The Akron Beacon Journal from Akron, Ohio on December 23, 1989 · Page 10
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The Akron Beacon Journal from Akron, Ohio · Page 10

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Akron, Ohio
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Saturday, December 23, 1989
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Page 10
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THE BEACON JOURNAL SATURDAY, DEC. 23, 1989- A10 at Loral reportedly suspended in probe ..1- One executive is Akron's Nebiker By Katie Byard Bacoo Journal business writer Fred. Nebiker, a veteran Goodyear Aerospace airship operations executive and vice president at Loral Corp., reportedly is one of two Loral Defense Systems employees who were suspended in the wake of the company's guilty pleas related to a federal investigation of the awarding of defense contracts. Earlier this month, Loral Corp. entered the guilty pleas to three felony counts involving attempts to improperly influence the awarding of two contracts. The second executive was identified in an aerospace industry trade publication as Louis H. Oberndorf of Yonkers, N.Y., Loral Electronic Systems senior vice president Neither Nebiker nor Oberndorf could be reached for comment. The company announced it would forfeit profits, and pay fines and penalties to settle its year-long dispute with the government over receiving a lucrative contract for U.S. Air Force radar warning receivers. Loral plans to take a $10.5 million charge against earnings in its third fiscal quarter ending Dec. 31 to cover the fines 'and other penalties. . Loral officials, who earlier declined to identify the two persons who have been suspended, were not in their offices Friday because of the holidays. During the dispute, Loral was threatened with losing the warning receiver contract, which could potentially be worth more than $1 billion. The pleas stemmed from the government investigation known as "HI Wind" and also involved the bidding process for a prototype of a U.S. Navy surveillance blimp contract that would have boosted employment in Akron. Loral lost the contract bid before the investigation was disclosed. It is believed that the company's bid for the blimp contract led to Nebiker's suspension. He was involved in the proposal prepared for the U.S. Navy. On June 14, 1988, Loral offices in Akron and and at a company facility in Yonkers, N.Y., along with those of dozens of other defense contractors, were searched by government agents. It was reported that the offices of Nebiker were searched for documents relating to the unsuccessful bid for the blimp contract. The $168.9 million contract was awarded in June 1987 to a partnership formed by Westinghouse Electric Corp. and Airship Industries of Great Britain. Many of the government's charges in the scandal alleged that consultants, usu ally former Defense Department officials, improperly influenced the awarding of contracts for pay. Aerospace Daily, a trade journal for the aerospace industry, reported earlier this month that court documents identified two Loral executives as part of the contracts that were investigated Nebiker and Oberndorf. Yonkers is where Loral made its bid for the warning receiver contract. Nebiker is a vice president of business development for Loral in Akron. . Aerospace Daily said Nebiker was a senior vice president of Goodyear Aerospace and became Loral Defense Systems marketing vice president after Loral bought Goodyear Aerospace in March 1987. The Associated Press said earlier this month that a source identified Oberndorf and Nebiker as the individuals who have been suspended. H,. 7 Fred Nebiker Loral vice president 1 ' aV"it rtnnn-im-T'ir rrnr-r-rnrnm imwnrrr in"T iiinnii im iifi i n n ..maMiat.i.:..: ... .a--J Cadillac workers face shutdown AMOCMUd Prae . Werkers at General Motors Corp. Cadillac Hamtramek facility is one of 22 GM plants About 75,000 GM workers will be affected. assembly plant In Hamtramek, Mich., put to be shot down beginning in January for at Ford and Chrysler also have announced finishing touches on 1990 Cadillacs. The least two weeks because of slow sales. January plant shutdowns. Detroit group buys WW WE Radio Swap of second AM station, cash involved in deal By Bob Oyer Beacon Journal radio writer These days, more than 75 percent of all radio listening takes place on the FM band. That's why you can barely give away most AM stations. But Cleveland's VVWWE (1100-AM) is not your typical AM station. For one thing, it has a whopping, 50,600-watt. clear-channel signal. For another, it owns the broadcast rights to the Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Indians. So it's relatively big news that WWWE is changing hands. Booth American Co. of Detroit, which owns popular Cleveland light-rock station WLTF (106.5-FM), has agreed to trade its own Cleveland AM station, WRMR (850-AM), and pay an undisclosed amount of cash to acquire WWWE. Pending approval by the Federal Communications Commission, Booth will be WWWE's fifth owner in 17 years. WWWE's cur-( rent owners, a trio of Cleveland-ers known as the Independent Group, will take over Booth's WRMR. WRMR, with a 10,000-watt signal, owns the radio rights to , Cleveland Cavaliers games. All sports rights will be transferred to the new owners. In fact, "the principals insist all the programming will remain pretty THE CHRONOLOGY OF WWWE Cleveland radio station WWWE (1100-AM) is Northeast Ohio's second-oldest surviving radio station, having begun life in 1923 as WTAM. During its first half-century, the station's ownership changed only a handful of times. But during the last two decades, you couldn't tell the owners without a scorecard. Here's what's happened since 1972, when the call letters were changed from WKYC to WWWE: 1972: Sold by NBC to Ohio Communications, led by Nick Mileti. Purchase price of $5.5 million included its FM sister station (which Mileti renamed WWWM). 