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TALKING POINTS

Lancaster promoted to CEO of Stavis Seafoods

David Lancaster, CEO of Stavis SeafoodsStavis Seafoods

FISHING INDUSTRY

Lancaster promoted to CEO of Stavis Seafoods

Spanish seafood conglomerate Profand Group has promoted David Lancaster to be chief executive of Stavis Seafoods, the Boston-based processor. Lancaster, a 30-year veteran of the industry, was previously promoted from vice president of sales to president of Stavis in January 2021; the CEO role had been left vacant recently and was being managed by the parent company. Stavis employs 150 to 200 people across facilities in Boston, New Bedford, and Peabody, and generated more than $250 million in revenue last year. — JON CHESTO

MEDIA

New York Times to buy the Athletic

The New York Times has agreed to buy the Athletic, acquiring a sports-news website with more than 1 million subscribers, according to a person familiar with the matter. The deal is valued at around $550 million, said the person, who asked not to be identified because it hasn’t been announced. Neither the Times nor the Athletic responded to a request for comment. Started six years ago, the Athletic established itself by poaching big-name sports writers from news outlets across the country, including Ken Rosenthal in baseball and Shams Charania in basketball. The Athletic’s cofounder, Alex Mather, told the New York Times in 2017, “We will wait every local paper out and let them continuously bleed, until we are the last ones standing. We will suck them dry of their best talent at every moment.” He later apologized. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

MORTGAGES

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Rates on the rise

Average long-term US mortgage rates rose in the past week to start the new year. They reached their highest level since May 2020, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, yet remained historically low. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average rate on the benchmark 30-year home loan increased to 3.22 percent this week from 3.11 percent last week. A year ago, the 30-year rate stood at 2.65 percent. The average rate on 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages, popular among those refinancing their homes, rose to 2.43 percent from 2.33 percent last week. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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AUTOMOTIVE

Volkswagen to unveil its electric bus

Volkswagen will unveil the ID. Buzz, an electric iteration of its iconic hippie-era microbus, on March 9. Chief executive Herbert Diess announced the date Thursday in a Twitter post that sketched out the contours of the new design, which draws on the lines of the original model. VW’s original microbus — the colorful, bread loaf-shaped van that was a regular sight in the 1960s at music festivals including Woodstock — has a dedicated fan following. The German company previously said it plans to sell its battery-powered successor in Europe and the United States. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

TRADE

Deficit at a near-record in November

The US trade deficit surged to a near-record high of $80.2 billion in November as exports slowed at the same time that imports jumped sharply. The November deficit was 19.3 percent higher than the October deficit of $67.2 billion and was just below the all-time monthly record of $81.4 billion set in September, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. November imports, goods Americans bought from other countries, jumped 4 percent to $304.4 billion in November while exports, those the United States sends overseas, edged up a scant 0.2 percent to $224.2 billion. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

TELEVISION

CW is reportedly up for sale

ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia unit are considering a sale of all or part of the CW TV network, according to people familiar with the discussions. The sale is not a given, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The discussions have been going on for months. Among the possible buyers is Nextstar Media Group Inc., a large TV station owner with many CW affiliates. A spokesman for Nextstar declined to comment. Founded 15 years ago as a joint venture between the two media giants, the CW is a free, over-the-air network focusing on teens and young adults. Its hits include a number of DC Comics superhero shows as well as “All American,” a high school football drama. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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MEDIA

BBC hires former NBC executive to head news division

The BBC announced Thursday that it has appointed Deborah Turness as its new chief executive for news and current affairs, bringing to the broadcaster a vastly experienced journalist who previously held senior leadership positions at the news division of NBC. Turness, 54, comes to the BBC from British media company ITN, where she is currently CEO. The native of England will replace Fran Unsworth, who is leaving at the end of January. When she begins her new new job, Turness will have responsibility for a team of around 6,000 that delivers broadcasts in more than 40 languages to almost half a billion people around the world, the BBC said. Turness joined NBC News in 2013, becoming the first female president of an American network news division, and later served as president of the network’s global arm. The BBC, founded in 1922, is Britain’s publicly funded but editorially independent national broadcaster. The rules governing its operations are set out in a royal charter that requires the corporation to be impartial, act in the public interest and be open, transparent, and accountable. The broadcaster has come under pressure from some members of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party who accuse it of having a liberal bias. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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FOOD

Prices eased at the end of 2021

Global food prices declined from near a record high at the end of last year, offering some respite to consumers and governments facing a wave of inflationary pressures. A United Nations index tracking everything from grains to meat fell 0.9 percent in December, potentially helping to ease the run-up in prices of grocery store products. Still, the gauge remains near 2011′s all-time high and average prices jumped about 28 percent in 2021, the most in 14 years. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

RETAIL

Bed Bath & Beyond sales hurt by supply chain snags

Losses widened at Bed Bath & Beyond as a tangled global supply chain continued to squeeze sales and the home goods chain lowered expectations for its final fiscal quarter, and also its full-year revenue. The Union, N.J., company lost $276.4 million, or $2.78 per share, for the three months ended Nov. 27. Bed Bath & Beyond said that it struggled to get everything on shelves that shoppers wanted amid ongoing issues tied to backups in the supply chain as the US economy emerges from the worst of the pandemic. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

PHARMACIES

Walgreens’ bottom line helped by COVID vaccines, testing

COVID-19 vaccines and testing boosted Walgreens store sales growth to levels not seen in more than two decades, pushing the drugstore chain well above Wall Street expectations for the first quarter. Walgreens doled out 15.6 million vaccines in the quarter that ended in Nov. 30, up 16 percent from the previous quarter, as more Americans sought booster shots. Also, federal regulators expanded eligibility for Pfizer’s vaccine to children ages 5 to 12. The company administered 6.5 million COVID-19 tests in the first quarter, which ended before the omicron variant of the virus sent case numbers soaring in the United States and stoked the need for testing even higher. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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