The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on October 4, 1991 · Page 24
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October 4, 1991

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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 24

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Cincinnati, Ohio
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Friday, October 4, 1991
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B-6 FRIDAY, OCTOBER 4, 1 991 THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER BUSINESS NEWS: 369-1962 o) n i NASDAQ selectB-9 NYSE stocksB-7 Amex stocksB-8 Mutual fundsB-8 O Portfolio Local economists not far off mark 2 radio stations sold. Great American sells to ex-Jacor chief 14 3100 3050 3000 2950 2900 When Wood ran Jacor, his WEBN-FM competed with Great American's WKRQ-FM, both top-rated Cincinnati stations. Wood is this year, wondering what will be the engine of growth in 1992. In last year's local chamber forecast, the main economic influence was expected to be higher oil prices due to the Persian Gulf crisis. Inflation, the chamber panel said last year, would be 7 to 10 this year. It's currently running around 4.2. Projected drops in housing and nonresidential construction locally turned out to be almost on the mark. Job growth came in at the low end of the chamber's projected 1.5 to 2.5 range. Retail sales were up' 8 through July, ahead of the 4 to 7 projected. But manufacturing has fallen farther than expected. That sector has lost 3,900 jobs in a year as of August; the chamber's forecast projected the loss at no more than 2,500. BY JOHN J. BYCZKOWSKI The Cincinnati Enquirer Economic forecasts for 1991 were among the more palatable casualties of the Persian Gulf war. Last fall, who could predict the effect of war on a U.S. economy already in recession? The war turned out to be shorter and less cataclysmic economically than many had expected, although the recession became somewhat deeper and longer. ' This morning, a panel of economists delivers its 1992 forecast for the local economy to the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, and it faces a different set of uncertainties. William McGuire, economist for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati and a member of the chamber's economic panel, said he's more pessimistic than he was earlier casting Co. In September, the company said it would sell subsidiary Hanna-Barbera Productions Inc. to Turner Broadcasting Systems Inc. In deciding to sell the radio stations, Great American gives up two of its best properties. WDVE, with its album-rock oriented format, is the No. 1 FM station in Pittsburgh. It attracted 10.2 of the total radio audience as of this spring, according to figures from Crisler. WFBQ, likewise, is the top-rated station in its market, pulling in 13.4 of Indianapolis' FM listeners, Crisler's figures show. It also plays rock albums. Sister station WNDE, with a newstalk format, is the weakest of the three, ranking No. 3 in Indianapolis with 1.5 of the audience. Great American said it will use proceeds from the stations for acquisitions and other purposes. 23 24 25 26 27 30 1 2 3 Sept. Oct. Dow Jones 30 Industrials Dally highs, with closes at arrow tip Area-Interest stocks In Industrial average (NYSE change from previous day) AT&T-38 GE-138 P4Q-34 Cincinnati Stock Exchange volume Wednesday 1,314,600 BY PATRICIA GALLAGHER The Cincinnati Enquirer Great American Communications Co. is selling two of its 18 radio stations to Frank E. "Bo" Wood, the local radio executive who used to head a competitor of Great American's. The company said Thursday that Wood, former president of Cincinnati's Jacor Communications Inc., would buy WDVE-FM in Pittsburgh and WFBQ-FM and WNDE-AM in Indianapolis. Great American did not reveal terms of the deal. An industry publication put the price at "around $50 million." With the purchase, Wood buys the first assets for Broadcast Alchemy. He created the company in May, 14 months after he resigned from Jacor and three months after he received the first installment of an $8.2 million stock and contract settlement from Jacor. launching his Wood newest radio venture with strong properties, said Dean Meiszer, president of Crisler Capital Co., a local broadcasting consulting firm that helped Wood find backing for Broadcast Alchemy. "They are very good, very good radio stations," Meiszer said. "I think it's a positive transaction." Great American put the stations up for sale as part of an asset sale program to raise money to cover debts. The company is still carrying roughly $900 million in debt from its 1987 purchase of Taft Broad Society speeds up mortgage processing Market suffers sharp decline The stock market suffered its sharpest drop in more than six weeks Thursday, registering uneasiness about prospects for economic recovery. The Dow Jones average of 30 industrials dropped 27.73 points to 2,984.79, for its largest loss since it fell 69.99 points Aug. 18. Volume on the Big Board came to