Sonari Glinton

Sonari Glinton is a NPR Business Desk Correspondent based at our NPR West bureau. He covers the auto industry, consumer goods, and consumer behavior, as well as marketing and advertising for NPR and Planet Money.

In this position, which he has held since late 2010, Glinton has tackled big stories including GM's road back to profitability and Toyota's continuing struggles. In addition, Glinton covered the 2012 presidential race, the Winter Olympics in Sochi, as well as the U.S. Senate and House for NPR.

Glinton came to NPR in August 2007 and worked as a producer for All Things Considered. Over the years Glinton has produced dozen of segments about the great American Song Book and pop culture for NPR's signature programs most notably the 50 Great Voices piece on Nat King Cole feature he produced for Robert Siegel.

Glinton began his public radio career as an intern at Member station WBEZ in Chicago. He worked his way through his public radio internships working for Chicago Jazz impresario Joe Segal, waiting tables and meeting legends such as Ray Brown, Oscar Brown Jr., Marian MacPartland, Ed Thigpen, Ernestine Andersen, and Betty Carter.

Glinton attended Boston University. A Sinatra fan since his mid-teens, Glinton's first forays into journalism were album revues and a college jazz show at Boston University's WTBU. In his spare time Glinton indulges his passions for baking, vinyl albums, and the evolution of the Billboard charts.

Earnings are skyrocketing at drug stores — Walgreens alone saw its earnings grow nearly 70 percent in the last quarter. Drug stores no longer handle just prescriptions and selected sundries. Big chains now compete with grocery stores and sandwich shops. Consumers are also shopping there for holiday gifts.

If you want to look into the future of commuting, you need only go to the graduate transportation program at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a legal bullseye on Target.

OK. More than a dozen customers have now filed lawsuits against the retail giant. This is after Target's security was breached and information from nearly 40 million credit and debit cards were stolen.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports that the company is in full defense mode.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: Target has offered credit monitoring to its consumers. It's taken to every social medium to get out its story. That's while the first lawsuits have begun to poor in.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. We begin this hour with a number. That number is 50. It's for our new series Number of the Year, where we explore the numbers that tell the story of 2013, numbers about same sex marriage, the minimum wage, Syria, even pandas. Today's number tells the story of a rebound in the U.S. auto industry.

November was a better than expected sales month for the auto industry. Carmakers saw their sales go up nearly 9 percent over last year, and the increase had a lot to do with advertising.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

We begin NPR's business news starts some mobile browsing.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Millions of consumers - maybe including you - went online yesterday searching for deals on Cyber Monday. This is the biggest e-commerce shopping day. Online sales for the day hit $2 billion. That's up nearly 20 percent over last year.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

No surprise. NPR's business news begins with Black Friday.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Yes, this is the day when retailers begin to turn a profit for the year. But, the deals and door buster sales keep getting earlier and earlier each year. And that's actually beginning to cut into profits.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

Traditional shopping malls took a big hit after the economic collapse. Problems at big retailers Sears and J.C. Penney — two of the biggest mall tenants — could signal even more troubles.

But malls are trying to adapt. As online shopping grows, things are getting more and more competitive out in the real world of brick-and-mortar retail.

This week on-air and online, the tech team is exploring the sharing economy. You'll find the stories on this blog and aggregated at this link, and we would love to hear your questions about the topic. Just email, leave a comment or tweet.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Really can't get enough of the story, so let's revisit it. It's a story that we reported on earlier this week involving burning lips, watering eyes, a mouth full of fire. Good things when eating a spicy meal, but not so great when it involves the air you breathe - which is what some residents of Irwindale, California are complaining about.

NPR's Sonari Glinton has more.

Getting young, healthy people to sign up for health insurance is seen as critical to the success of the Affordable Care Act. It's precisely those people who will help offset the cost of the older, sicker ones.

But while cheap health insurance and subsidies based on income are intended to make the program appealing to the young, what if they haven't even heard of the health care law? Or don't want to buy even an inexpensive policy?

Over the last year of so, Tesla motors has received some really good press. But this past week, it's been knocked off its pedestal.

"We're a country that likes to put things up on pedestals and then tear them down from pedestals. We do that with people, I think we do that with things," says Jack Nerad, an analyst with Kelley Blue Book.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Stock in the electric carmaker Tesla has been tumbling. That's after a video of a Tesla Model S on fire went viral. The high-end carmaker has lost billions of dollars of in value in just a few days.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

U.S. auto sales slipped 4 percent last month. The only major winners were Ford and Chrysler as automakers were dragged down by a quirk of the calendar and the beginning signs of skittish consumers.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins cars going public.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: The automaker Chrysler filed for an initial public offering late yesterday. After 41 consecutive months of auto sales growth, now might seem like the perfect time for the Detroit carmaker to sell shares to the public.

