Business briefs

WSRC president is now part of parent company


Leo Sain, who has served as president of Washington Savannah River Co. for 17 months, will become senior vice president of high level waste management and integration with URS, the parent company of WSRC.

Replacing Mr. Sain at Savannah River Site will be Stephen F. Piccolo, who will manage the balance of WSRC's liquid waste management contract at the site.

Although a new contractor, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, took over most of the site's management Aug. 1, WSRC still holds a contract to manage liquid waste programs, said spokesman Dean Campbell.

The management changes were announced Monday.

Since April 2006, Mr. Piccolo has served as the Senior Vice President for Closure Sites and Operations for the URS Washington Division Energy and Environment Business Unit. His experience includes eight years at SRS.

Service sector slowed, but not as expected

NEW YORK --- The U.S. service sector contracted in July -- though less than expected -- as new orders decreased and prices rose, stifling growth for truckers, retailers and insurers.

The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing executives, said Tuesday that its reading of the service sector was 49.5 in July, up from 48.2 in June. It beat economists' prediction of a reading of 49.0, according to the consensus estimate of Wall Street economists surveyed by Thomson/IFR.

A reading below 50 signals contraction, while a reading above 50 indicates growth.

John Ryding of RDQ Economics described the report as "partly a sentiment index. If things are not getting as bad at a slower rate, it can feel like improvement."

"Qualitatively, it changes nothing about our assessment of the economy: Growth is at best weak, and inflation pressures remain elevated," he said.


NINE MONTHS after shareholders rejected the Dolan family's latest bid to take Cablevision Systems Corp. private, the cable operator said Tuesday that it is considering several options to boost its stock price, including spinning off some of its holdings.

SONY CORP. said Tuesday that it is buying Bertelsmann AG out of their 50-50 music venture Sony BMG for $900 million, giving it full ownership of a roster of artists including Alicia Keys and the increased ability to leverage music over electronic devices.

-- From staff and wire reports