Sunday, February 8, 2004

Queen City rewind


This week in business news in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

HEADLINERS OF THE WEEK

• Low-carb diet fans are getting their day in the sun, with burgers and even a "coney bowl" from Skyline Chili hitting local menus. Next to come: A low-carb pizza from LaRosa's. Sigh. Eating used to be so much fun.

• Workers at the ZF Batavia transmission plant hope they have more job stability now that Ford Motor Co. is planning to invest millions and retake full ownership from a German partner. These are the jobs that keep disappearing from the old industrial Midwest.

• Bill Erpenbeck wants to avoid jail time for his bank-fraud guilty plea, but prosecutors apparently want him sent to jail for 27 to 34 years. Expect the back-and-forth to continue until Erpenbeck is sentenced in late March.

• Chiquita Brands International Inc. has had its share of publicity challenges in recent years, but that will change this spring with publication of a new book, Smart Alliance. Environmental and workers' advocates wax poetic about Chiquita, which has "transformed a tarnished brand," according to the book's cover. Chiquita recently named a new CEO, Fernando Aguirre, turning yet another page.

SPEAKING OF A NEW IMAGE ...

• Delta Air Lines has made no secret of its financial challenges. The airline, which employs thousands of people at its Cincinnati hub, is asking for wage concessions from pilots, and delaying expansion of its new Song low-fare division. But last week it announced the hiring of Los Angeles fashion designer Richard Tyler to redesign uniforms of "public contact employees."

THE GRASS ROOTS

• Expect to hear the words "Level 1 enhancement" thrown around between the Cincinnati Bengals and Hamilton County after the Bengals said the team would replace the grass/sand/mud field at Paul Brown Stadium with an artificial surface. It's all lawyer talk, but here's the bottom line: The Bengals will handle the six-figure cost now, and the county will save a ton of money on maintenance. But terms in the stadium lease leave open the possibility that Hamilton County taxpayers eventually could end up paying the tab for the new turf.




BUSINESS HEADLINES
OTC drugs shift cost burden
Women giving as well as receiving

Could Rose cash in on Hall?

Queen City rewind

McHale's Catering boosts its profits by streamlining

Look Who's Talking
Kentucky farmers breeding goats now
Tristate business notebook
Business meetings