Pacific Northwest Fisher Communications said it lost $5.1 million in the first quarter, as revenue stagnated and expenses rose. The Seattle broadcasting company...

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Pacific Northwest

Fisher Communications


Fisher Communications said it lost $5.1 million in the first quarter, as revenue stagnated and expenses rose. The Seattle broadcasting company, which owns KOMO-TV, narrowed its loss from $9.8 million in the same quarter last year.

However, its operating loss widened to $5.5 million from $3.9 million a year ago. In 2004, Fisher had an operating profit of $6.4 million, its first since 2000.

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Revenue totaled $31 million in the quarter, little changed from $30.9 million a year ago.

Costs rose to $36.51 million from $34.81 million, in part due to $1 million in expenses related to severance for William Krippaehne, the former chief executive ousted by the board in January.

Tully’s Coffee

Lawsuit over pay settled in California

Tully’s Coffee of Seattle has settled a lawsuit with two former store managers that claimed it violated California’s wage-and-hour laws.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the two former managers and other former and current store managers in California, alleged the company improperly classified the managers as exempt under the state’s wage-and-hour laws.

While the specialty-coffee retailer denied the claims, it agreed to pay $800,000 and to issue 300,000 shares of common stock, valued at $450,000, to the settlement class over three years. Tully’s will record a $1.4 million one-time charge for the settlement and associated costs during the fourth quarter.

Marchex

Online marketer buys Issaquah firm

Marchex of Seattle said yesterday it acquired assets of Pike Street Industries, an online Yellow Pages and lead-generation tool.

Marchex, an online marketing company, will pay $12.5 million in cash, $4 million in common stock and $3.5 million in restricted common stock. The restricted stock vests over three years and has been granted to the founders of Pike Street, who will join Marchex.

All 10 employees at the Issaquah company will join Marchex.

Marchex said Pike Street receives more than 2 million unique visitors a month through its portals, such as Yellow.com and Whitepages.net.

Agriculture

Taiwan ends ban on U.S. apples

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan yesterday lifted a four-month ban on the import of U.S. apples that was imposed after moth larvae were found in several shipments last year, the Council of Agriculture said.

The island introduced the ban in December after finding the codling moth larvae in a shipment from Oregon, but codling moths were detected in two previous shipments from Washington and California.

Under the terms of a trade agreement — reached after U.S. apples were briefly banned in late 2002 when similar larvae were found — a third incident of codling moths is grounds for closing the Taiwanese border to U.S. apples.

Last month, a Taiwanese team inspected procedures at orchards and packaging installations in the United States and returned satisfied that imports into Taiwan could safely resume, the Council of Agriculture said.

Compiled from Seattle Times business staff and The Associated Press