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    Charter Communications Inc (CHTR) representatives have reached out to Time Warner Cable to begin discussions on a potential merger, a person familiar with the matter said on Friday. Earlier Comcast Corp (CMCSA) abandoned a $45 billion offer for Time Warner Cable after U.S. regulators raised concerns that the deal would give Comcast (CMCSA) an unfair advantage in the cable TV and Internet-based services market.

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    By Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg and Angela Chen. The deal addresses an activist investor's call for Houghton Mifflin to make better use of its balance sheet. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Co. (HMHC) has agreed to buy Scholastic Corp.' s educational technology business for $575 million in cash, addressing an activist investor's call last year for the publisher and education content company to make better use of its balance sheet.

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    Shares of LookSmart (LOOK) are surging higher by 28.75% to $2.06 on very heavy volume in mid-afternoon trading on Friday, following the digital advertising solutions company's announcement that it will merge with the privately held Pyxis Tankers Inc. and spin off its existing business into a new entity called LookSmart Group Inc. Pyxis Tankers is a newly formed maritime transportation company that foc...

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    Charter Communications Inc's (CHTR) advisers are in early talks to buy Time Warner Cable Inc (TWC), Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Earlier on Friday, Comcast Corp abandoned its $45 billion offer for Time Warner Cable after U.S. regulators raised concerns that the deal would give Comcast an unfair advantage in the cable TV and Internet-based services market.

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    For a very long time, Al Franken was a very lonely man on the subject of the Comcast-Time Warner Cable (TWX) merger. He was the only senator to immediately and staunchly oppose the planned merger between the two companies. Now Franken can take the congressional version of a victory lap.

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    Shares of ARRIS Group (ARRS) were falling 5.3% to $35.33 on heavy trading volume Friday, giving back some gains after the telecommunications equipment company announced it will acquire English set-top box maker Pace plc (PCMXF). About 4 million shares of ARRIS were traded by 1:15 p.m. Friday, above the company's average trading volume of about 1.9 million shares a day.

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    Looking for yield? What dividend investors are most focused on in earnings is growth. With that in mind, here are the three best S&P 500 dividend stocks to post results so far for the first quarter of 2015. 1. Hasbro   . Hasbro posted better-than-expected quarterly results on Monday.

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    Comcast (CMCSA) has officially called off its $45 billion proposed merger with Time Warner Cable."Today, we move on," said Comcast (CMCSA) chief executive Brian Roberts in a statement. "I couldn't be more proud of this company and I am truly excited for what's next."The mega-deal would've joined the two biggest cable companies in America, creating a massive player that regulators feared could exert undue leverage over not just others in the cable business, but over other industries in the media and entertainment space.The Federal Communications Commission effectively killed the deal this week when staffers at the agency recommended that the merger be designated for a "hearing" — a procedural move that would have led to years of fruitless legal wrangling, analysts said."Once you have even the implication of [a hearing], you have no choice but to walk away," said Richard Greenfield, a media analyst at BTIG.FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said Comcast's (CMCSA) decision Friday was in the best interest of consumers, who now benefit from numerous streaming video apps that would have been threatened by a larger Comcast."The proposed merger would have posed an unacceptable risk to competition and innovation, including to the ability of online video providers to reach and serve consumers," said Wheeler in a statement.Officials at the Justice Department also raised concerns this week about Comcast's (CMCSA) ability to inflict harm on other industries, signaling a shift in thinking by that agency on antitrust issues, according to some analysts.

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    Authentic Brands has acquired the intellectual property of the Jones New York apparel brand from private equity firm Sycamore Partners, it announced on Thursday. The buyer is a New York-based marketing and branding company that generates revenue by collecting royalties from licensing out the brands it owns.

