The Charlotte Observer from Charlotte, North Carolina on June 11, 1994 · 47
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The Charlotte Observer from Charlotte, North Carolina · 47

Charlotte, North Carolina
Issue Date:
Saturday, June 11, 1994
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Saturday June 11 1994 SECTION to Charlotte 0b$critr New TV station in Charlotte? BUSINESS BRIEFLY Bill drags citrus into tobacco debate RALEIGH — Citrus growers say they are unfairly being drawn into the war on tobacco but politicians in one of the industry’s biggest states say they aren't worried An NC legislator is attempting to open a new front in the war with a bill that would levy a 2-cent tax on every piece of citrus brought into North Carolina The sponsor state Sen Sandy Sands said he filed it in response to increased attacks on tobacco a $1 billion crop in North Carolina Citrus officials in Florida reacted with surprise and then anger Friday when they learned of the bill "Why pick on citrus? We’re in the farming and growing business just like his tobacco farmers" said Richard Kinney executive vice president of Florida Citrus Packers Inc Sands a four-term legislator who’s running for Congress was aiming for Florida and California Florida legislators recently enacted a law making it easier for the state to sue tobacco companies over medical costs And California is the home of Rep Henry Waxman who’s leading the charge against tobacco in Congress But citrus groups say they're innocent "Hopefully cooler heads will prevail” said Dick Whalley a spokesman for Florida Citrus Mutual which represents growers "It is unfortunate that something like this became necessaty to do We are obviously not involved” Florida Gov Lawton Chiles told reporters Friday that North Carolina could find itself taking on more than it realizes citing lawsuits filed in several other states "And if they wanted to get into that kind of battle North Carolina makes some other products and Florida can start looking at those" he said a MARKETS The Treasury’s main 30-year bond fell 616 point or $375 per $1000 in face value Its yield which moves in the opposite direction rose to 731 from 727 late Thursday More market information2D NATION Ford Motor Co is pricing its new cars to sell in Japan The No 2 automaker introduced three new right-hand drive models this week including the Probe GT sports coupe Ford which expects to double its Japanese sales from 5400 last year first tried the price-cutting strategy last month when it introduced the redesigned Mustang The $22000 sticker well below those of competing Japanese sports cars helped sell 500 Mustangs in four weeks Mary Gates a prominent Seattle businesswoman and mother of Microsoft Corp Chairman Bill Gates died at her home early Friday after a long battle with cancer She was 64 She had been a regent at the University of Washington since 1975 The same year she became the first female director of First Interstate Bank A federal judge issued a permanent injunction that bars Microsoft Corp from selling one version of its DOS 6 software and directs the company to recall it from stores and distributors The order follows a Feb 23 jury decision that Microsoft’s DoubleSpace technology infringes on two patents owned by Stac Electronics Brunswick Corp President Jack Reilly considered a top prospect for chief executive at the billiards bowling and boating company resigned because of “philosophical and cultural differences with the board” a Brunswick spokesman said He had been president for nine months Continental Airlines signed a 10-year contract with In-Flight Phone Corp to provide cellular telephone service and an entertainment system for passengers aboard its domestic and international flights The system allows passengers to place phone calls retrieve stock quotes play games and connect laptop computers to on-line databases Adding another discordant opinion on the proposed buyout of United Airlines Fidelity mutual funds sharply cut its stake in the carrier signaling its distaste for the deal Fidelity sold 724 of its stake — about 146 million shares — of the UAL Corporation United’s parent company between March 31 and May 31 according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission As of May 31 Fidelity still held more than ' 557000 shares roughly 22 of all UAL shares CAROLINAS Palmer & CayCarawell in Savannah acquired Pyramid Financial Resource Group Inc a four-year-old employee benefits consulting firm in Charlotte for an undisclosed sum Hickory-based Worldtex Inc’s subsidiary Regal Manufacturing Co Inc purchased the elastic yarn manufacturing operation of Wilkes-boro-based Ithaca Industries Inc for an undisclosed sum Office supply ' giant Alco Standard Corp Valley Forge Pa purchased Greensboro-based Paul B Williams Inc a Ricoh and Savin copy machines distributor for an undisclosed sum Paul B Williams’ 1994 revenues are expected to reach $40 million Telecommunications equipment distributor Walker and Associates of Welcome agreed to buy