an estimated 174.23 million shares as of 4 p.m. EDT, against 166.29 million at the same point in the previous session. MBA Forum slated Representatives from 95 universities offering masters of business administration (MBA) degrees will be at the Albert B. Sabin Convention Center today and Saturday to talk one-on-one with prospective students. "The MBA Forums are very similar to college fairs," said Sandra Wagner, national director of the Graduate Management Admission Council, Atlantic City. The council owns the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Workshops will be conducted on subjects dealing with graduate degrees in business: the admission process, MBA careers, doctoral programs and executive MBA pro Computers handle most of paperwork BY JEFF McKINNEY The Cincinnati Enquirer Society Bank has begun offering a new mortgage qualifying program that it says can cut in half the time it takes to get a home loan. But an executive of a local : K-' trade group questioned whether the new service could reduce the mortgage processing period. Society Bank can make apply ing for a home loan faster by using laptop computers that provide customers with preliminary answers in an hour, said Joseph Lutz, a mortgage loan account executive at Society Bank's branch in Blue Ash. The computer provides a cus tomer a printout of the application and other documents showing qualifying status, financing options, repayment terms, clos ing costs and other related information. A Society representative can transport the computer to an X: , The Cincinnati EnquirerGary Landers Joseph Lutz, left, of Society Bank in Blue Ash uses a lap-top computer to help with a loan application for client Mike Tasker. grams. Hours are 2 to 8 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday. Wagner said almost 13,000 people attended six MBA Forums throughout the country last year. This is the first in Cincinnati and is expected to draw about 1,300 people from Cincinnati, Dayton, Lexington and Columbus, she said. Trade group picks leader Attorney Michael R. Oestreicher has been elected president of the World Trade Association, the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce affiliate devoted to international business networking and education. Oestreicher is partner-in-charge of Thompson, Hine and Flory's Cincinnati law office and has extensive experience in international business. GE engine selected GE Aircraft Engines has won a $40 million order from Emirates, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, to power two Airbus Industrie jetliners. GE CF6-80C2 engines will power an Airbus A310-300 and A300-600R jet set for delivery in 1992 and 1993, respectively. Factory orders tumble Orders for manufactured goods, unable to sustain their biggest increase in 21 years a month earlier, fell 1.9 in August, the government said Thursday. Orders for durable and non-durable goods totaled a seasonally adjusted $243.3 billion, down from $248.1 billion in July, the Commerce Department said. The drop was the largest since a 2.9 decline in March. It followed a slightly revised 6.1 jump in July, the biggest since a 6.6 advance in December, 1970. The July increase originally had been estimated at 6.2. Insurance ratings lowered In a second wave of insurance downgrades, Standard & Poor's Thursday lowered the ratings of Lincoln National Life Insurance Corp. and four other insurers to reflect the economy's deteriorating condition. The ratings agency cited growing economic risks to insurance companies but warned that the risks were "far from solvency-threatening" and said the industry was basically healthy. The downgraded firms were Lincoln, Aetna Life & Casualty Co., Home Life Insurance Co., Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Co. and Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Co. None applicant's home or office when providing the service. Lutz said the service can also assist clients in determining how much of a home they can afford, the monthly payment amount, the length of the mortgage and current mortgage rates. Lutz also said the service can reduce the overall loan processing time. He said that after an applicant's information is put into the computer, it's transmitted to Society's mortgage office. He said such an application could be processed within 14 days vs. 30 days when processed by paper. would be involved because of' stricter regulations on financial institutions requiring higher levels of documentation, partly because of the savings and loan crisis. But King said the service could be beneficial to Society Bank because electronic processing reduces the amount of paperwork. program cuts the mortgage-loan processing time in half because there are too many factors involved beyond Society Bank's control. He said the bank would still have to verify information on paper such as an applicant's employment record and credit history. King also said paperwork method. "The process for acquiring mortgage information from customers and transporting it through the various