Sunday, February 29, 2004

Queen City Rewind


The week in business news in Greater Cincinnati

HEADLINERS

Cintas Corp. fought back against the labor union that has bedeviled it since last year, filing a defamation lawsuit against the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees. Cintas has accused the union of spreading statements linking it to a Haitian company described as a sweatshop, and of illegal use of trade secrets.

Janet Reid of Global Lead Management Consulting will get a lot of attention as the first woman and the first African-American in the power-symbol job of chairwoman of the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce. But perhaps just as important, she's one of very few small-business owners to hold the post.

A cold winter turning to a warm spring helped heat up fourth-quarter results at Federated Department Stores Inc., sending stock prices to 52-week highs. The parent of Macy's and Bloomingdale's is showing it can execute as seasons change.

U.S. Playing Card Co.'s sale to a New York company will mean changes at the world's biggest maker of playing cards, but they shouldn't include moving the company out of town. The investors who owned the company here apparently made that a condition of the deal, which is good news for the more than 500 employees at U.S. Playing Card's Norwood offices.

Regional transportation officials say they may have found a new source of funds to fix or replace the Brent Spence Bridge. If they're right, and the heavily traveled bridge has less than 15 years of structural integrity left, it's good to see them organizing to get the money - now.

THE NEXT STEP

Corporex Cos. Inc. is advertising for a chief financial officer for a publicly traded hotel entity. Corporex won't say it's in a quiet period for a public stock offering, but the company certainly is quiet. Either way, it's another step in a transformation from a construction company - with a bumpy ride in the early 1990s slump - to a real-estate investment business.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"It's hard to imagine we could increase revenue from classical music, other than price increases." This from Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra board chairman Dan Hoffheimer, previewing the orchestra's potential plan to increase ticket prices this year.

"People are coming to us for a number of reasons, not because we have a stripper on the air once every four months." This from Darryl Parks, director of AM operations for Clear Channel Cincinnati, after the company instituted a "zero-tolerance" policy against indecent material. The policy came after one of the company's stations fired a shock jock.




BUSINESS HEADLINES
Crossover threatens market for trucks
Precious metals find their groove
Look Who's Talking
Fed's Pianalto plays regional role
Queen City Rewind
Diversitech is diverse
Bush plan unfair to little guy
Anti-wrinkle strips get big lift from Hollywood, baby boomers
Business Agenda
Tristate business notes