Business Briefs
Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Friday, September 21, 2001

Hawaii radio stations settle defamation lawsuit

Cox Radio Hawaii, doing business as KXME "Xtreme" 104.3 FM, has settled a defamation lawsuit against New Wave Broadcasting LP, doing business as KDDB "Da Bomb" 102.7 FM, but details are being withheld.

But as part of the settlement, New Wave and KDDB radio station acknowledged making misleading broadcasts which put KXME in a false light and hurt its reputation, the settlement says.

New Wave and KDDB apologized.

The suit alleged that disc jockeys at KDDB made on-air remarks that KXME lied about reasons for the cancellation of a June concert by hip-hop group DMX.

Neither Cox Radio Hawaii Vice President and General Manager Austin Vali nor company attorney Jeff Portnoy would comment on the settlement.

New Wave officials did not return messages seeking comment.

GE says it's on track for double-digit earnings

NEW YORK >> General Electric Co. today said it was on track to deliver double-digit earnings growth this year, despite a looming recession and pressure on its insurance and aerospace businesses after last week's attacks in the United States.

Jeff Immelt, in his first meeting with the financial community since succeeding the legendary Jack Welch as chief executive, was quick to assure Wall Street that GE would continue to deliver on its long track record of steady profit growth.

It was one of the first major U.S. corporate gatherings since hijacked airliners killed thousands in destroying the World Trade Center in New York and damaging the Pentagon on Sept. 11.

The financial community cheered Immelt's presentation, saying it answered investors' concerns about GE's exposure to both the economy and the attacks.

"It's a very tough time, but we're working through this, and the company's in great shape," Immelt said. "It's the visibility. It's the consistency. We know how to manage for the long-term."

GE shares closed up 93 cents, or 3 percent, to $31.30 after falling as much as 5.5 percent in early trading.

Businesses can e-mail IRS with questions

The Internal Revenue Service has set up an e-mail address to field questions from companies affected by last week's terrorist attacks.

The IRS sent out two notices (2001-61 and 2001-63) explaining the extensions and other tax relief available to those affected by the Sept. 11 attacks.

Questions not answered by those notices can be e-mailed to The notices themselves are available at

Disney boardroom is not happiest place on Earth

New York >> Texas billionaire Sid Richardson Bass and his family sold $2 billion worth of Walt Disney Co. shares, in part to cover losses on other investments from the market fallout since last week's terrorist attacks.

The Basses sold the 135 million-share block at an estimated 22 percent discount to yesterday's closing price. Entertainment company Disney said it bought 50 million of the shares, which dropped 8.2 percent to their lowest level in six and a half years. Goldman, Sachs & Co. resold the remaining 85 million shares to other investors. Disney's stock, which lost $1.52 yesterday, rebounded 89 cents to $17.87 today on the New York Stock Exchange. The plunge in stock prices this week probably will cause more investors to sell shares, money managers say.

"If the market continues to go down dramatically, certainly this type of transaction could occur again with other large investors," said Angela Kohler, manager of the $600 million Federated Large Cap Growth Fund, which owns Disney shares.

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