KASU

Talk Business

Saturdays, 3:30pm
  • Hosted by Roby Brock

A multi-media news organization focusing on Arkansas news and information.Content is driven by Roby Brock, who has interviewed more than 2,000 business and political leaders. Brock is the host of Talk Business & Politics which airs Sunday mornings at 9 am on KATV Channel 7. He also moderates a radio program which airs on NPR affiliates statewide (including KASU, Saturdays at 3:30pm). Supporting staff, contributors,and content partners represent the most knowledgeable and experienced in their fields. 

Digital platforms such as Talkbusiness.net, Facebook and Twitter allow news and information from around the state to be made accessible as it is happening and keeps those most affected in the know. Talk Business.net micro-sites further providing dedicated content to the Northwest and Northeast regions.In addition, micro-sites are dedicated to specific industry insights such as entrepreneurial, education, healthcare and financial news. 

Daily e-newsletters with top business and political news are complemented with specific industry updates strategically assigned per day to support industry trends. 

The Talk Business & Politics publication reaches affluent decision-makers across the state and is an essential resource guide for new entrepreneurs and leaders at all levels of government. With a dedicated delivery of 16,000 copies bi-monthly, readers receive an in-depth look at business and political profiles, the most current developments in key industries, and corporate and policy strategies. 

The audience of Talk Business & Politics is predominantly CEOs, presidents and principals of companies statewide. In addition, elected officials at all levels, trade association executives, healthcare leaders and higher education representatives. 

Courtesy of Talk Business & Politics Facebook page

Ways to Connect

Two legislatively-referred constitutional amendments have found traction with voters although both have a sizable number of undecided opinions.

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump hasn’t seen his poll numbers slide any in the last month, despite controversies and lackluster debate performances. As a matter of fact, the Republican standard-bearer slightly grew his lead over Democrat Hillary Clinton in the former First Lady of Arkansas’ one-time home state.

In the U.S. Senate race, the contest has tightened between incumbent Republican Sen. John Boozman and Democratic challenger Conner Eldridge, but Boozman still maintains a comfortable 18-point lead.

A new Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College survey shows that opposition remains stronger than support for two medical marijuana proposals that will be on the November ballot.

The poll, conducted statewide among 463 likely Arkansas voters on October 21, 2016, has a margin of error of 4.6%.

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment survived an Arkansas Supreme Court challenge in an opinion issued Thursday, but the court pulled an amendment that would allow casino operations in three Arkansas counties.

The three candidates for U.S. Senate defended their parties’ presidential candidates and attacked the others in their first and only debate this election season.

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

Former U.S. Senator and Arkansas Governor David Pryor, 82, suffered a stroke Monday and is in recovery after surgery, the University of Arkansas System announced Monday.

The UA System, where Pryor serves as a trustee, said he was transported to a local hospital and was in recovery after surgery it described as successful.

The second quarter economic story of Arkansas’ four key metro areas was much like the first quarter story: unchanged from the previous quarter, but healthy, with continued job gains and sales tax revenue growth, according to The Compass Report.

Arkansas Businesses Ready To Trade With Cuba As Restrictions Lifted

Sep 23, 2016

Candlemaker Burt Hanna, rice and grain operators and even an oil importer in Arkansas are ready to do business with Cuba, held back only by an embargo rendered 56 years ago that has only served to help impoverish a neighboring nation, according to Melvin Torres.

A new Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College survey shows that Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump has widened his lead over Democrat Hillary Clinton by another 10 points from late June.

Beyond budget bills and Zika funding, Sen. John Boozman, R-Arkansas, says he thinks infrastructure funding will find its way into law before an October recess. The state’s senior senator also explained his position on overseas travel, an upcoming debate, and controversies in the Presidential race.

While a better Arkansas economy has helped lower the state’s 2013-2015 food insecurity rate to 19.2% from the 19.7% in the 2010-2012 period, national and regional food bank officials say more help is needed and the rates remain above pre-recession realities.

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Pool hall owner Jack Allison saw a peculiar aircraft in flight over his hometown late night Sept. 18, 1964. It was large, and as he spied it from the pool hall parking lot, it was clear to him the plane was headed to the Walnut Ridge Airport.

Allison instructed three teenage boys to investigate it. When they arrived at the runway, the plane door opened and immortals strolled onto the tarmac. It was the only time the Beatles – George, John, Paul, and Ringo – ever set foot in the Natural State as a group.

