Every weekday on Marketplace, Kai Ryssdal hosts a lively and unexpected exploration of the day’s business and economic news from Wall Street to your wallet.
Airing on Thursday, June 25, 2015: The Department of Education is bailing on its giant college ratings system, but plans to launch a website this summer that will let users compare colleges against a series of yet-unnamed criteria, which may include employment and earnings data and graduation rates. How useful will the site be for students? Marketplace explores. Next: Marketplace's Kai Ryssdal talks to Funny Or Die CEO Dick Clover and President Mike Farah for Marketplace's newest installment of "Conversations from the Corner Office." The team talks about surviving the recession, taking risks and attracting A-list talent,
Airing on Wednesday, June 24, 2015: A merger between Sysco, a marketing and distribution food corporation, and US Foods deal has been put to a halt by a federal judge – a victory for the Federal Trade Commission. But on the retail end, European grocery chains Ahold and Delhaize are merging, which will make them the fifth-largest grocery operator here in the U.S. Next: Marketplace's Kai Ryssdal talks to Judd Apatow about his new book, “Sick in the Head” and about the comedy business. The "Bridesmaids" producer talks about his comedic beginnings, success, and mentoring young comics.
Airing on Monday, June 23, 2015: Massachusetts has scrapped the decades-old method of defining low-income students in public schools based on income information submitted on applications for free and reduced price lunch. The new measure relies on whether families receive food stamps and/or other welfare benefits. The shift has “reduced” the number of kids classified as poor. Marketplace looks at this new assessment, its potential impact on school funding and whether it will catch on in other states. Next, Darden Restaurants, owner of Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse, announced plans to separate part of the business into a real estate investment trust (REIT). Four hundred and thirty of its 1,500 restaurants will be spun off, and then leased back. Marketplace looks at how this spin-off/lease-back works, and how the real-estate play makes money for Darden and other companies using it.
Airing on Monday, June 22, 2015: Sales of existing homes increased by about 5 percent in May, reaching their highest level since 2009. We look at what’s behind this housing number, and the role of first-time buyers—who accounted for about 30 percent of transactions—in this increase. Next: Instacart is reclassifying part of its workforce as part-timers to get out of the independent contractor issue, which is threatening to drop an anvil on the sharing economy. We’ll use that as the way in, and also look at other approaches to solving this problem, such as the push to create a “dependent contractor,” which would be the first new job classification in years.
Airing on Friday, June 19, 2015: Apple’s effort to get into the streaming business as a latecomer is creating tension between Apple and the musicians it has long relationships with. The company is playing hardball because the stakes are so high. Next: as part of our series on infrastructure and choke points, "The Weak Link," we bring you the second of two stories on the power grid. We last left you with the Connecticut power grid problem. So how to make it better? Marketplace's Scott Tong reports.
Airing on Thursday, June 18, 2015: If you had to grade our nation's electricity infrastructure (that is, the power grid) what grade would you give it? One top engineering organization has handed down a D+. That's right; our system of power plants, poles and wires is aging and unreliable. As a part of our series "The Weak Link," Marketplace sustainability desk reporter Scott Tong examines the power grid. Next: Marketplace's Kai Ryssdal talks to Stephanie Savage, the woman who brought the book “The Astronaut Wives Club” to ABC as a summer mini-series. You might remember Stephanie from her previous shows "Gossip Girl" and "The O.C."