braking system in Splendor+ and HF Deluxe i3S
This article has been updated to reflect a response from Ebony.Faced with the threat of a second lawsuit in 12 months, Ebony has completed the third of four quarterly payments owed to freelance writers it had stiffed on a collective $78,000 of work going back to 2015—after initially failing to meet a court-ordered Sept. 28 deadline.The installment of $29,850—which covers 14 of the 45 total writers under the terms of a February settlement between Ebony owner Clear View Group and the National Writers Union—comes after two earlier installments of $14,385 and $15,955, both of which were paid on time. A final $18,328 payment is due Dec. 28 to 16 writers.After the Sept. 28 deadline came and went, the writers union threatened further legal action to compel payment from CVG, which is bound by the agreement—reached in the circuit court of Cook County, Ill.—to cover the payments should Ebony find itself unable to make them.“CVG was about three weeks late and wasn’t returning calls or emails,” National Writers Union president Larry Goldbetter tells Folio:. “After the [court] filing, the checks went out.”Michael Gibson, the chairman of CVG—a Texas-based private equity firm which bought Ebony in 2016—declined to share any reasons for the delay, but confirmed that the third set of checks have been mailed and said the fourth and final payment will be made in December. A spokeswoman for Ebony blamed “legacy business issues” for the outstanding payments. Michael GibsonAs writers awaiting overdue checks aired grievances on social media in recent weeks, Ebony promoted a star-studded gala celebrating its annual Power 100 list set for Friday evening at the Beverly Hilton—the site of the Golden Globe Awards since 1961—hosted by Chris Tucker.“I got my check at the end of October and was shocked to receive it, to be honest,” says Adrienne Gibbs, who served as managing editor of Ebony‘s January 2017 issue among other contributions, adding that another writer in that issue, Rashod Ollison, passed away last month from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma before ever receiving his $900 check.“I talked with [Rashod’s] sister and made sure CVG—via the union’s lawyers—had his sister’s address,” Gibbs adds. “Rashod’s check was ‘in the mail’ for weeks even as he died and was raising money for medical bills.”The controversy ramped up in April of last year, when freelancer Jagger Blaec wrote an article on The Establishment asking, “Why Isn’t Ebony Paying Its Black Writers?” On Twitter, aggrieved freelancers coalesced around the hashtag #EbonyOwes, eliciting initial pushback from both Ebony and CVG vice-chairman Willard Jackson, who accused Blaec of writing an “attack article” and “wanting to tear down black businesses.”“Yeah well, your little Twitter rant isn’t going to change the way the media business is run,” read a deleted Tweet from the official Ebony account. “Y’all acting like it’s 100s of people. It’s 10.” (Turns out it’s at least 45.)Adrienne GibbsWeeks later, however, CVG issued a statement to NBC, asserting that it would pay all debts by early July 2017. When that deadline passed, the National Writers Union became involved, led by Goldbetter and Gibbs.Following the completion of the third quarter payment, the oldest outstanding invoice is now from this past March, and the most any individual writer is owed is $2,650.“In the time since we have started this case, I’ve heard from 10 additional writers who wanted to join the suit,” says Gibbs. “The whole situation is just sad. Every time a new story surfaces, even more people come out of the woodwork.”Gibson disputed this article shortly after it was posted, writing via email, “This story as we see it is completely inaccurate.” Asked which aspects, specifically, are inaccurate, Gibson referred Folio: to Katrina Witherspoon, SVP of marketing for Ebony, who gave the following statement:While unfortunately EBONY was contacted to provide limited response to only one question from Folio pertaining to this particular matter, Michael Gibson made it clear the company has satisfied all outstanding payments with the National Writers Union.As we have stated previously, all prior issues related to payment obligations to former freelance writers were the result of legacy business issues that predated the new business model put in place by Ebony’s current management. Furthermore, as it relates specifically to freelance writers, Ebony has instituted a policy that now provides increased transparency regarding payment terms and conditions for freelance writers we engage.The brand will continue to endure and evolve with a digital first strategy, ensuring its persistence and relevance for decades to come.
Facebook has acquired social startup Branch Media and hired its 9-person team to head up its new Facebook Conversations group in New York.In an announcement on Facebook this morning, Branch CEO and co-founder Josh Miller explained the new arm of the company was created “with the goal of helping people connect with others around their interests. Their pitch to us was: ‘Build Branch at Facebook scale!'” According to a report from The Verge, Branch was purchased for about $15 million.Related: Pinterest Buys Startup Specializing in Visual Search TechnologyBranch is behind several messaging and discussion tools, including the eponymous Branch (initially called Roundtable), a platform for invitation-only, in-depth conversations. The company also created Potluck, a “bite-sized” link-sharing service for the iPhone, and most recently, PhoneTag Messenger, described as a “free photo walkie-talkie” that has users send a photo with an accompanying voice recording.Miller wrote in his announcement that while the future Facebook products will be “reminiscent of Branch and Potluck,” the existing Branch tools will continue to be their own entities. He also thanked the company’s investors, including Buzzfeed’s Jonah Peretti and Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone and mentor Jason Goldman, who supported Branch through their incubator, the Obvious Corporation.Related: Is Snapchat’s Co-Founder Completely Crazy for Turning Down $3 Billion From Facebook?Along with co-founders Hursh Agrawal and Cemre Güngör, Miller clearly aims to influence how people engage with each other online, and has been critical and vocal about Facebook’s scope and impact in the past.In a Medium post from May titled “The Next Facebook,” Miller wrote, “My hunch is that for a company to become The Next Facebook, it will need to enable a novel network of people. That’s not to say it won’t start with your friends — Twitter didn’t have Oprah on Day One — but ultimately its network will need to look different than your Address Book. Otherwise, it’ll just be another watering hole.” With that attitude in mind, it will be interesting to see how the Conversations group evolves.Related: Google Snaps Up Company Whose Robots Remind People of ‘Terminator’ Movies This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Enroll Now for Free January 13, 2014 2 min read Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now