PBT Transcript (5/28/2008)

MIKE ARMSTRONG:  Coming up.  That cable box that sits on your entertainment center may one day be a relic.  There’s a new deal to put the technology in that box in your TV.  We’ll tell you who plans to do that.  With high energy prices comes high interest in mining and logging.  A Radner company just did a big deal in Appalachia.  Think your boss has retaliated against you, because you filed a racial or age discrimination compliant?  You’ll wanna know what the Supreme Court says you can do about it.  Philadelphia Business Today starts now.

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MIKE ARMSTRONG:  Are the days of cable boxes coming to an end?  Comcast and five other cable TV operators just signed an agreement with SONY that will allow the consumer electronics maker to incorporate cable technology in its TVs.  What’s in it for consumers?  One fewer remote and a little more room in the TV stand.  It’s unclear when the first TVs carrying the technology will be available.  And keep this in mind.  The FCC regulates set top boxes and will get a say over this deal.  Anything that hurts sales of set top boxes is bad news for Motorola which has built a big business in cable technology that’s based in Montgomery County.

I probably wouldn’t have batted an eye five years ago over the sale of coal reserves and timber, but high energy and commodity prices have changed all that.  Penn Virginia Resources which is based in Radner paid nearly $25 million to acquire about 29 million tons of coal reserves and about 56 million board feet of timber.  The properties are in western Virginia and eastern Kentucky.  The Delaware County firm has been expanding its holdings in coal, timber and natural gas recently.  The actual mines will be operated by International Coal Group of West Virginia.

In this age of the lean and mean workplace, the Supreme Court just affirmed workers’ rights to sue in federal court.  In two separate rulings, the court said workers do have a right to sue, if they feel they’ve been retaliated against for complaining about racial or age discrimination.  Retaliation usually involves false accusations about a person’s job performance to justify someone’s firing after he’s complained about discrimination.  Retaliation complaints have been on the rise in part because the Supreme Court made it easier to file them.  The New York Times said such complaints filed each year with the EEOC have doubled in the last 15 years to 22,000.

 That’s it for today.  At The Inquirer, I’m Mike Armstrong for Philadelphia Business Today.

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