Business

12:25pm

Thu March 7, 2013
The Salt

Startup Wants To Redefine How Local Foods Get To Your Door

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 2:13 pm

Employees of Good Eggs deliver produce, meat and other local foods from producers in the Bay Area of California.
Courtesy of Good Eggs

Rising consumer demand for local foods has changed the job description for ranchers like Doniga Markegard.

Markegard, co-owner of Markegard Family Grass-Fed in San Gregorio, Calif., loves working with cattle, but she's not fond of the hours of phone calls and emails it can take to sell directly to a customer.

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8:42am

Thu March 7, 2013
The Two-Way

Mixed Signals: Jobless Claims Dip; Layoff Plans Rise

As we await Friday's much-anticipated report about the February unemployment rate and how many jobs were added to employers' payrolls last month, there are these new bits of economic data to chew over:

-- The Employment and Training Administration says there were 340,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week. That's down from 7,000 the previous week. Claims continue at a pace that's the lowest since first-quarter 2008.

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4:48am

Thu March 7, 2013
Business

Time Warner To Spin Off Magazine Unit

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 7:20 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a Time Warner split.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: You may recall when Time Inc. merged with Warner Brothers, huge, huge media merger. And now it's time for a little entropy. Last night, Time Warner announced its spinning off its magazine unit. That includes publications like, "Time Magazine," "Sports Illustrated" and "People."

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4:48am

Thu March 7, 2013
Business

Pizza Hut To Test Social Media Manager Applicants

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 7:35 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Today's last word in business is - well, never mind. There's no time, Steve.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

No, no, no. Wait. Wait. You got time. You got time. You've got almost 140 seconds here.

MONTAGNE: I'm not so sure. I think it's a little less than that. But, OK. The pressure is on. Come on, Steve, what can you say about how wonderful you are in that little bit of time.

INSKEEP: How wonderful I am?

MONTAGNE: How wonderful you are.

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3:07am

Thu March 7, 2013
Energy

BP Bows Out Of Solar, But Industry Outlook Still Sunny

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 12:50 pm

As BP leaves the solar industry, Asian countries such as China are taking a lead role in production.
Xinhua News Agency AP

The solar energy business is growing quickly, but future growth will not include oil giant BP.

At the IHS CERAWeek energy conference in Houston, BP's CEO made it clear the company is done with solar.

"We have thrown in the towel on solar," Bob Dudley said after delivering a wide-ranging speech Wednesday.

"Not that solar energy isn't a viable energy source, but we worked at it for 35 years, and we really never made money," he added.

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3:02am

Thu March 7, 2013
The Sequester: Cuts And Consequences

With Budget Cuts For Ports, Produce May Perish

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 1:48 pm

Border security agents stop a truck at a checkpoint on the way to Nogales, Ariz. More winter produce enters the U.S. at the border crossing than at any other point of entry in the country.
Qi Heng Xinhua/Landov

Budget-cutting from the government sequester that began March 1 could affect U.S. exports and imports, including what we eat.

Customs and Border Protection officers regulate trade at the nation's 329 ports of entry, in harbors, airports and on land.

One by one, drivers approach booths with Customs and Border Protection officers at the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales, Ariz. More winter produce enters here than at any other place in the U.S. Semis filled with tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers headed to grocery stores around the country.

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3:01am

Thu March 7, 2013
Planet Money

Andrew Sullivan Is Doing Fine

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 7:24 am

Andrew H. Walker Getty Images

Two months ago, the popular political blogger Andrew Sullivan left the comfortable world of big media and struck out on his own. His bold new plan: Ask readers to pay $19.99 a year or more to subscribe to his blog.

"It was either quit blogging, or suck it up and become a businessman," he told me.

The usual way bloggers make money (if they make money at all) is to sell advertising. But Sullivan figured he could get his devoted reader base to pay. Within the first week, he'd raised half a million dollars. By the end of about two months, the total had crept up to $625,000.

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5:35pm

Wed March 6, 2013
Economy

Time For The Fed To Take Away The Punch Bowl?

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:49 am

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies before the Senate Banking Committee in Washington last month. Some analysts wonder if he and other policymakers have kept interest rates too low for too long.
Carolyn Kaster AP

The stock market's long climb from its recession bottom has some people concerned it may be a bubble about to burst — a bubble artificially pumped up by the Federal Reserve's easy-money policy. That's led to calls — even from within the Fed — for an end to the central bank's extraordinary efforts to keep interest rates low.

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5:15pm

Wed March 6, 2013
Planet Money

If The Catholic Church Were A Business, How Would You Fix It?

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 11:49 am

Now that Pope Benedict XVI has officially gone into retirement, the next leader of the Catholic Church has a lot to consider, including finances.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

The next pope will be the spiritual leader of the world's Catholics. He will also be leading a multibillion-dollar financial empire. And from a business perspective, the Catholic Church is struggling.

We talked to several people who study the business of the church. Here are a few of the issues they pointed out.

1. Globally, the church's employees are in the wrong place.

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4:50pm

Wed March 6, 2013
The Salt

Can Milk Sweetened With Aspartame Still Be Called Milk?

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 10:45 am

Morgan Barnett, 7, drinks from containers of 1 percent milk and chocolate milk during lunch at a school in St. Paul, Minn., in 2006.
Eric Miller AP

The dairy industry has a problem. Despite studies demonstrating milk's nutritional benefits, people are drinking less and less of it.

Even children are increasingly opting for water or other low-cal options — including diet soda and artificially sweetened sports drinks.

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