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    It ought to be a good thing that human society is richer than ever before, so rich that the storage tanks in Cushing, Okla., are nearly overflowing with crude oil and some 110 million bales of cotton are sitting in warehouses around the world, as Josh Zumbrun and Carolyn Cui report in The Wall Street Journal.The problem is that policymakers don't quite know how to handle the surplus, which challenges some basic principles of conventional economics and is causing all kinds of mischief:The current state of plenty is confounding on many fronts. The surfeit of commodities depresses prices and stokes concerns of deflation. Global wealth—estimated by Credit Suisse (CS) at around $263 trillion, more than double the $117 trillion in 2000—represents a vast supply of savings and capital, helping to hold down interest rates, undermining the power of monetary policy. And the surplus of workers depresses wages. ...There is debate among leading economists about whether this condition of excess is temporary or likely to continue for a while, but in either case, we still face the question of what to do with what we have.One answer: Transfer some of that wealth to the people who need it now, and invest some of it in projects that will guarantee even better lives for our children and grandchildren. The current generation of owners is obviously not using what they have, so it would be selfish to do otherwise."There are a long list of things that need to be done," Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research wrote last year. "Think of all those things that we think that we can't do because they cost so much, like stopping global warming, educating our kids properly, or providing care for seniors. It turns out that we actually can do them because we have more supply than demand."What's in Wonkbook: 1) Drone killed American hostage 2) Opinions, including Krugman on Christie's Social Security plan 3) Comcast (CMCSA) will abandon its bid to merge with Time Warner Cable (TWX), and moreMap of the day: Journalism still looks like a dying industry, at least in most of the country outside of Washington, D.C. Jim Tankersley in The Washington Post.1. Top story: American hostage died in CIA drone strikeAn Italian hostage and two American militants were also killed. "A U.S. drone strike targeting a compound frequented by al Qaida leaders accidentally killed two hostages, including one American, near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in January, the White House announced Thursday. ... Two other Americans, both members of al Qaida, also had been killed in Pakistan in January. ... Neither man had been targeted in the raids that killed them, U.S. officials said." Anita Kumar and Tom Hussain for McClatchy (MNI). The hostages' deaths raise difficult, if familiar, questions about drones. "After weeks of aerial surveillance, CIA analysts reached two conclusions about a compound to be targeted in a January drone strike: that it was used by al-Qaeda militants and that, in the moment before it was hit, it had exactly four occupants. But as six bodies were removed from the rubble, the drone feeds that continued streaming back to CIA headquarters carried with them a new set of troubling questions... Current and former U.S. counterterrorism officials said that Thursday’s disclosures undercut years of U.S. claims about the accuracy of the drone program." Greg Miller in The Washington Post.The administration is now reviewing its protocols. "The administration’s review could revive discussion about Mr. Obama’s calls for control over the drone program to shift from the Central Intelligence Agency to the Pentagon. But Pentagon officials said there appeared to be no indication the outcome would have been different if the strike had been carried out by the military rather than the CIA. Both rely on similar intelligence. At the same time, it seems unlikely the review would lead to any significant changes to the drone program, which continues to receive strong bipartisan support in Washington from politicians and counterterrorism officials who see it as essential to battling militants in remote parts of the world." Carol E. Lee and Dion Nissenbaum in The Wall Street Journal.Why has President Obama chosen drones over more conventional weapons? "The drones' vaunted capability for pinpoint killing appealed to a president intrigued by a new technology and determined to try to keep the United States out of new quagmires. Aides said Mr. Obama liked the idea of picking off dangerous terrorists a few at a time, without endangering American lives or risking the yearslong bloodshed of conventional war. ... Every independent investigation of the strikes has found far more civilian casualties than administration officials admit. Gradually, it has become clear that when operators in Nevada fire missiles into remote tribal territories on the other side of the world, they often do not know who they are killing, but are making an imperfect best guess. ... In