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Archive for Saturday, November 6, 2004

Briefcase

November 6, 2004

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United eyes labor cuts

United Airlines is moving to obtain another $725 million in labor concessions and eliminate employees' traditional pensions as it seeks the financing to come out of bankruptcy.

Union leaders spent Friday huddling to analyze information from the troubled airline, which warned employees Thursday that steep reductions in pay and other benefits were on the way.

The nation's second-largest airline has been threatening to terminate its pensions since August, and last month it said it would need to cut costs significantly more than anticipated because of the industry's deteriorating financial outlook.

Telecommunications

Verizon picks up NextWave spectrum

Verizon Wireless is buying cellular capacity for 23 markets from bankrupt NextWave Telecom Inc. for $3 billion, ending the government's long tug-of-war over the never-used licenses and bolstering Verizon against a big new rival created by the merger of Cingular Wireless and AT&T Wireless.

The deal announced Friday gives Verizon Wireless large chunks of additional capacity to handle a growing subscriber base in key markets where it already has its own network, including New York City, Boston, Los Angeles and Washington. It also gives the company its first cellular spectrum in Tulsa, Okla., where it has relied on another carrier's network to provide service.

The licenses represent the remainder of the cellular spectrum won eight years ago by NextWave with bids totaling $4.8 billion in a series of auctions by the Federal Communications Commission.

Earnings

Serologicals profit rises

Serologicals Corp. reported a profit Friday of $4.2 million for the third quarter.

The Atlanta-based company, which has a production plant in Lawrence's East Hills Business Park, reported net revenues of $46.3 million for the quarter ended Sept. 26, up 1 percent from $42 million a year earlier.

The company said profits climbed because of growth in its Chemicon division, and increased sales of products including human insulin.

Serologicals shares closed Friday at $24.34 on the Nasdaq Stock Market, up 24 cents, or 1 percent.

Marketing

Ohio-based Wendy's bags 'unofficial spokesman'

Goodbye, Mr. Wendy.

The fast-food chain's management canned Roger Eschbacher, the man they referred to as the "unofficial spokesman" of Wendy's restaurants. The sacking came after dismal reviews of the advertising campaign that featured him.

Wendy's International Inc., based in Dublin, Ohio, and advertising agency McCann Erickson announced this week that "Mr. Wendy" wouldn't be seen after the end of the month.

"Food has always been the hero at Wendy's, and we're going to make sure that comes through loud and clear," said Don Calhoon, Wendy's marketing executive.

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