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Business news briefs — Jan. 3


Readership gain at ABJ

The Akron Beacon Journal and its website,, ranked second out of the 25 top U.S. newspaper audience gainers in print and digital audience in the latest survey by an industry group called the Alliance for Audited Media.

The survey measures the number of people reading newspapers in print and online.

The Beacon Journal showed a 12 percent gain in net combined audience to 576,839 as of Sept. 30 from 515,250 a year ago. Results were available Dec. 23.

The Stamford (Conn.) Advocate ranked first with a 14.8 percent gain as of Sept. 30. More than 100 U.S. newspapers participate in the program.

Scarborough Research, through a telephone survey that includes households with just cellphones, provides the readership numbers to the Alliance for Audited Media, formerly known as the Audit Bureau of Circulations.


RPM sets dividend

RPM International Inc. of Medina announced a regular quarterly cash dividend of 24 cents a share, payable Jan. 31 to shareholders of record Jan. 13. RPM said its last cash dividend increase of 6.7 percent in October 2013 marked its 40th consecutive year of increased cash dividends paid to its stockholders, which places it among less than half of 1 percent of 19,000 publicly traded U.S. companies.


Tax leniency sought

Beanie Baby toy creator H. Ty Warner asked a U.S. judge to spare him prison and impose a probationary sentence for evading taxes on secret Swiss accounts that held as much as $107 million. Warner, 69, faces 46 months to 57 months in prison when he is sentenced Jan. 14 in federal court in Chicago. Warner, a maker of plush toys who also runs hotels, wants U.S. District Judge Charles Kocoras to sentence him instead to probation with community service, according to a Dec. 31 court filing.


Slowdown at Hyundai

Hyundai and Kia, South Korea’s two largest automakers, forecast their weakest sales growth in eight years as competition intensifies and the country’s stronger currency hampers exports. Combined deliveries will increase 4.1 percent to 7.86 million vehicles in 2014, according to Chung Mong Koo, chairman of both automakers. That’s the slowest growth since 2006 and falls short of the 8 million units projection of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. The forecast comes after Hyundai announced a leadership change in the U.S., where sales have slumped.


AT&T makes offer

AT&T Inc., aiming to get a jump on an anticipated move by T-Mobile US Inc., is offering customers of its smaller rival as much as $450 in credits for devices and services for each line they switch. The amount of the offer depends on the make, model and age of the smartphone, Dallas-based AT&T said. Bellevue, Wash.-based T-Mobile may be planning a similar offer, Wells Fargo & Co. said, as the companies step up efforts to poach each other’s customers.


Big TV contract

Discovery Communications Inc. Chief Executive Officer David Zaslav stands to make more than $110 million in compensation in 2014, the first year of a new contract that keeps him at the cable television network giant through 2019. Including salary of $3 million, $6.6 million in potential bonuses and more than 1 million performance-based restricted stock units, Zaslav’s compensation would reach about $110.7 million this year. The six-year contract extension lasts until Dec. 31, 2019. Zaslav, whose new contract just started, joined Discovery in 2007 from NBCUniversal and helped take the company public the following year. Since then, he’s doubled its slate of cable networks and created a joint venture with Oprah Winfrey to start the OWN channel.

Zaslav, a former attorney, was already one of the highest-paid media executives in the U.S. His compensation was valued at $49.9 million in 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That made him second only to CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves, whose compensation was $62.2 million.

Discovery’s stock price has increased more than sixfold since Zaslav took the company public in 2008. He also expanded the company’s international operations.

Compiled from staff and wire reports


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