all, it was a devastating acknowledgment for Mr. Obama, who had hoped to pioneer a new, more discriminating kind of warfare. Whether the episode might bring a long-delayed public reckoning about targeted killings, long hidden by classification rules, remained uncertain." Scott Shane in The New York Times.STEPHEN L. CARTER: The White House must acknowledge that war is messy, and drones are, too. "Press secretary Josh Earnest struggled mightily to avoid the word 'war' to describe exactly what the U.S. is up to. ... The sort of war the administration is waging requires extraordinarily accurate intelligence. Earnest said in his briefing that a strike is not permitted unless there is 'a near certainty' that no civilians will be harmed. In wartime that standard would be impossible to meet. Claiming that a war isn't a war doesn't make meeting the standard any easier. I am not suggesting that calling the War on Terror a war would make civilian casualties any more justified. But it might force the administration to concede that we simply lack the intelligence resources to establish a guarantee against killing noncombatants. And once the administration admits the inevitability of significant numbers of civilian deaths, we might be able to engage in serious public conversation about the morality of the drone war." Bloomberg View.2. Top opinionsKRUGMAN: Christie's argument for raising the retirement age was debunked long ago. "His supposedly tough-minded policy idea was a classic zombie — an idea that should have died long ago in the face of evidence that undermines its basic premise, but somehow just keeps shambling along. But let us not be too harsh on Mr. Christie. A deep attachment to long-refuted ideas seems to be required of all prominent Republicans. ... This whole line of argument should have died in 2007, when the Social Security Administration issued a report showing that almost all the rise in life expectancy has taken place among the affluent. The bottom half of workers, who are precisely the Americans who rely on Social Security most, have seen their life expectancy at age 65 rise only a bit more than a year since the 1970s. Furthermore, while lawyers and politicians may consider working into their late 60s no hardship, things look somewhat different to ordinary workers, many of whom still have to perform manual labor." The New York Times.BERSHIDSKY: Clinton would have had no reason to oppose Uranium One's acquisition by a Russian firm. "The New York Times (NYT) is probably making a mountain out of a molehill by wondering whether Hillary Clinton helped Russia's state-owned nuclear energy company, Rosatom, buy U.S.-based uranium mining assets when she was secretary of state. Even so, her sneakiness in not disclosing donations from investors in the acquired company is disturbing. ... Uranium One had good Kazakh assets with a low production cost. In 2010, the year ARMZ acquired it on behalf of Rosatom, Kazakhstan provided all of the company's $326.9 million in revenue. Its U.S. plant at Willow Creek, Wyoming, didn't produce any uranium that year or in 2009. Although uranium is a strategic material, there was nothing strategic about that nonproducing facility from the U.S. government's point of view." Bloomberg View.STRASSEL: Her family's dubious relationship with the uranium investors is all too typical. "The Clintons flourish in that hazy interface between legal and lawless. Their dealings always stink, but are rarely blatantly or provably (or traceably) corrupt. Consider this week’s news. Yes, tons of donor cash flowed to the Clinton Foundation at the same time Mrs. Clinton's State Department was greenlighting deals helping those donors. But prove there was a quid pro quo! The Clintons dare you." The Wall Street Journal.3. In case you missed itComcast (CMCSA) will withdraw its bid to merge with Time Warner Cable (TWX), which regulators oppose. "Comcast (CMCSA) is planning to drop its $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable (TWX) after Washington regulators raised concerns that the combined giant would hold too much sway over the rapidly evolving television and entertainment industries, according to people familiar with the matter. ... The move by regulators to throw up roadblocks shows that the government has grown concerned about massive media conglomerates bigfooting rivals that are finding success by streaming content over the Internet, analysts said. And after years of approving a wave of mergers in the industry — including that of Comcast (CMCSA) and NBC Universal in 2011 — federal officials are taking a new tone, they said." Brian Fung and Cecilia Kang in The Washington Post.Democrats shouldn't blame free trade for the plight of the American worker.  "A new paper, from Ann Harrison of the University of Pennsylvania and colleagues finds that if there had been no imports, median real wages in America in 2008 would have been 3% higher than they actually were. For workers in menial tasks, they would have been 15% higher. ... Yet it is difficult to blame trade deals for this. America has no free-trade agreement with India, yet imports of goods from there have more than doubled over the past decade. Though many Democrats see NAFTA, a deal with Canada and Mexico that Bill Clinton signed in 1993, as a disaster for America’s workers, the consensus among economists is that it did not have much effect on the labour market." The Economist.Obama can't bring the parties together on climate change. "Global warming has become a deeply rooted partisan issue over the past decade. And the bitter irony is that Obama's climate speeches only ever seem to exacerbate that divide — not narrow it. ... This has long posed a Catch-22 for Obama. It's harder to tackle global warming unless both parties can agree it's a problem that needs addressing. But anything the president says on the topic only ever seems to make that partisan split worse, not better. That's not because Obama is somehow uniquely unpersuasive. It's a persistent feature of modern American politics." Brad Plumer at Vox.The administration will allow prior funding deals with states that did not expand Medicaid to lapse. "Because of special arrangements that predate Obamacare, four states that haven't expanded Medicaid have been getting billions each year in extra funding to pay for the care of people who are uninsured. That's about to change. On April 14, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which manages federal funding to the states for health programs, alerted Florida officials that CMS plans to let the $1.3 billion the state gets annually to help hospitals cover the cost of treating uninsured patients lapse at the end of June. ... Texas' special Medicaid funding, which accounts for about half of the state’s $3.4 billion pool to repay hospitals for treating uninsured patients, expires in September 2016." John Tozzi and Margaret Newkirk for Bloomberg.EVENT FRIDAY: Washington Post Live presents “Executive Actions — Reimagining Industries in a Changing Economy,” April 24 at George Washington University. Register to attend an intimate conversation with five CEOs, including MGM Resorts’ James Murren; Richard Plepler of Home Box Office, Inc.; Desiree Rogers of Johnson Publishing Company; Eric Spiegel of Siemens USA and John Viehmeyer of KPMG, Global and USA.




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    It ought to be a good thing that human society is richer than ever before, so rich that the storage tanks in Cushing, Okla., are nearly overflowing with crude oil and some 110 million bales of cotton are sitting in warehouses around the world, as Josh Zumbrun and Carolyn Cui report in The Wall Street Journal.The problem is that policymakers don't quite know how to handle the surplus, which challenges some basic principles of conventional economics and is causing all kinds of mischief:The current state of plenty is confounding on many fronts. The surfeit of commodities depresses prices and stokes concerns of deflation. Global wealth—estimated by Credit Suisse (CS) at around $263 trillion, more than double the $117 trillion in 2000—represents a vast supply of savings and capital, helping to hold down interest rates, undermining the power of monetary policy. And the surplus of workers depresses wages. ...There is debate among leading economists about whether this condition of excess is temporary or likely to continue for a while, but in either case, we still face the question of what to do with what we have.One answer: Transfer some of that wealth to the people who need it now, and invest some of it in projects that will guarantee even better lives for our children and grandchildren. The current generation of owners is obviously not using what they have, so it would be selfish to do otherwise."There are a long list of things that need to be done," Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research wrote last year. "Think of all those things that we think that we can't do because they cost so much, like stopping global warming, educating our kids properly, or providing care for seniors. It turns out that we actually can do them because we have more supply than demand."What's in Wonkbook: 1) Drone killed American hostage 2) Opinions, including Krugman on Christie's Social Security plan 3) Comcast (CMCSA) will abandon its bid to merge with Time Warner Cable (TWX), and moreMap of the day: Journalism still looks like a dying industry, at least in most of the country outside of Washington, D.C. Jim Tankersley in The Washington Post.1. Top story: American hostage died in CIA drone strikeAn Italian hostage and two American militants were also killed. "A U.S. drone strike targeting a compound frequented by al Qaida leaders accidentally killed two hostages, including one American, near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in January, the White House announced Thursday. ... Two other Americans, both members of al Qaida, also had been killed in Pakistan in January. ... Neither man had been targeted in the raids that killed them, U.S. officials