1977: Sold by Mileti to Combined Communications Corp. of Phoenix (the radio division of Gannett) for $8.2 million. 1985: Sold by Gannett to Lake Erie Radio, a group headed by Browns owner Art Modell. 1987: Sold by Modell to the Independent Group, led by Clevelander Tom Embrescia. Purchase price of $13.5 million included FM sister station now called WDOK. 1989: Sold by the Independent Group to Booth American of Detroit for a not-yet-disclosed price. - By BOB DYER much the same. The Independent Group Tom Embrescia, Tom Wilson and Larry Pollock retain their FM station, WDOK (102.1). The FM stations will stay in their current studios; the AM stations will call the moving vans. Neither side would reveal the purchase price, but the amount will become known within a month. That's how long the principals have to file that and other required information with the FCC. Area radio executives estimated the probable price at between $5 million and $9 million. In the most recent Cleveland Arbitron ratings book, WWWE, which programs news and talk shows in addition to sports, finished ninth, with a 5.5 percent share of the audience. WRMR, a "Music of Your Life" station, finished 10th in Geveland, with a 4.4 share. In Akron, WWWE (16th place) also edges WRMR (tied for 17th). One complication to the sale could be indecency allegations lodged by the FCC against WWWE. The station has responded to the charges and is awaiting the outcome. However, neither side believes the matter, which centers around the since-fired Gary Dee, will slow FCC approval of the sale, a process that normally takes about three months. WWWE, commonly referred to as 3WE. is Northeast Ohio's second-oldest station. In recent years, critics have complained it doesn't properly utilize its big signal. Roger Turner, general manager of Booth's WLTF, declined to be drawn into such a discussion. He said only that WWWE "will continue the news and sports orientation." Although Turner's company is surrendering the Cavaliers during the second year of a three-year contract, he said he hopes he can recapture them, adding that the Cavs have expressed some interest in moving to 3WE's stronger signal. Don't, be surprised if that happens even before the current contract with WRMR expires. The Independent Group's Wilson acknowledged that cash was the motivating factor for his side in selling WWWE. Big-ticket factory orders surge 5.1 By John O. McClain Associated Prss Washington ; Orders to U.S. factories for durable goods posted last month the sharpest gain in a year, the government said Friday in a report that analysts said suggests the economy can avoid a recession. "It's Merry Christmas to the economy," said Robert Brusca, chief financial economist at Nikko Securities Co. International in New York. "This report suggests there's more life in the economy than a lot of people thought." The Commerce Department report of a 5.1 percent jump in durable goods orders "shows that reports of an economic.demise are pre mature," added William K. MacReynolds, forecasting director for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Orders for durable goods "big-ticket" items expected to last more than three years increased after dropping 0.7 percent in October and 1.2 percent in September. The gain in orders was spread through all categories and was the largest since a 7.4 percent jump last December. It averted the first three-month decline since 1986. MacReynolds said new orders will lead to increased production in the manufacturing sector of the economy, which has been particularly hard hit by the credit pinch. The closely watched non-defense capital goods sector rose 8.3 percent last month, the largest gam since a 10.1 percent increase last December. Economists use this category as a barometer of business investment plans. Transportation orders posted the largest gain in the civilian category, 10.5 percent after rising 2.1 percent in October. Both aircraft and motor vehicles showed large increases, the department said, surprising some in view of plummeting automobile sales since the new models were introduced in October. Defense orders rose 15.6 percent to $11.2 billion after a 9.1 percent decline the previous month. Excluding this volatile category, orders would have gained 4.2 percent in November. ' Acquisitions I at Dairy Mart to mean jobs By Richard Weizel Beacon Journal business writer At least two dozen new jobs will be created at Dairy Mart Convenience Stores Inc.'s Midwest divisional headquarters in Cuyahoga Falls by early spring, company