Friday, October 22, 2004

Business digest

P&G sells Sycamore Building for $9.6M

Procter & Gamble Co. has sold one of its downtown buildings for $9.6 million to a Melville, N.Y.-based investment firm.

The 126,000-square-foot building at 299 E. Sixth St. is occupied entirely by Hewlett Packard, which inked a deal in August 2003 to provide worldwide information technology support for P&G. HP signed a 10-year lease to occupy the office, known as the Sycamore Building.

New York-based Falcon Real Estate Investment handled the purchase on behalf of a client, AJ Ohio Owner Corp. Jim O'Connell and Tom Powers of Colliers Turley Martin Tucker represented P&G.

Wendy's changes ads away from tomatoes

DUBLIN, Ohio - Wendy's changed its national advertising campaign because of concerns there could be a national tomato shortage after hurricanes damaged Florida recently.

Florida agriculture officials have said the four hurricanes destroyed half of the state's tomato crop and delayed field preparations for the fall crop.

The fast-food restaurant chain had planned to publicize its Chicken Temptations sandwich line. All three sandwiches are topped with a tomato slice. Advertisements were scheduled to run from mid-October through mid-November.

But now Wendy's will promote its Kids Meal and Homestyle Chicken Strips.

Tomatoes could be in short supply within weeks.

Industry analysts said Wendy's could be affected more than most other fast-food chains because it uses so many fresh tomatoes.

GE partnership gets $100M engine order

New business carrier Primaris Airlines will buy at least $100 million in engines built by GE Transportation and Snecma Moteurs to power its fleet of Boeing 737-800 jetliners.

The Las Vegas-based carrier placed a firm order valued at $1.2 billion for 20 737s. The engines are valued at $100 million to CFM International, the GE-Snecma partnership that is the exclusive engine supplier for current 737s. Primaris, which plans to offer all-business-class service between New York and other major U.S. cities, also ordered 20 of Boeing's new 7E7 jets, powered by either GE's new GEnx engine or the Rolls Royce Trent 1000. Primaris is the first U.S. carrier to order the 7E7, designed as a replacement for the Boeing 767. The airline said it expects to make an engine choice in a month.

So far, GE has been shut out of engine awards for the 7E7, including the largest from All Nippon Airways for 50 jets. Primaris also took options for 25 additional 737s and 15 additional 7E7s.

Viacom, Disney pay $1.5M for violations

WASHINGTON - Viacom Inc. and the Walt Disney Co. agreed Thursday to pay a total of $1.5 million to settle government charges that the companies violated advertising limits for children's television programming.

The combined settlement with the Federal Communications Commission is the largest negotiated with the agency for such violations.

Viacom will pay $1 million as a result of ad programming that aired on Nickelodeon, a Viacom subsidiary. Disney will pay $500,000 because of commercials that aired over its ABC Family Channel.

FCC rules limit the commercials that can be aired in certain children's TV shows to 101/2 minutes per hour on weekends and 12 minutes per hour during weekdays. The time limits apply to over-the-air broadcasters and cable operators for programming originally produced and aired for an audience of 12 years and younger.

The rules also bar broadcasters from airing commercials that refer to or offer products that are related to the children's program.

eBay offers apology for payment glitch

SAN FRANCISCO - Executives at eBay Inc. apologized to frustrated customers who were frozen out of the online auction giant's payment transaction service, which experienced at least five days of intermittent outages earlier this month.

The mea culpas came as eBay reported sizzling net income, nearly doubling from the previous year, as revenue also soared.

Wire/staff reports

Closson's drops Hyde Park store plan
Delta's stock value is in the eye of the holder
Kroger deal down to wages
AIG just misses forecast; grand-jury probe looms
Discount airline ATA cuts more jobs
Local insurers feel effects of hurricanes on earnings
US Airways' pilots union OKs contract - and 18% pay cut
Google's 3Q profits more than double '03
Settled in jail, Martha pushes federal appeal
Qwest agrees to $250M civil fine
Leading indicators down; jobs improve
North of the border, cola drinkers crave the real thing
Local business summary
Business digest