Sunday, February 1, 2004

Queen City Rewind


The week in business news in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

WINNERS

The Charmin brand team at P&G. This has never been one of Procter & Gamble's glamour brands. But with tonight's Super Bowl commercial, Charmin starts to get a lot more attention. It may only be toilet paper, but it's $1.5 billion worth of toilet paper a year.

Ashland Inc. shareholders. In a little more than a year, CEO Jim O'Brien has the stock up 70 percent and has "reinvented" Ashland around innovation and accountability.

LOSERS

Cincinnati Reds fans. The club still needs to raise $10 million to build a team Hall of Fame, part of the promise it made in the agreement to build the Great American Ball Park. Now, it appears the Hall of Fame probably won't be completed in 2004.

LaShawn Pettus-Brown. The Cincinnati man, architect of the failed Empire Theater redevelopment in Over-the-Rhine and pursued by the FBI, was busted at a Long Island Applebee's where he thought he was meeting a date.

QUOTES OF THE WEEK

Point/counterpoint on former home builder Bill Erpenbeck, who is facing a prison sentence for bank fraud:

"If there is any justice, Mr. Erpenbeck will spend a substantial time in prison and should still have to repay those of us that have been swindled."

- Former Boone County homeowner Laura Fairchild

"Primarily through the media, you and I have heard and read about a side of Bill Erpenbeck which depicts him as a villain. This character assassination does not paint an accurate picture of the man whom I have known for nearly 30 years."

- Cincinnati lawyer Bill Geisen

APPLAUSE, APPLAUSE

To the Cincinnati Center City Development Corp., for hiring Stephen Leeper as its president. The hiring of Leeper, with a demonstrated track record for making projects happen, comes on top of the naming of area managers for Fountain Square and Over-the-Rhine. So far, 3CDC's moves are encouraging.

THE CRYSTAL BALL

Doug and Linda Balogh will continue their Internet pioneering in Oxford through www.woxy.com. The couple sold the radio license for WOXY-FM to a Dallas company but retained their trademark and Web rights and are looking for investors. Web-savvy alternative rock listeners will be watching this bold small-business lab test.




BUSINESS HEADLINES
Leaders find way to win
Fredric's CEO has heart - and smarts
Realtor promotes downtown vision
Hotelier believes in being decisive
Look Who's Talking: James F. Orr
Queen City Rewind
See Super Bowl, check stocks
McDonald's gains at Burger King's expense
GM removes independence that made Saturn different
Business Agenda
Tristate business notebook
Jack Daniel's aims for cowboys
Bush to revive jobless accounts