But as NPR's Sonari Glinton reports, this sale could be as much about brinksmanship as an IPO.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

JPMorgan Chase will have to pay more than $900 million in fines for the way it handled the London Whale trading scandal. Last year, the company revealed that its traders in London had lost $6 billion, and then concealed the losses from executives.

While large fines aren't unusual, it is unusual that federal regulators forced the bank to admit to wrongdoing. But this is exactly what happened. NPR's Sonari Glinton has more.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

The AFL-CIO wraps up its annual convention today in Los Angeles. The meeting comes as unions struggle with lots of challenges: falling membership, declining wages and hostile state legislatures. To boosts its ranks, the labor movement is now looking in some unlikely places, as NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's focus like a laser on this next story. For the last month, NPR and Youth Radio have been reporting on the changing relationship between the millennial generation and the automobile.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: When I try to imagine my dream car, I draw a blank and then I reach for my phone.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: The symbol of freedom isn't the car anymore.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: I'm not sure that any car company really understands this generation of buyers.

Part of a series of stories produced in collaboration with Youth Radio on the changing car culture in America.

In an effort to attract young people to cars, automakers have set up shop in Silicon Valley and are looking to the digital world as a way to lure them.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Do you want to learn the samba in Chicago, or perhaps the Lindy hop or the waltz? Maybe you want to know exactly how one gets jiggy. Well, all you have to do is wander into Grant Park in the summer, Chicago's Summer Dance is the nation's largest annual outdoor dance series. And for our series, Summer Nights, NPR's Sonari Glinton stopped by Grant Park for a tango.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: Just after work on a Thursday evening, you can see crowds forming in the Spirit of Music Garden on the edge of Grant Park.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

If economists looking at the housing sector are generally optimistic, those who follow the auto industry are practically brimming with glee. Right now, the average age of cars on the road is the oldest ever recorded, at 11-and-a-half years, which means at some time, people will have to buy newer ones. As NPR's Sonari Glinton reports, that time may be now.

This is the first of a series of stories produced in collaboration with Youth Radio on the changing car culture in America.

When you're a teenager, there are many things you desperately want to find: friends, fun, a future, freedom.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Earnings season is wrapping up in the car world. And the small American company Tesla is doing better than expected. When the high-end electric automaker released its earnings this week, it handily beat Wall Street expectations. Tesla's stock is up about 300 percent this year.

As NPR's Sonari Glinton reports, the question is, whether the company has enough power to sustain it for the long term.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

General Motors is selling a lot of cars in China. The company set a sales record there in July.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports China is in the front line in the battle for automotive global dominance.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: In China this year, forecasters predict nearly 20 million cars will be sold. In the U.S., the bet is we'll sell about 15 and a half million.

Mike Wall is with IHS Automotive.

MILE WALL: Yeah, you really can't overstate the importance of China in the overall global automotive landscape.

The labor market continues its recovery; the economy added 162,000 jobs in July and pushed the unemployment rate to a 4.5-year low. After a string of bad news, things seem to be to turning around for African-American workers, too.

"The operative word is growth," says Bill Rodgers, an economist at Rutgers University.

The reigning king in the truck world is the Ford F-150, and it's been that way for a couple of decades. But staying on top is getting harder.

With new, tougher fuel standards looming there is a lot of emphasis on efficiency and innovation. On Wednesday, Ford is announcing its flagship truck is taking a step into the alternative fuel world with a vehicle that can run on natural gas.

When you look at their bottom lines and their advertising you realize that the Detroit Three make cars, but they're really truck companies, especially Ford.

The debt-laden city of Detroit has been an incubator for new strategies in urban revitalization, including a downtown People Mover, casinos, urban farms, artist colonies and large scale down-sizing.

In the wake of the city's bankruptcy, many in the community are thinking small.

Just outside of downtown Detroit is a neighborhood called Midtown. Like many hip, urban neighborhoods, it's got hipsters on fixed geared bikes, yoga studios, boutiques for dogs.

The news out of Detroit has been grim of late, but there are some bright spots coming from one corner of the Motor City. On Thursday, General Motors posted its 14th straight profitable quarter since emerging from bankruptcy. Ford announced its 16th consecutive profitable quarter Wednesday, and Chrysler is expected to offer good news soon as well.

Morning Edition has reported that the Toyota Camry is the best-selling car in the U.S., and the Ford Focus is the world's best-seller.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK. Well, here's some better news for automakers. In June, cars and trucks sold at a rate close to pre-recession levels. The Detroit automakers all saw gains, as did the big Japanese firms.

Here's NPR's Sonari Glinton.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: There is one number that's important to auto executives, and that number is...

JESSICA CALDWELL: The SAAR.

GLINTON: Come Again?

CALDWELL: The SAAR, the Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate.

Pages