Ups and Downs Featured

9:55am EDT July 22, 2002

Ups to Dick Jacobs. The venerable owner of the Indians is looking for a buyer. With professional sports franchises valued at an all-time high, it’s a good time to sell. Besides, Jacobs isn’t getting any younger and he gets to choose his successor. If you’re interested in forming an ownership group, give us a call — and bring your portfolio statement.

Ups to TRW. The aerospace giant is investing $250 million in a $3.6 billion Internet satellite venture with Lockheed Martin and Telecom Italia. The high-speed, high-capacity link-up will be through millions of tiny satellite dishes. Maybe we’ll finally answer the question: Is there any intelligent life out there?

Ups to McDonald’s. The burger boys couldn’t make their home-grown pizza formula a success, so they bought their way in through Donato’s Pizza. We’d like one large pepperoni with a Happy Meal toy on the side, please.

Ups to Lubrizol shareholders. They voted against the wishes of management and approved a resolution asking directors to alter the company’s poison pill takeover defense. It’s not often the guppies get the last bite in room full of big fish.

Downs to Diebold. Plans for the North Canton company’s new ATMs include commercials that pop up while you wait for cash. It’s a windfall for marketers, but for consumers, it’s one more sales pitch while you’re a captive audience. If they toss in a few coupons and waive the transaction fees, we may change our minds.

Ups to National City Bank. Its probe into buying Key Corp. signals good news for the Cleveland banking system and local landlords. A merger would end speculation about outside buyers and create a strong financial institution that could set its sights on other acquisitions. Besides, with the flight of BP, the city doesn’t need any more available office space.