Business

He's high on reading, receiving news alerts

Ed Fritsch, head of one of the Southeast's largest office landlords, recently finished reading a book with his son – a cherished bedtime ritual.

Fritsch, CEO of Highwoods Properties, and 12-year-old son J.T. read “Walk On: Life From the End of the Bench,” by Alan Williams, about lessons he learned playing for Wake Forest University's basketball team as a walk-on, not one of the top stars.

“You often put a lot of work into something,” said Fritsch, who is 49. “It doesn't necessarily mean you're going to get the headline.”

On his own, Fritsch read longtime TV reporter Bernard Goldberg's “Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News.”

“It should be required every election year,” he said.

A corporate strategic plan a couple years ago drew on Jim Collins' classic “Good to Great.”

“That book is a constant go-to for us,” he said.

For news, Fritsch says “I adore Wall Street Journal alerts on my Blackberry.” The Tar Heels and Carolina Hurricanes fan also gets ESPN score alerts. Daily, he reads Raleigh's News & Observer.

J.T. and daughter Sarah, 14, load Dad's iPod, usually with his requests, including James Taylor and Eric Clapton. Sarah slips in surprises like a bit from the Crazy Frog.

Fritsch, who joined a predecessor of the Raleigh-based company in 1982, had a career high note in May. The company's projects include Raleigh's tallest building, the 33-story RBC Plaza. He went up on a crane to place the crowning spire.

His favorite life advice is straightforward: There's no right way to do the wrong thing.

Stella M. Hopkins

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