at least $3 million worth of long-distance and cellular switching equipment from Dallas-based DGI Technologies Inc THE BOTTOM LINE Piedmont Natural Gas Co Charlotte earned $23 million or 87 cents a share in the second quarter ended April 30 — up 18 from last year First Savings Bank of Moore County Inc Southern Pines declared a special cash dividend of 5 cents a share payable July 15 to shareholders of record on June 30 a Capitol Broadcasting reaches lease agreement with Family-oriented Channel 55 By TIM FUNK ’ TVRadio Writer The Charlotte area is expected to get one and maybe two new TV stations later this year The surer thing: WFVT-TV or Channel 55 an independent station that will air family fare reruns movies and local sports On Friday Capitol Broadcasting Co of Raleigh — owner of Charlotte’s WJZY (channel 46) — announced it had reached an agreement with WFVT’s Indianapolis-based owner Family Fifty Five Inc to lease and program most of the new station’s air time Such "local marketing agreements” — or LMAs — have become common in radio but they’re still rare in television LMAs allow the company leasing air time to sell the station's advertising often as part of a package deal with the company’s other local station Sources said Friday that several other television concerns may be interested in forming an LMA with another proposed TV station WKAY channel 64 in Kannapolis The station’s owner Truth Temple has been awarded a construction permit by the Federal Communications Commission but not a license to go on the air Officials with Truth Temple could not be reached Friday but sources said they have been approached by some broadcast companies looking for air time The companies mentioned by sources included Cox Enterprises which owns Charlotte’s WSOC (channel 9) and Outlet Communications a Rhode Island-based company headed by former Jefferson-Pilot Communications president Jim Babb Babb could not be reached for comment WSOC general manager Bruce Baker would say only that "we are aware of that CP (construction permit) It’s hard to say whether we’re interested We’re certainly aware of it" Though WFVT or channel 55 was once envisioned as a Rock Hill station Capitol Broadcasting Co plans to program the station from WJZY in Belmont Asked if the station will have a presence in Rock Hill Capitol vice president Fred Barber said "1 doubt it The studio will be out of Belmont" Barber said Family Fifty-Five will retain ownership of the station and produce some local public affairs pro- grams Dave Turner vice president of Please see Familypage 6D The Pepsi-Cola logo is beamed onto an Anglican cathedral in Liverpool England to promote a nightclub act ‘‘It is outrageous that the cathedral which is much loved would be used this way” the Very Rev Derrick Walters said Friday Associated Press One shining moment decried Britain’s biggest cathedral a backdrop for Pepsi logo By DIRK BEVERIDGE Associated Press LONDON — Pepsi-Cola became the third big US brand name in a week to find its marketing tactics clashing with religion after the company beamed its logo onto the biggest cathedral in Britain Earlier Coca-Cola and McDonald’s offended Muslims with World Cup promotions that included sacred scripture from the Koran After Pepsi’s name appeared Wednesday night on the tower of the Anglican cathedral in Liverpool shining brightly for all to see the cathedral’s dean said he was astounded “It is outrageous that the cathedral which is much loved would be used this way” the Very Rev ' Derrick Walters said in a telephone interview Friday Walters said he J doubted the world’s No 2 soft drink maker would spotlight its image onto important buildings in America “If somebody put this on the White House I would assume somebody would be angered by it” said Walters “The Vietnam memorial in Washington is beautiful To put a Pepsi logo on it would be sacrilege” The cleric added: “I look forward to an apology from Pepsi” A Pepsi spokesman in London said he had mailed apologies to the dean and church lawyers the night before "It was never meant as any offense It was a light-hearted stunt" said the Pepsi spokesman who would not be identified by name The bright Pepsi logo light has been aimed at landmarks throughout Britain to promote tours by the Ministry of Sound a London dance club that takes its show on the road with sponsorship from the cola maker "We chose the Anglican cathedral because it is one of the most prestigious buildings in the country" said Mark Rodol a founder of the Ministry of Sound "We just wanted people to know about the event” The Pepsi spokesman said the logo has been flashed on castles the Houses of Parliament and even a church in Portsmouth with few complaints “Once we got a parking ticket" he said Churches will be off-limits in the future Pepsi said Mortgage lender cuts 26 jobs BarclaysAmerican’s ’93 loss $350 million By JAMES GREIFF Staff Wnter A major Charlotte mortgage lender dismissed 26 people Thursday perhaps a signal former employees speculate that the operation is being