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) --

Research in Motion


is misshapen, compromised and malfunctioning, but outside of that, how do I like it?

Not so much.

Here's the deal: RIM has a serious problem with CEO Thorsten Heins. I realize he's a rookie and taking him to task appears a bit of a pile-on after the company reported first-quarter earnings that will go down in the annals of miserable quarters.

But there's more and it's important. RIM delayed its BlackBerry launch -- their last, best hope to compete against


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-- due to what they claimed were software code challenges. Problem is: until yesterday, Heins has given every recent indication that everything was fine with the new BlackBerry line. This means he is either delusional or lying.

Yet in an article called "RIM delays new BlackBerry launch; sales crumble," Reuters used the image of a puppy dying, but mentioned nothing about how management was apparently unaware of -- or, worse, unwilling to reveal -- trouble.

CNNMoney spoke about the earnings and BlackBerry delay, adding "the bad news isn't entirely surprising." The BlackBerry news was surprising, though. While Heins warned of an operating loss, he gave every indication it was full steam ahead for the BlackBerry.

The New York Times filled you in on that reality: "At several recent public events, Thorsten Heins, who became RIM's chief executive in January, said that the development of the new phones was on schedule and they would be available for the important holiday shopping season."

Now? Not so much. And that's a deal worth mentioning.

At the time of publication, Fuchs had no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this column.

Marek Fuchs was a stockbroker for Shearson Lehman Brothers and a money manager before becoming a journalist who wrote The New York Times' "County Lines" column for six years. He also did back-up beat coverage of The New York Knicks for the paper's Sports section for two seasons and covered other professional and collegiate sports. He has contributed frequently to many of the Times' other sections, including National, Metro, Escapes, Style, Real Estate, Arts & Leisure, Travel, Money & Business, Circuits and the Op-Ed Page.

For his "Business Press Maven" column on how business and finance are covered by the media, Fuchs was named best business journalist critic in the nation by the Talking Biz website at The University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Fuchs is a frequent speaker on the business media, in venues ranging from National Public Radio to the annual conference of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

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