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NEWS
March 13, 2013
John J. Byrne Jr., 80, the chairman and chief executive of Geico who was credited with leading the insurance giant from near-bankruptcy to profitability in the late 1970s - an achievement that remains one of the celebrated turnarounds in modern business history - died Thursday at his home in Etna, N.H. His death, from cancer, was confirmed by his colleague Bob Snyder. For years, Mr. Byrne was one of the most prominent businessmen in Washington, and for decades, he was one of the most noted executives in his industry.
BUSINESS
February 28, 2004 | By Akweli Parker INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Geico insurance executive Louis A. Simpson quietly left the Comcast Corp. board last month, shortly before Comcast launched its unsolicited bid for Walt Disney Co. "He said he had competing personal and professional commitments that prevented him from serving on our board," Comcast executive vice president David L. Cohen said this week. Simpson's departure means that, for now, Comcast will have 11 board members instead of 12. In addition to his role as chief executive of capital operations at Geico, Simpson serves as a top lieutenant to famed stock-picker Warren Buffett, who heads investment firm Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Geico's parent company.
NEWS
May 24, 2007 | By Chris Rovzar NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
ABC is taking a big gamble this fall, betting that a series of 30-second, one-joke ad spots has the potential to fill up 30 minutes of prime time. By taking Geico car insurance's popular cavemen marketing campaign and expanding it into a full-length sitcom called, yes, Cavemen, ABC is hoping to catch up with its rivals, who have been trouncing the network during prime time. It's an uphill battle for a cast of characters who haven't yet invented the wheel. The new series, helmed by ad genius Joe Lawson (who created most of Geico's popular ads, including the talking gecko and the celebrity voice-over spots with Little Richard and others)
NEWS
February 15, 2012 | By David Hiltbrand, Inquirer TV Writer
When Regis Philbin stepped away from Live With Regis and Kelly last year, it was widely assumed that his record of 17,000 hours of airtime amassed over a career was unassailable. Instead it's being pecked away at in innumerable 30-second increments by a perky lady in white overalls and a little walking, talking lizard. You're not imagining it - commercials for car insurance, many of them featuring the aforementioned Flo or the Gecko, have overrun TV. Why the tsunami?
ENTERTAINMENT
March 3, 2011
IF YOU'RE ONE of the folks who fainted during "127 Hours" last year, you can thank a guy named Tony Gardner. He's the Hollywood effects artist (you can see his latest work in "Beastly") who built the fake muscle and bone for the arm that James Franco self-amputates during the movie's most notorious scene. "Yeah, we just put a little carbon fiber in the silicone muscle to make it look like a real muscle," he said, with a dude-like California drawl that belies his formative years in Cleveland.
NEWS
February 28, 1995 | By Aaron Epstein, INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
The Supreme Court agreed yesterday to decide whether noncitizens have the same rights as citizens when seeking jobs, buying insurance, and obtaining loans to buy homes or vehicles. In a case brought by an Australian who was denied homeowners insurance, the justices will determine whether a federal civil rights law that bars racial discrimination in private contracts also protects people who suffer discrimination because they are not U.S. citizens. A lower court said it does.
NEWS
July 31, 1987 | By Larry Fish, Inquirer Staff Writer
Calling auto insurance problems "a day-to-day crisis now in Philadelphia," a state representative yesterday asked Gov. Casey to call a special legislative session to overhaul state law. An executive of an insurance company, meanwhile, said that his firm was still losing money in Pennsylvania despite a recent 19 percent rate increase and that the problem was that "you just can't get the Philadelphia rates high enough" to make a profit. State Rep. Frances Weston (R., Philadelphia)
NEWS
August 21, 2004
The gecko is back. No longer must New Jerseyans complain that they are frustrated by the Geico ads they see on New York and Philadelphia television stations. The Geico gecko now speaks to them, too, with his promise of auto-insurance rates that consistently beat the competition. Monday's return of car insurer Geico to New Jersey after a 28-year absence is ironic evidence that the mortally wounded McGreevey administration did get some things right. Were McGreevey still a candidate for reelection, no doubt his campaign would be touting his fulfillment of at least one promise made in 2001 - to bring down auto-insurance rates.
BUSINESS
August 11, 2014 | By Jeff Gelles, Inquirer Columnist
Nnamdi Asogwa's green 2010 Camry sits in his Upper Darby driveway, shiny and tagless testimony to the small nightmare he's been living. Asogwa, 33, is a Nigerian immigrant, and a U.S. citizen since 2011. He has a bachelor's degree in political science, an M.B.A., and a job as a project manager at Siemens Healthcare in Malvern. He also has a story that illustrates, at the very least, the risks of running even slightly afoul of the rules followed by the police, auto insurers, and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
BUSINESS
December 3, 2008 | By Diane Mastrull INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The road to auto insurance in Pennsylvania just got more congested - and controversial. CURE Auto Insurance, a Princeton nonprofit company that has been writing policies just in New Jersey for nearly 19 years, announced yesterday that it was now welcoming customers among Pennsylvania's 8.6 million licensed drivers. But the company did not stop there. Officials used the opportunity to publicly accuse competitors of discriminatory rating practices - denouncing as "unfair" their use of such factors as a driver's education, occupation and credit score for deciding whether to issue a policy and what premium to charge.