said." Anita Kumar and Tom Hussain for McClatchy (MNI). The hostages' deaths raise difficult, if familiar, questions about drones. "After weeks of aerial surveillance, CIA analysts reached two conclusions about a compound to be targeted in a January drone strike: that it was used by al-Qaeda militants and that, in the moment before it was hit, it had exactly four occupants. But as six bodies were removed from the rubble, the drone feeds that continued streaming back to CIA headquarters carried with them a new set of troubling questions... Current and former U.S. counterterrorism officials said that Thursday’s disclosures undercut years of U.S. claims about the accuracy of the drone program." Greg Miller in The Washington Post.The administration is now reviewing its protocols. "The administration’s review could revive discussion about Mr. Obama’s calls for control over the drone program to shift from the Central Intelligence Agency to the Pentagon. But Pentagon officials said there appeared to be no indication the outcome would have been different if the strike had been carried out by the military rather than the CIA. Both rely on similar intelligence. At the same time, it seems unlikely the review would lead to any significant changes to the drone program, which continues to receive strong bipartisan support in Washington from politicians and counterterrorism officials who see it as essential to battling militants in remote parts of the world." Carol E. Lee and Dion Nissenbaum in The Wall Street Journal.Why has President Obama chosen drones over more conventional weapons? "The drones' vaunted capability for pinpoint killing appealed to a president intrigued by a new technology and determined to try to keep the United States out of new quagmires. Aides said Mr. Obama liked the idea of picking off dangerous terrorists a few at a time, without endangering American lives or risking the yearslong bloodshed of conventional war. ... Every independent investigation of the strikes has found far more civilian casualties than administration officials admit. Gradually, it has become clear that when operators in Nevada fire missiles into remote tribal territories on the other side of the world, they often do not know who they are killing, but are making an imperfect best guess. ... In all, it was a devastating acknowledgment for Mr. Obama, who had hoped to pioneer a new, more discriminating kind of warfare. Whether the episode might bring a long-delayed public reckoning about targeted killings, long hidden by classification rules, remained uncertain." Scott Shane in The New York Times.STEPHEN L. CARTER: The White House must acknowledge that war is messy, and drones are, too. "Press secretary Josh Earnest struggled mightily to avoid the word 'war' to describe exactly what the U.S. is up to. ... The sort of war the administration is waging requires extraordinarily accurate intelligence. Earnest said in his briefing that a strike is not permitted unless there is 'a near certainty' that no civilians will be harmed. In wartime that standard would be impossible to meet. Claiming that a war isn't a war doesn't make meeting the standard any easier. I am not suggesting that calling the War on Terror a war would make civilian casualties any more justified. But it might force the administration to concede that we simply lack the intelligence resources to establish a guarantee against killing noncombatants. And once the administration admits the inevitability of significant numbers of civilian deaths, we might be able to engage in serious public conversation about the morality of the drone war." Bloomberg View.2. Top opinionsKRUGMAN: Christie's argument for raising the retirement age was debunked long ago. "His supposedly tough-minded policy idea was a classic zombie — an idea that should have died long ago in the face of evidence that undermines its basic premise, but somehow just keeps shambling along. But let us not be too harsh on Mr. Christie. A deep attachment to long-refuted ideas seems to be required of all prominent Republicans. ... This whole line of argument should have died in 2007, when the Social Security Administration issued a report showing that almost all the rise in life expectancy has taken place among the affluent. The bottom half of workers, who are precisely the Americans who rely on Social Security most, have seen their life expectancy at age 65 rise only a bit more than a year since the 1970s. Furthermore, while lawyers and politicians may consider working into their late 60s no hardship, things look somewhat different to ordinary workers, many of whom still have to perform manual labor." The New York Times.BERSHIDSKY: Clinton would have had no reason to oppose Uranium One's acquisition by a Russian firm. "The New York Times (NYT) is probably making a mountain out of a molehill by wondering whether Hillary Clinton helped Russia's state-owned nuclear energy company, Rosatom, buy U.S.