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Rosenberg out as Prime Automotive Group CEO


Rosenberg out at Prime

Prime Automotive Group chief executive David Rosenberg’s fight with his financial backers has now cost him his job. GPB Capital, majority owner of the Westwood company, issued a statement saying that Rosenberg (left) “has been relieved of his duties.” In his place, the New York investment firm installed Kevin Westfall as interim CEO. Westfall, 63, will continue to oversee GPB’s automotive strategy, as well. Westfall had previously cofounded Vroom, an online used-car sales group, and spent 15 years as an executive at AutoNation. Rosenberg had sued GPB in July in Norfolk Superior Court, claiming it engaged in financial misconduct, including by using money from some investors to finance payments to others. He said he eventually reported the issues to the Securities and Exchange Commission. GPB responded at the time by denying Rosenberg’s claims and calling them part of a contractual dispute. A lawyer for Rosenberg said GPB has “wrongfully terminated Mr. Rosenberg for acting responsibly and ethically and in the best interests of the dealerships and GPB investors.” But an attorney who represents GPB said the firm had “proper grounds” for terminating Rosenberg and denied that it was a form of retaliation. Prime, one of the biggest dealership groups in the Northeast, includes 56 dealerships and 28 brands in eight states and is expected to generate $3.2 billion in annual revenue this year. — JON CHESTO


Women and minorities leave at higher rates

Cable and communication companies are hiring more women and people of color than they did two years ago, but the industry is still predominantly white and male, with higher turnover and lower rates of promotion among women and minority employees. Turnover rates continue to be about a third higher for women and minority employees, compared with the rates for men, according to a 2019 survey released Tuesday from the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications and Women in Cable Telecommunications. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



HBO Max to stream all episodes of ‘The Big Bang Theory’

As streaming services fight for rights to popular sitcoms, AT&T Inc.’s WarnerMedia has locked down a key show, “The Big Bang Theory.” The company’s new streaming service, HBO Max, will have the US rights to all 279 episodes of the popular comedy when it is launched in the spring, WarnerMedia said Tuesday. The show also extended a separate agreement with WarnerMedia’s cable network TBS to air “Big Bang Theory” through 2028. The move came a day after Netflix Inc. secured the rights to all 180 episodes of “Seinfeld,” starting in 2021. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Executive whose firm was fined for predatory lending could lead Ginnie Mae

A mortgage industry executive with ties to a firm penalized in a US predatory lending crackdown is being considered by the Trump administration to run Ginnie Mae, a government corporation that backs $2 trillion in home-loan securities, according to people familiar with the matter. Joseph Murin, who previously headed Ginnie Mae for about 13 months under Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, is among candidates the White House is looking at to fill the post, said the people, who requested anonymity because the discussions haven’t been made public. Murin is currently chairman emeritus of NewDay USA, one of the firms Ginnie Mae restricted last year from bonds backing Department of Veterans Affairs loans amid concerns over so-called churning, the practice of repeatedly pressuring borrowers into unnecessary refinancing. The sanctions against New Day have since been lifted. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


NBCUniversal streaming service to be named Peacock and offer reruns, new shows

NBCUniversal revealed the name and initial lineup for its new online TV platform, aiming to challenge Netflix Inc. and other streaming rivals with more than 15,000 hours of programming. The service, slated to debut in April, will be called Peacock, a tip of the hat to NBC’s logo. It will include reruns of NBC shows, including “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation,” as well as a slate of original shows, the Comcast Corp. division said on Tuesday. Peacock will join a crowded field of streaming services, all of which are fighting for TV viewers’ eyeballs and wallets. Walt Disney Co. and Apple Inc. are both launching offerings in November, while AT&T Inc.’s WarnerMedia is readying a product for early next year. Peacock’s original programming will include a “Battlestar Galactica” reboot from “Mr. Robot” creator Sam Esmail and the drama “Dr. Death” starring Alec Baldwin. It also will feature comedies from the likes of Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, and Lorne Michaels. The company will draw heavily on its vault of content. In addition to streaming reruns, Peacock will reboot the comedies “Saved by the Bell” and “Punky Brewster.” — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Factory output rose in August, reversing July slide

US factory output increased in August at a solid clip, reversing a sharp drop in July, as production of metals, machinery, and chemicals all rose. The Federal Reserve said Tuesday that manufacturing production climbed 0.5 percent last month, after a 0.4 percent drop in July. Despite the improvement, manufacturers will probably continue to struggle. Factories have been hit by the US-China trade war, which has raised their costs and curtailed their exports. Manufacturing output fell in the first two quarters of this year, the first time that’s happened since 2016. In the past 12 months, factory output has dropped 0.4 percent.



SeaWorld stock suffers on news of CEO’s departure

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. suffered its biggest stock decline of the year after abruptly replacing its chief executive, marking the latest management upheaval for the theme-park operator. Marc Swanson, who was chief financial officer, has been named interim CEO, the company said, replacing Gustavo Antorcha, who was appointed in February. Elizabeth Castro Gulacsy, formerly chief accounting officer, was named interim finance chief. SeaWorld has struggled to find its footing since a 2013 documentary criticized its handling of captive killer whales. Revenue is below where it stood six years ago, and the company suffered three years of losses before returning to profitability in 2018. It’s had six CEOs since 2014, including some appointed on an interim basis. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Amazon to offer high-resolution streaming music service

Amazon is hoping high-fidelity digital audio will appeal to all kinds of music fans, not just music snobs. On Tuesday, the company introduced a new subscription level of its streaming music service, offering millions of songs at high resolution — the first time a major streaming outlet has delved into a market long considered an audiophile niche. Even the price of the new subscription tier, called Amazon Music HD, is a statement. It will cost $15 a month, or $13 for members of Amazon’s Prime program — less than the $20 to $25 a month that is now the norm from smaller outlets like Tidal, Deezer, and Qobuz. Starting Tuesday, Amazon HD customers will have access to some 50 million songs in what the company calls HD audio, or the equivalent of CD quality — 16-bit files with sampling rates of 44.1 kilohertz. A subset of millions of those songs, Boom said, will be available at the Ultra HD level — up to 24-bit and 192 kHz, the highest-resolution files that record companies typically produce. — NEW YORK TIMES