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David Robinson

David Robinson is the deputy business editor for The News, where has worked since graduating from Syracuse University in 1985. A New Hampshire native, he started out in the News' Tonawanda bureau and moved into the business news department in October 1987, exactly a week after the stock market crash.


Business

A trustee in the Tops Markets bankruptcy case is suing the supermarket chain's former owners, including Morgan Stanley, alleging that they bled Tops dry by loading the company with debt, in large part, to pay themselves $375 million in dividends. And he wants a jury to decide whether Tops' former owners should be required to pay them back. The lawsuit, filed by the t…

Business

Gibraltar Industries paid $50 million to acquire a California company that makes centrifugal ethanol-based extraction systems that are used to produce botanical oil extracts. The acquisition of Delta Separations is the second purchase that the Hamburg-based company has made in the processing market, following its $12.6 million purchase in August 2019 of Ohio-based Apeks…

Business

It's beginning to look like a good bet that Tesla Inc. will build the workforce at its South Buffalo solar panel factory fast enough to avoid paying a $41.2 million penalty to the state. Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted this week that the company will host its April "company talk" from the Buffalo factory – the first time the RiverBend complex will be highlighted to employee…

Business

The hunt for homes is getting harder – a lot harder. The number of homes for sale fell to a 22-year low during January, further tightening a housing market that already had buyers scrambling to find homes. With listings down by nearly 13% from a year ago, the competition for homes is rising, especially for well-kept properties in sought-after neighborhoods. As…

Business

Synacor Inc., the Buffalo-based software and services firm, has agreed to merge with Qumu Corp., a Minnesota-based firm that provides tools that allow clients to measure the success of live and on-demand video. The all-stock deal will result in the formation of a combined company where Synacor shareholders hold a 64% ownership stake and Qumu investors own 36%. The combi…

Business

Tumbling natural gas prices are putting a hurt on National Fuel Gas Co. The Amherst-based energy company's first-quarter profits fell by 16% and warned that its profits this year will be about 12% lower than it forecast in October. With natural gas prices falling and expected to drop even further, National Fuel said it is further scaling back its natural gas drilling…

Business

With the clock ticking on Tesla Inc. to bulk up its Buffalo workforce, the company says it is hiring "hundreds" of workers. But with the deadline to have 1,460 workers at its RiverBend factory 2½ months away, there are few signs that Tesla's solar energy business really needs to be going on an all-out hiring spree. At least not yet. But that doesn't mean it doesn'…

Business

Tesla's solar energy business is starting to bounce back, with the company saying it is hiring "hundreds" of employees at its Buffalo factory – a little more than two months before a deadline to significantly expand its local workforce or face a $41.2 million penalty from the state. Tesla said Wednesday that its solar energy deployments rose by 26% from the third quarte…

Business

The Buffalo News, after 42 years as part of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, is being sold to Lee Enterprises, an Iowa-based chain that owns 50 newspapers, mainly in the Midwest. With the $140 million deal, announced Wednesday morning, Lee will become only the third owner in the 140-year history of The News. Analysts said they were not surprised by the deal. Lee …

Business

The sale of The Buffalo News and other newspapers owned by Warren Buffett's BH Media Group to Lee Enterprises is the latest consolidation move in an industry that is grappling with steep declines in advertising. With competition from online news sources rising, newspapers – especially regional and local papers – have been struggling with the shift in advertising to digi…

Business

The Buffalo News, after 42 years as part of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, is being sold to Lee Enterprises, an Iowa-based chain that owns 50 newspapers, mainly in the Midwest. With the $140 million deal, announced Wednesday morning, Lee will become only the third owner in the 140-year history of The News. Analysts said they were not surprised by the deal. Lee …

Business

Unemployment keeps inching higher across the Buffalo Niagara region. The Buffalo Niagara region’s unemployment rate rose to 4.7% last month from 4.3% during December 2018, according to data released Tuesday by the state Labor Department. While the unemployment rate still was the second-lowest for any December since 2006, it was the fifth straight month that joblessne…

Business

When Jody Lomeo steps down as the Kaleida Health CEO at the end of this year, his successor will face plenty of challenges. The hospital group in 2019 ran its first operating deficit in six years, squeezed like all hospital groups — including its rival, Catholic Health System — by declining insurance reimbursement rates. Kaleida hopes to break even this year as it la…

Business

When Jody Lomeo came to Kaleida Health six years ago, the hospital group was in trouble. Kaleida had lost $15 million in 2013. Smaller hospitals in outlying areas were linking up with competing hospital networks, cutting into its market share. His predecessor, James Kaskie, had been fired. So Lomeo faced an uphill fight when Kaleida's board in January 2014 snatched L…

Business

Jody Lomeo, the Kaleida Health CEO who oversaw the hospital group's building boom that included the construction of a new children's hospital and expansions at other facilities, plans to step down at the end of this year. Lomeo, 51, said Tuesday morning that he planned to leave his post for personal reasons. He has been Kaleida's CEO for the past six years, as the hospi…