-based uranium mining assets when she was secretary of state. Even so, her sneakiness in not disclosing donations from investors in the acquired company is disturbing. ... Uranium One had good Kazakh assets with a low production cost. In 2010, the year ARMZ acquired it on behalf of Rosatom, Kazakhstan provided all of the company's $326.9 million in revenue. Its U.S. plant at Willow Creek, Wyoming, didn't produce any uranium that year or in 2009. Although uranium is a strategic material, there was nothing strategic about that nonproducing facility from the U.S. government's point of view." Bloomberg View.STRASSEL: Her family's dubious relationship with the uranium investors is all too typical. "The Clintons flourish in that hazy interface between legal and lawless. Their dealings always stink, but are rarely blatantly or provably (or traceably) corrupt. Consider this week’s news. Yes, tons of donor cash flowed to the Clinton Foundation at the same time Mrs. Clinton's State Department was greenlighting deals helping those donors. But prove there was a quid pro quo! The Clintons dare you." The Wall Street Journal.3. In case you missed itComcast (CMCSA) will withdraw its bid to merge with Time Warner Cable (TWX), which regulators oppose. "Comcast (CMCSA) is planning to drop its $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable (TWX) after Washington regulators raised concerns that the combined giant would hold too much sway over the rapidly evolving television and entertainment industries, according to people familiar with the matter. ... The move by regulators to throw up roadblocks shows that the government has grown concerned about massive media conglomerates bigfooting rivals that are finding success by streaming content over the Internet, analysts said. And after years of approving a wave of mergers in the industry — including that of Comcast (CMCSA) and NBC Universal in 2011 — federal officials are taking a new tone, they said." Brian Fung and Cecilia Kang in The Washington Post.Democrats shouldn't blame free trade for the plight of the American worker.  "A new paper, from Ann Harrison of the University of Pennsylvania and colleagues finds that if there had been no imports, median real wages in America in 2008 would have been 3% higher than they actually were. For workers in menial tasks, they would have been 15% higher. ... Yet it is difficult to blame trade deals for this. America has no free-trade agreement with India, yet imports of goods from there have more than doubled over the past decade. Though many Democrats see NAFTA, a deal with Canada and Mexico that Bill Clinton signed in 1993, as a disaster for America’s workers, the consensus among economists is that it did not have much effect on the labour market." The Economist.Obama can't bring the parties together on climate change. "Global warming has become a deeply rooted partisan issue over the past decade. And the bitter irony is that Obama's climate speeches only ever seem to exacerbate that divide — not narrow it. ... This has long posed a Catch-22 for Obama. It's harder to tackle global warming unless both parties can agree it's a problem that needs addressing. But anything the president says on the topic only ever seems to make that partisan split worse, not better. That's not because Obama is somehow uniquely unpersuasive. It's a persistent feature of modern American politics." Brad Plumer at Vox.The administration will allow prior funding deals with states that did not expand Medicaid to lapse. "Because of special arrangements that predate Obamacare, four states that haven't expanded Medicaid have been getting billions each year in extra funding to pay for the care of people who are uninsured. That's about to change. On April 14, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which manages federal funding to the states for health programs, alerted Florida officials that CMS plans to let the $1.3 billion the state gets annually to help hospitals cover the cost of treating uninsured patients lapse at the end of June. ... Texas' special Medicaid funding, which accounts for about half of the state’s $3.4 billion pool to repay hospitals for treating uninsured patients, expires in September 2016." John Tozzi and Margaret Newkirk for Bloomberg.EVENT FRIDAY: Washington Post Live presents “Executive Actions — Reimagining Industries in a Changing Economy,” April 24 at George Washington University. Register to attend an intimate conversation with five CEOs, including MGM Resorts’ James Murren; Richard Plepler of Home Box Office, Inc.; Desiree Rogers of Johnson Publishing Company; Eric Spiegel of Siemens USA and John Viehmeyer of KPMG, Global and USA.




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    Mexico's America Movil said on Friday that it was still reviewing alternatives to a sale of assets in Mexico in the wake of AT&T's entry into the market, adding that it did not want to sell infrastructure. The company first said in July that it would sell a chunk of assets in its home market to cut its market share and avoid tough new measures imposed on it under new regulation.