Jonesboro building permit values up 43% through first seven months

Sep 15, 2016
Brandon Tabor, KASU News

Jonesboro building permit values totaled $122 million for the first seven months of 2016, up an impressive 43% compared to the same period in 2015. The increase was largely fueled by expansions at Frito Lay and St. Bernards Healthcare.

Brandon Tabor, KASU News

A $40,000 check from Verizon will enable the state to create regional and state computer coding competitions, with the winning team of three students each taking home a $2,000 scholarship award.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Wednesday (Sept. 7) the creation of the Governor’s All-Region and All-State Coding Competition during a speech at Hall High School. Hutchinson is touring 12-14 schools to promote his initiative requiring all of the state’s public high schools to teach a computer coding course.

Jonesboro and Craighead County sales tax receipts up more than 5% year-to-date

Sep 7, 2016
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Jonesboro has collected $11.6 million in city sales and use tax in the first seven months of 2016, up 5.1% over the same period in 2015, according to the city. Craighead County sales tax collections totaled $12.8 million in sales and use taxes, up 5.2%, or $639,000, from the same period in 2015, according to the county.

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Hillary Clinton likely will win the presidential race, but only by 3-5% of the popular vote, while Democrats will probably take back the Senate and Republicans will maintain control of the House of Representatives.

Those were some of the observations by Charlie Cook, author of the influential Cook Political Report, during an Arkansas Economic Developers luncheon Monday (Aug. 29)sponsored by Talk Business & Politics.

Two landowner groups along the proposed $2 billion Plains & Clean Line project filed a legal complaint Monday against the U.S. Department of Energy and the Southwestern Power Administration over the use of federal eminent domain powers in Arkansas to benefit a Texas for-profit venture group.

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Groundbreaking took place Tuesday for one of two convention centers and hotels that are planned to open in Jonesboro.  The Keller Family Hotel and Convention Center project broke ground Tuesday.  It will be located along Browns Lane Access Road near I-555.  The project will consist of a 159-bed Hyatt Place Hotel and a convention center.  Plans are ongoing for the Red Wolf Hotel and Convention Center, which will consist of a 200-room Embassy Suites hotel, a convention center, and a restaurant.  That project is headed by O’Reilly Hospitality Management and it will be located near where the f

Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce targets specific sectors to lure job creators

Aug 3, 2016
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The Jonesboro metro area has enjoyed historically low unemployment during the last two years, but city leaders knew wage stagnation was a problem, and there was a need to be proactive in creating new job opportunities.

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Glen Fenter, president of the Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce (GMACW), has a passion for workforce education in Memphis and the Arkansas Delta region. Likewise, he is passionate about job creation. Not just any jobs, mind you, but the kind necessary to upgrade living standards and grow the area’s economy.

Fenter is far from alone in his zeal, as several two-year colleges and other groups work toward this end – many in association with one another.

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Compared to the rest of the state, Northeast Arkansas has seen an overall growth in employment, sales tax revenue, and new home starts.  Talk Businesses and Politics released their quarterly Compass Report highlighting the economic progress of Arkansas’ key metro areas.  This was the first time the Jonesboro metro area was included in the report.

Jonesboro Officials Still Pushing to Build $12 millon Shooting Range

Jul 21, 2016
Johnathan Reaves, KASU News

The city of Jonesboro and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission are hoping to build a state of the art, $12 million shooting range, and could recoup some of the cost by charging the public to use the range.

Frito-Lay Announces $45.7 million expansion in Jonesboro

Apr 14, 2015

(Courtesy of Michael Wilkey, Talk Business & Politics.)

A company laid its proverbial chips on the table Monday night by announcing a nearly $50 million expansion at its location in Jonesboro.

Frito-Lay officials announced Monday night that they would expand an existing Jonesboro manufacturing facility with a $45.7 million addition.

Company officials with Frito-Lay spoke to Craighead County justices about the major announcement.

The expansion will provide about 30 new jobs and expand its facility on Arkansas Highway 18 by nearly 80,000 square feet.

Arkansas’ new $1.3 billion superproject, Big River Steel, begins construction soon in Mississippi County, and Arkansas Northeastern College officials announced Monday (Nov. 3) two workforce readiness programs to aid local residents hoping to join the company’s team — both offered at no cost to potential students.

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