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Report: Path to Economic Recovery Must Address Broadband Challenges

BY CSA STAFF

Miami State, local and national leaders must focus more attention on the consumer side of America’s broadband challenge, according to a report by Connected Nation.

The report coincides with a summit being held this week in Miami, called “Digital Pathways to U.S. Economic Recovery and Prosperity,” which is drawing the attention of some of the nation’s leaders to discuss the topic.

“Never before has the United States had such an opportunity for an economic return on investment as is available when we make broadband an infrastructure priority,” said Connected Nation chairman and CEO Brian Mefford during the summit’s keynote address. “Together, we have to elevate the understanding of the transformative power of broadband so that those who are the nation’s most vulnerable will not remain on the wrong side of the digital divide, therefore allowing for an economic impact of proportions never before possible in the history of our nation.”

The new Connected Nation report entitled, “Consumer Insights to America’s Broadband Challenge,” revealed that the largest barrier to broadband adoption is a lack of awareness about its benefits. Nearly one-half (44%) of those with no home broadband connection said, “I don’t need broadband.”

Likewise, the top barrier to computer ownership is also a perceived lack of need. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of those who do not own a computer said, “I don’t need a computer.”

Nearly one-fourth (24%) of those who do not own a computer cite the up-front cost as a barrier. Similarly, nearly one-fourth of those without a home broadband connection said broadband is too expensive.

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Van Tassel named president of Post Foods

BY CSA STAFF

ST. LOUIS Ralcorp Holdings has named Stephen Van Tassel corporate vp and president of the recently acquired Post Foods business.

Van Tassel joined the company on Aug. 4 in connection with the acquisition of Post Foods from Kraft Foods. He will be responsible for managing and growing Post Foods and will report to David Skarie, co-ceo and president of Ralcorp.

 

Van Tassel most recently served as vp of marketing for the North America Post Cereal Category.

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Supervalu posts weaker-than-expected 2Q results

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Supervalu reported second quarter net sales of $10.2 billion compared to $10.2 billion last year, net earnings of $128 million compared to $148 million last year, and diluted earnings per share of 60 cents compared to 69 cents last year. Second quarter fiscal 2009 and fiscal 2008 results included charges for one-time acquisition-related costs of $3 million and $19 million, pretax or 1 cent and 5 cent per diluted share, respectively.

The company reported year-to-date fiscal 2009 net sales of $23.6 billion compared to $23.5 billion last year, net earnings of $290 million compared to $296 million last year, and reported diluted earnings per share of $1.36 compared to $1.37 last year. Year to date fiscal 2009 results include charges for one-time acquisition-related costs of 4 cents per diluted share compared to 13 cents per diluted share last year.

 

Jeff Noddle, Supervalu chairman and ceo, said, Despite weaker than expected operating results in the second quarter, we expect another record earnings per share year, with earnings in a range of $2.86 to $2.96 per share. As for the balance of the year, we have taken action to improve our sales performance while creating value for our customers and to reduce costs in the back half of the year. Noddle went on to say, We are also affirming that our cash flows will provide for more than $1 billion in capital spending and debt reductions of at least $400 million this year. 

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