prepared for a sale Most of the people terminated from Barclays-AmericanMortgage were loan processors in uptown Charlotte said Todd Piercall one of those let go "We were called into meetings Thursday with our managers and told to clean out our desks and leave” he said “There was a lot of misunderstanding about who was let go and who stayed" BarclaysAmericanMortgage is the biggest remaining part of the once-vast BarclaysAmerican-Corp a wholly owned subsidiary of the huge Barclays Bank pic of the United Kingdom Barclays invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the early 1980s in Charlotte which it hoped would be the base for a nationwide consumer and banking empire But BarclaysAmerican suffered financial reverses and the British parent decided in the late 1980s to get out of the consumer business everywhere but Britain The mortgage division survived the pullback The mortgage operation and a few smaller BarclaysAmerican units in Charlotte have about 1000 employees But BarclaysAmericanMortgage made an investment mistake as did some other mortgage investors During the late 1980s and early 1990 it bought billions of dollars worth of mortgages At the end of 1993 its mortgage holdings amounted to nearly $19 billion But falling interest rates led homeowners to refinance Many of BarclaysAmericanMortgage’s loans which had higher rates were paid off earlier than expected BarclaysAmericanMortgage had paid premiums to buy those mortgages When the loans were paid off BarclaysAmericanMortgage lost the fat returns it needed to cover its costs The bottom line was a $350 million loss for the division last year according to Barclays Bank's 1993 annual report Piercall said he and co-workers thought the division might be up for sale “It looks to me like they’re downsizing to get rid of it" he said Barclays officials in New York where media calls are handled could not be reached for comment Friday Piercall said he worked three years at BarclaysAmericanMortgage and received severance equal to six weeks pay — two weeks for each year of service i Wholesale price drop may mask inflation pressures By JAMES H RUBIN Associated Press WASHINGTON — A drop in food and energy costs pulled wholesale prices downward in May for the second month in a row — the first time ini nearly three years that has happened v ' The Labor Department said Friday that the Producer Price Index a gauge of inflation pressures be- fore they reach the consumer was down 01 last month That matched April’s decline and marked the first time since June and July 1991 that the index declined for two straight months ’ But some analysts said a larger-than-anticipated rise in underlying inflation including higher prices for tobacco cars and women’s clothing could mean trouble Excluding the volatile food and energy components the so-called core index rose 04 in May after Wholesale prices Percent change In producer price Index seasonally adjusted 10 f ' 05-— Ddwnbj 0 -05 i1? P! i 3 ill- edging up 01 the preceding month "It was a very poor number The core rate was double what was expected It seems to be concentrated in apparel automobiles and tobacco prices" said economist Elliott Platt of Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp "It’s certainly a short-run negative for the bond market” The bond market fell initially Please see Wholesalepage 6D Charlotte radio station WMXC fires morning team Russell & Flynn By TIM FUNK TVRadio Writer 1 Long-time Charlotte1 radio team Don Russell arid James K Flynn fired a few years ago from WBT (1110 AM) got the boot again — this time from WMXC (1047 FM) Flynn said he got the bad news Thursday but doesn’t know if Russell has heard yet "I was soloing on the air this week because Russell was on vacation” Flynn said Friday “I have no idea where he is He was down at his parents’ anniversary" WMXC management did not return Observer phone cans to explain the firings or to comment on scuttlebutt that the station plans to drop its adult contemporary format "I got very little information other than the fact that they said they had plans for the station and that 1 Was not part of them” Flynn said Me and Russell had been at WMXC — better knbwn as MIX — for two years ' In the most recent Arbitron ratings book Russell & Flynn’s talk & music morning show was sixth among listeners 25-54 — its target audience according to Flynn Its 54 share of that audience was up slightly from the last ratings period but still down from its position in the spring and summer of 1993 Still Flynn said he and Russell were excited about the most recent ratings numbers And he claimed WMXC’s revenues were up "It’s an unwritten rule in this town: If your ratings go up and the station makes money you get fired” he joked Flynn who freelances at Charlotte Coliseum as the Hornets public address announcer was last fired from radio in December 1990 when WBT let him go WBT released Russell in February 1992 Russell could not be reached for comment Friday

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