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BRIEFLY

DIRECT MAILINGS TO MERGE: Cox Target Media of Largo will combine two of its direct mail pieces into a single weekly mailing beginning in May. Carol Wright, which carries national advertising to 22-million households, will become part of the Val-Pak mailing, which carries local advertising to 52-million households in the United States and Canada and has a Web site. Cox acquired Carol Wright in 1996. The company will furlough 270 employees at the Carol Wright printing plant in Elm City, N.C., until August while new printing equipment is installed.

XEROX FACES DISCRIMINATION

CHARGES: Eighteen former and current Xerox Corp. employees are filing charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, saying white managers discriminated against them based on race. The sales representatives, all black and Hispanic, described Xerox's sales organization as a "boys club" in which white managers routinely excluded them from opportunities to earn higher commissions and to advance within the company. A Xerox spokeswoman said the company was investigating the claims.

BORDERS' EARNINGS DROP: Book retailer Borders Group Inc. said its net income for the fourth quarter dropped 48 percent because of costs related to its Internet operations and subsidiary WaldenBooks. Borders reported earnings of $51.1-million, or 64 cents per share, for the quarter ended Jan. 28, compared with $98.5-million, or $1.23 per share, a year ago.

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