approval and confirmation steps at the bank is streamlined," he said. But Stephen King, president of the Cincinnati Mortgage Bankers Association, which represents 125 lenders, said he doubts the Lutz said the mortgage processing time is reduced because the paperwork is cut back dramatically. All information is gathered and put into the computer when a client meets with a loan officer. Lutz estimates that the new system allows a loan officer to process 42 mortgages at a time, compared with 25 under the old Truckers picket Armco Automakers close out worst year since '83 Company might be forced to scale back operations DV VI TIT I? UAVI7D ',,,r.A K,,t enlA V,a niimka urne in iKoif hnilinnr ritac Tha frnfl- BY MIKE BOYER livered but said the number in their hauling rates. The truck was of the nine downgrades in the past two weeks has lowered ratings below invest ment grade. The downgrades are part of a speeded-up evaluation of the industry in lieht of increased perceived risk to certain ENQUIRER NEWS SERVICES DETROIT Ford Motor Co.'s truck sales led a 6.9 rise in late-September sales of North American-made vehicles, closing out the worst model year since 1983. For the year, General Motors Corp. Thursday reported a 10.6 sales decline, Ford 12.9 and Chrysler Corp. 13.3. Big Three sales for the year fell 12.4 while sales of Japanese cars dropped 2.4. Total sales for the model year, which ended Sept. 30, came to 13.8 million new cars and light trucks. In the 1983 model year, automakers sold about 11.7 million vehicles. Year-end clearance sales, low dealer inventory, consumer patience for the new model year's vehicles and heavy fleet sales make the last period of the year difficult to analyze. The Honda Accord, assembled in Japan and Marysville, Ohio, was the hottest car of the model year by far, selling about 38 better than the second-place Ford Taurus. The Ford F-Series truck took home honors as the best selling vehicle overall. The Accord and the F-Series were repeat winners from last year. A breakdown of the top-selling 1991 model year cars (with number sold): CARS 1 . Honda Accord 409,701 2. Ford Taurus 296,623 3. Chev. Cavalier 281,378 4. Toyota Camry 266,631 5. Ford Escort 264,363 TRUCKS LFordF-Series 431,353 2. Chev. CK-Series 397,232 3. Ford Ranger 244,773 4. Ford Explorer-Bronco II 243,593 5. Dodge Caravan 211,092 significant. On a typical day, 350 truckloads of steel are shipped to customers from the Middletown Works. The truckers, upset about what they're being paid to haul steel, set up pickets at the entrances to the Middletown Works Sunday, disrupting inbound and outbound traffic. The company won a temporary restrainting order against the pickets Tuesday in Butler County Common Pleas Court. The order, signed by Judge John R. Moser, prohibits pickets within 1,000 feet of the plant. The truckers' boycott against Armco Steel is linked to a similar protest against five steel makers in northern Indiana. A newly formed group called the Great Lakes Area Steel Haulers Association has been picketing the Gary, Ind., mills of LTV, National, Bethlehem, Inland and U.S. Steel, to protest recent cuts ing companies who hire the independent truckers reportedly have been cutting rates to win more mill business. Mills scrambling The protest has sent the Indiana mills scrambling to find alternative delivery methods. They've also filed suit against the truckers in federal court. McCoy, discussing the northern Indiana steel boycott, said: "We're feeling it every bit as much as they are, and we're feeling it because they are." After delivering shipments in the South from the northern Indiana mills, the steel haulers typically pick up steel headed north from Armco Steel's Middletown plant on the return trip. The only alternative to trucks is rail shipment, but McCoy said there are fewer rail cars available because of the truckers' boycott. The Cincinnati Enquirer A boycott by independent truckers at Armco Steel Co. in Middletown, Ohio, might force the company to curtail some operations, a spokesman said Thursday. "We have a significant backlog of shipments (undelivered) and no place to put the finished steel," Alan McCoy, company spokesman, said. Scaling back Unless more trucks begin arriving to deliver Armco Steel's finished metal, he said, "at some point, we'll have to scale operations back." He said he didn't know when Armco Steel might be forced to make such a decision but added that the company was watching the situation "minute by minute." McCoy declined to say how many shipments have gone unde assets, notably real estate investments and junk bond holdings. IBM cuts laptop prices International Business Machines Corp. Thursday cut the price of its laptop com- nuter 23 and said it will oiler tree software and rebates with some of its desktop personal computers. IBM said it reduced the price ot its fb-2 laptop, wnicn was introduced earlier this year, from $5,245 to $3,995. Compiled by Dick Benson from staff and news service reports

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