Economy

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Much has been written about the challenges women face making it to top positions in business. But a new report from the Women's Fund of Greater Birmingham highlights the issues faced by women much further down on the economic ladder. We talk about that in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Birmingham economic development officials have been pushing to grow technology and life sciences companies in recent years. But that growth isn't as robust as some think it could be. And it has to do with venture capital. We explain in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Drive north of Birmingham on Interstate 65 and you will soon see an expansive construction site. It’s the pending interchange between Interstate 65 and Interstate 22. That project was supposed to be completed this year, but officials now say it'll be at least next year before the orange barrels are gone. Still developers see potential. We talk about it now in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Travelers at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport are now enjoying a sparkling new concourse, part of the facility's $200 million renovation. The new restaurants and amenities have been getting rave reviews, but the larger question is if this project can reverse some downward trends for the airport. We talk about it in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Birmingham city leaders are in a battle with Nashville, Austin, Atlanta, and other cities over attracting young professionals. A revived downtown, food trucks, and breweries are considered a part of that. But the real key seems to be jobs. We talk about that in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Big profits appear to be back for most of Birmingham's largest public companies, but the paychecks for the top executives at those companies seem to be a bit subdued. Meanwhile, there is news about area banks from a new regulating agency. These topics and more as we are joined by Cindy Crawford, Editor of the Birmingham Business Journal, here with WBHM's Scott Hanley

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

An antitrust lawsuit is on the horizon for health insurance company Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama. Blue Cross holds an especially dominant position in Birmingham's health insurance market. What impact could the lawsuit have? Experts disagree, but it could create an opening for other insurers.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Weekday afternoons may be a little quieter at some bars now that this year's World Cup is over. While those hangouts certainly didn't mind the influx of crazed soccer fans, some in Birmingham are hoping it won't be another four years before football fanaticism invades the city again. That's where we start this week's Magic City Marketplace

Magic City Marketplace: Stunted Downtown Growth?

Birmingham's received a lot of attention for its downtown revival with more apartments and a grocery store slated to open in the next couple of years. But that has some business types warning that growth could be stunted because of the city's taxes. That's where we start with this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

As Birmingham climes out of the Great Recession, the local economy hasn't returned to the boom of the mid-2000s. But a new analysis is providing a view of what Birmingham's recovery does look like. It's where we start in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

If you're on Medicare in Birmingham, going to the hospital could cost the federal government more money. New data shows hospitals in Birmingham charge the feds higher rates for Medicare-covered procedures -- significantly more than what's charged in other cities in the region. We hear about that in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Voters go to the polls Tuesday for Alabama's primary election. One of the hot races is the Republican primary for the sixth congressional district. It's a conservative district covering suburban Birmingham. And it's one business leaders are watching. We talk about that in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Banking remains and important part of the Birmingham economy. But the biggest threat to banking may not be another financial institution but a tech startup -- perhaps one that doesn't even exist yet. We hear more in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Birmingham may be far and away the state largest metro area, but it seems to be losing out when it comes to major industrial projects. Mobile has Airbus, while Huntsville has the Remington plant. Economic development officials are trying to change that and we talk about it in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Interview: Mark Crosswhite, Alabama Power’s New CEO

Alabama Power is Alabama's largest utility and an influential force in the state. And the company just saw a leadership change at the highest level. Earlier this year, Charles McCrary retired after serving as CEO for almost thirteen years. Alabama Power's new CEO, Mark Crosswhite, started on March 1. Crosswhite is the former Chief Operating Officer at Southern Company, Alabama Power's parent company. Since taking on the top role, Crosswhite says he's traveled the state, meeting with employees and customers. He recently sat down with WBHM's News Director, Rachel Osier Lindley, to talk about economic development, renewable energy, and his plans for Alabama Power's future.

Maker Spaces come to Birmingham

There's a myth in business of an inventor coming up with the next big idea tinkering in his or her garage. Well, the next big idea might not come from a garage, but from a maker space. These are part community workshop, part science club. While maker spaces have been popping up around the country for several years, they've come to Birmingham more recently.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Barbecue is one of those things like religion and politics that generate strong opinions very quickly. Think wet vs. dry or tomato vs. vinegar sauces. While the culinary quibbling probably won't end, there are signs Birmingham barbecue is gaining ground beyond the state. We dig into that in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Brick-and-mortar retailers face increasing pressure from online outlets, but mall owners around Birmingham proudly proclaim "we're not dead yet!" Staying ahead though does mean change and new investment. We talk about the state of retail in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