executives said Friday. The new employees will be needed to handle increased production resulting from the company's recent purchase of 141 convenience stores in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky. The news came after Dairy Mart held its annual shareholders meeting Friday at its corporate headquarters in Enfield, Conn. Executives said the new jobs would be established in Cuyahoga Falls in the milk plant and accounting department. The annual meeting, originally scheduled for June, was delayed because of uncertainty surrounding the company's planned management buyout that eventually failed to go through because of financing problems. The company is concluding a year of turmoil in a market that analysts say is experiencing decreased profits and increasing competition. Dairy Mart said its purchase of the former Sun Refining and Marketing Cb.'s Stop-N-Go stores is a sign that it is stable and healthy. Dairy Mart began the year with a $1.3 million loss posted in the first quarter, and profits in the second quarter were $700,000 below the year-ago period. In the , recently released third period results, the company had net income of $31,000, but there was an extraordinary charge of $2.5 million spent on investment banking fees for the failed buyout attempt. The proposed buyout, begun in April to take the company private, was called off in October because Dairy Mart could not get financing after a $66 million it agreement ' with a Boston bank was withdrawn in July. The bank blamed the company's poor earnings for the withdrawal. However, company President Frank Colaccino said in a telephone interview after Friday's shareholders meeting that the Stop-N-Go acquisition demonstrates Dairy Mart's plans to continue giowing. ! Sun is the retailer of Sunoco brand gasoline. The acquisition "will give us more milk business in the Midwest plant, requiring new jobs, and a need to expand our accounting department to handle the new stores," said Colaccino. "It's very positive for the Midwest division. We have a large presence in Ohio, and it's expanding."- -' Dairy Mart is the Akron areas 25th largest employer with 1,056 workers. ! In a prepared statement, Charles Nirenberg, chairman and chief executive officer, told approximately 40 shareholders that despite problems during the pait year, "Dairy Mart is on track again and looks forward to a good new year. ' "I must admit that during the early part of the year .we had our problems," Nirenberg said. "Many of our people were tied up working with banks and investment banking firms to the extent that we couldn't keep our eye on the business ball. We had a very poor first quarter, and I have to admit to a less than exciting second quarter." But, Nirenberg said, "As we got into the third quarter, we were back, in business, and our numbers really started to get better." . ..'-,..- Dairy Mart was named among the country's 200 most undervalued companies by Business Week magazine earlier in the year. Bargain hunters boost Dow 20.26 Associated Press New York The stock market worked its way higher in quiet pre-holiday trading Friday, aided by what analysts described as year-end "bargain hunting." The Dow Jones average of 30 industrials climbed 20.26 to 2,711.39, cutting its loss for the week to 28.16 points. Advancing Issues-outnumbered declines by more than 2 to 1 in nationwide trading of New York Stock Exchange-listed stocks, with 1,011 up, 488 down and 440 unchanged. ' Traders appeared to be doing some last-minute shopping among recently depressed stocks, hoping that the market would gather strength after the pressure of tax selling is lifted with the arrival of the new year. At the same time, the rally bid was faced with an obstacle in the form of the Commerce Department's report that new factory orders for durable goods rose 5.1 percent last month. That increase contrasted .sharply with advance estimates of little or no change in orders for relatively high-priced, long-lasting goods. The suggestion it carried of unexpectedly brisk economic activity helped push interest rates higher in the credit markets. Regional telephone stocks were gainers, following word that' the Federal Communications Commission plans to regulate local phone companies based on price rather than profits under a plan to take effect Jan. I, 1991.; Bell South gained 2 to 57; Pacific Telesis, to 49; Nynex 3 to 91 34 ; Southwestern Bell, 1 to 62'2; and U.S. West, V8 to 78 y. Some closed-end investment companies specializing in single countries also chalked up gains on news of the government's fall in Romania; giving fresh impetus to the recent democratic ascendancy in Eastern Europe. Germany F'und rose I to 1334 and Austria Fund was up 1 at 15'2. Elsewhere, Caterpillar dropped 2 to 55 on top of a 1-point loss Thursday, when the company reduced its earnings projection for the fourth quarter. Campbell Soup fell 3 to 53. Recent takeover speculation about the stock faded after a statement late Wednesday by three members of the company's controlling Dorrance family that they were committed to keeping it independent. Volume on the floor came to 120.98 million shares, down from 175.15 million in the previous session. . J

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