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    Washington-area business leaders and government officials have been working to turn the nation’s capital into one of the premier destinations for innovative entrepreneurs. With news last week that two of the region’s top tech hubs are merging, creating a more connected and collaborative environment for D.C. area start-ups, that effort seems to be accelerating.Not far north, something similar — albeit on a slightly smaller scale and with far less fanfare — appears to be taking place in Baltimore.“Over the past four or five years, the city has seen this constant stream of momentum behind start-ups and innovation,” said Jennifer Meyer, who runs one of the premier business incubators in Baltimore. “There’s this sense of community among entrepreneurs that we didn’t see before.”Meyer’s incubator, called Betamore, is spearheading the city’s effort to sustain that momentum and cultivate that innovation-minded community. Started a little more than two years ago with about 8,000 square feet of space in the Federal Hill neighborhood, the operation was first set up as a for-profit venture, with a pay-for-deskspace model for young tech firms, coupled with highly technical education offerings, like coding and software classes.Over the past year, the structure and mission of the organization has evolved, starting with a move to a nonprofit model and continuing late last year with the group absorbing the Greater Baltimore Technology Council, a membership organization that had run into financial troubles. This week, the Betamore team offered a glimpse into where their retooled organization is heading and how they plan to turn Baltimore into a thriving start-up hub.First, the organization is rolling out a new business model by selling memberships to entrepreneurs throughout the Baltimore region (taking a page out of the tech council’s book), including those with companies that are not housed in the Federal Hill space. Members will receive access to events and discounts on classes held at Betamore, along with access to mentor networks and other resources. The group has also built a new Web portal where its members can interact, collaborate, plan events and share news.While the move clearly provides new streams of revenue for the group — which for the first time has started a waiting list for its incubator because the space has reached capacity — Meyer says it’s also about bringing more of the region’s tech community together and fostering collaboration and partnerships, even if there’s not enough physical space for everyone to work side-by-side.“We have basically taken the foundation we had in place at Betamore and paired that with some of the member programs that worked well at the Greater Baltimore Technology Council,” Meyer said.In addition, Betamore is expanding its educational platform to include business courses (with classes in subjects such as marketing, sales and financing) as well as classes for entrepreneurs in arts and design fields. The programs will now feature 12-month curriculum that entrepreneurs can move through with the help of an assigned mentor.Some of those mentors will come from a new advisory board the group has formed, with a roster including venture capitalists, business executives and entrepreneurs from across the state, all of whom will be available to work one-on-one with member companies.“It all comes back to breaking down the silos and bringing the community together, be it entrepreneurs, investors, mentors — everybody,” Greg Cangialosi, one of the founders of Betamore (he now sits on its board), said in an interview. He noted that Maryland has dozens of business incubators and technology hubs, but it lacks a single organization to link them together.In that sense, it’s difficult not to draw striking comparisons between Betamore’s efforts in Baltimore and what 1776 has been trying to do in Washington. Both incubators opened in the same month (January 2013), and while the latter has taken steps to cultivate a more global tech network, both 1776 and Betamore have led an effort to create a dense, connected and collaborative start-up community in their respective back yards.Right from the start, 1776 has employed a similar membership model to the one now being adopted by Betamore, which founders Donna Harris and Evan Burfield have said allows them to bring in more entrepreneurs from across the region and cultivate a larger network of potential business partners, counselors and investors for their member start-ups.And much like Betamore, 1776 has put plenty of emphasis on education, offering an array of technical and entrepreneurship training courses in partnership with a group called General Assembly.One area where 1776 has separated itself from Betamore has been the group’s rate of regional expansion. With partnerships already inked with incubators in Montgomery County, Md., 1776 recently gobbled up Disruption Corp. in Crystal City, giving it control of one of the largest start-up incubators in Northern Virginia.In a blog post announcing the merger, Harris explained that the move was part of her team’s mission to “bring together all the tremendous assets this region has to offer.” She later added that 1776 has always focused on “creating new opportunities for regional innovation and unfettered access to the networks that exist across regional borders.”It’s that type of regional network that Meyer and Cangialosi are trying to stitch together in Baltimore — one they believe will help the city build a reputation as a start-up town.“When you have people with different experiences and different networks start to engage with these early-stage companies, that’s when those beautiful collisions and synergies start happening,” Meyer said. With Betamore, she added that she hopes to create “a place where you can find out what’s going on in Baltimore in terms of technology and innovation, giving entrepreneurs an easy way to plug into the community and more quickly build their companies.”Follow J.D. Harrison and On Small Business on Twitter.