A Look Inside the Thomas Jefferson Hotel With An Urban Explorer

Some of downtown Birmingham's iconic vacant buildings are about to see new life as retail and residential space. This summer, construction begins on a $59 million dollar renovation of the Pizitz building. Developers are also planning to revamp the Thomas Jefferson Hotel on Second Ave. North. It's no small undertaking. The 19-story building has been abandoned for three decades. What's it like inside an old luxury hotel that's been empty for over 30 years? WBHM freelancer Ashley Cleek takes a glimpse inside.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Birmingham officials have been smiling with each announcement of new investment in the city center. They really had something to smile about with the recent announcement of three apartment and retail projects in Birmingham's Southside and Lakeview neighborhoods. We hear more details in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Interview: Birmingham Barons General Manager Jonathan Nelson

This Saturday, the Birmingham Barons kick off a five-game series against the Tennessee Smokies. The 2013 Southern League Champions are already off to a strong start for their second season at Regions Field. More than 35,000 fans attended the Barons season-opening homestand earlier this month. For more on what to expect this baseball season, WBHM's Rachel Osier Lindley caught up with Birmingham Barons general manager Jonathan Nelson. This is Nelson's 21st season working in professional baseball, and his 10th season as the Barons general manager. In this conversation, Nelson talks about the pressures of following the 2012-2013 season, the impact of the new Regions Field downtown and his favorite Barons mascot.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Few were surprised when Energen announced the company was selling its subsidiary Alagasco. Reports had been flying for months that Energen was looking for a buyer for the utility. Now that a St. Louis firm is picking up Alagasco for $1.6 billion, we’ll look at what the sale means for Birmingham. That's in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

One of Birmingham's largest private companies is being sold to an Ohio-based company. Steris has agreed to buy Birmingham-based Integrated Medical Systems. It's one of two recent cases of out-of-state companies buying Birmingham properties and we hear about that in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Law firms around Birmingham have been kind of playing a game of crack the whip in recent years with economic pressures flinging them around. Now that two firms have gone under it's a game of musical chairs to see where everyone will end up. We talk about the state of the legal field around Birmingham in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Student Group Helps Alabama Residents Sign Up for Health Insurance

The deadline to sign up for healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act is March 31. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, many of Alabama's uninsured still don't understand how the new healthcare law works. But a group of Alabama college students are trying to change that. For WBHM, Greg Bass takes a closer look at Bama Covered, an organization that's getting Alabama residents signed up for health insurance.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Last year, Alabama-based political action committees took in more than $6 million from business interests and that was just at the state level. I'’s the type of thing that bothers government transparency types, but the reality is many groups jump into politics by opening their checkbooks. And for Alabama businesses, their contributions to PACs are up. We talk about that in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

The last few years have been pretty good for home buyers with interest rates low and housing prices down from their pre-recession highs. But as the economy sputters along there's the question of when the market will tip from buyers to sellers. That's where we start this week's Magic City Marketplace.

3D Printing Pediatric Prosthetics: Changes For A Little Girl, And Much More

In Huntsville, there's a little girl who was born without fingers on one hand, but she now has an affordable prosthetic. Three-dimensional printing made it possible. That technology is spreading, which means her story is just one example of life-altering changes on the horizon. In this national story, with previously unpublished photos, WBHM's Dan Carsen has more.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Birmingham economic development leaders would like to grow the region's burgeoning tech sector. While the city has many ingredients for success, there is concern about one factor in particular – a talent shortage. We hear details about that in this morning's Magic City Marketplace.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

It's convention wisdom that education is the key to a better job and better economy. But when it comes to that relationship there are some who say Birmingham is not scoring at the top of the class. We explain in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

INTERVIEW: Anne-Marie Slaughter

Writer and scholar Anne-Marie Slaughter has had a prestigious career in foreign policy and education. Slaughter served under Hillary Clinton in the United States Department of State. But after two years on the job, she realized it was too challenging to juggle high a powered-career and family. She now heads the New America Foundation, a group that focuses on the next generation of challenges facing the United States. Slaughter sat down with WBHM's Rachel Osier Lindley to talk about professional women, work-life balance, and caregiving. The conversation starts with Slaughter discussing what she's probably most known for - an Atlantic Monthly article entitled "Why Women Still Can't Have it All."

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

This winter's snow storms around Alabama left motorists stranded, forced kids to spend the night at school and disrupted life for many. Retailers say the weather affected them negatively and now home builders say the snow wasn't good for them either. We hear more details in this morning's Magic City Marketplace.