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BUSINESS
August 11, 2014 | By Jeff Gelles, Inquirer Columnist
Nnamdi Asogwa's green 2010 Camry sits in his Upper Darby driveway, shiny and tagless testimony to the small nightmare he's been living. Asogwa, 33, is a Nigerian immigrant, and a U.S. citizen since 2011. He has a bachelor's degree in political science, an M.B.A., and a job as a project manager at Siemens Healthcare in Malvern. He also has a story that illustrates, at the very least, the risks of running even slightly afoul of the rules followed by the police, auto insurers, and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
BUSINESS
September 16, 2013 | By Jeff Gelles, Inquirer Columnist
Education. Occupation. Credit score. Like it or not, all are factors that at least some auto insurers have come to use in setting premiums, even if they have a questionable role in predicting a driver's performance behind the wheel. Now, we can add "stickiness" to the list - not the kind that comes from a messy toddler, but the kind businesses covet: a customer's tendency to stick around despite higher prices. And the Consumer Federation of America is crying foul. In a letter last month to state insurance commissioners, the group's insurance advocate, Bob Hunter, quoted a consultant's report saying that nearly half the largest insurers squeeze higher premiums out of predictably sticky customers through methods known as "price optimization" or "scientific pricing.
BUSINESS
May 7, 2013 | By Matthew Craft, Associated Press
NEW YORK - Bank of America led a rally in big-bank stocks in mostly quiet trading Monday. Stock indexes ended little changed following a record-setting run last week. News that Bank of America and MBIA, a bond-insurance company, had reached a settlement over a long-running dispute propelled both companies' stocks. BofA will pay $1.7 billion to MBIA and extend the troubled company a credit line. MBIA soared 45 percent, or $4.46, to $14.29. Bank of America gained 5 percent, or 64 cents, to $12.88, making it the leading company in the Dow Jones industrial average.
NEWS
March 13, 2013
John J. Byrne Jr., 80, the chairman and chief executive of Geico who was credited with leading the insurance giant from near-bankruptcy to profitability in the late 1970s - an achievement that remains one of the celebrated turnarounds in modern business history - died Thursday at his home in Etna, N.H. His death, from cancer, was confirmed by his colleague Bob Snyder. For years, Mr. Byrne was one of the most prominent businessmen in Washington, and for decades, he was one of the most noted executives in his industry.
NEWS
February 15, 2012 | By David Hiltbrand, Inquirer TV Writer
When Regis Philbin stepped away from Live With Regis and Kelly last year, it was widely assumed that his record of 17,000 hours of airtime amassed over a career was unassailable. Instead it's being pecked away at in innumerable 30-second increments by a perky lady in white overalls and a little walking, talking lizard. You're not imagining it - commercials for car insurance, many of them featuring the aforementioned Flo or the Gecko, have overrun TV. Why the tsunami?
ENTERTAINMENT
March 3, 2011
IF YOU'RE ONE of the folks who fainted during "127 Hours" last year, you can thank a guy named Tony Gardner. He's the Hollywood effects artist (you can see his latest work in "Beastly") who built the fake muscle and bone for the arm that James Franco self-amputates during the movie's most notorious scene. "Yeah, we just put a little carbon fiber in the silicone muscle to make it look like a real muscle," he said, with a dude-like California drawl that belies his formative years in Cleveland.
SPORTS
December 4, 2010 | By TED SILARY, silaryt@phillynews.com
ALLENTOWN - For some victors, it's not always easy keeping track of the spoils. Kevin Burns can verify that. Just don't ask him for too many details. The 5-11, 180-pound Burns is a senior linebacker for West Catholic High and last night, shortly after the Burrs dismantled Northern Lehigh, 55-14, in a PIAA Class AA quarterfinal at frigid J. Birney Crum Stadium, someone handed him a game ball. Burns' smile was big and he certainly looked appreciative, but to paraphrase one of those new Geico commercials, this was not his first time at the game-ball rodeo.
NEWS
March 27, 2010 | By Paul Nussbaum and Edward Colimore INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
Look out, Joyce Kilmer. Your poetry may be timeless, but as the name of a New Jersey Turnpike rest stop, your days may be numbered. James Simpson, the new commissioner of the state Department of Transportation, is contemplating selling naming rights to the turnpike's rest stops as he scrambles for new revenue. "The 'Nike Stop' . . . maybe that would be worth $10 million," Simpson said in a recent interview, pondering ways to wring more money out of turnpike concessions.
NEWS
March 9, 2010 | By David Hiltbrand INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
You might not recognize Stephanie Courtney even if you were riding in a cramped elevator with her. This despite the fact that she's on TV more than Neil Patrick Harris and Ellen DeGeneres combined. That's because Courtney makes her innumerable appearances in the persona of Flo, the crazily congenial, unbelievably upbeat commercial icon for Progressive Auto Insurance. Flo's look was sculpted for her debut TV spot in 2007. "It all comes from the talents of the hair and makeup ladies," Courtney says.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 28, 2009 | By STEVE HEDGPETH For the Daily News
"I would like some way to disappear where people don't see me anymore at some point. I don't want to grow old. I never want to look in the mirror and see that. " - Michael Jackson TOO LATE, too late. Michael Jackson won't be growing older, true, but disappearing? Amelia Earhart, he isn't. For one thing, there's the documentary "Michael Jackson's This Is It," a chronicle of his preparations for the comeback tour that never happened. The film, which opened in select theaters at midnight, is expected to attract lines out the door.
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