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Talk of the day

By TIMES WIRES
Published August 9, 2006


Grab a latte, and a new book from Mitch Albom

Music and movies were only the beginning. This fall, Starbucks will have something else for sale at the coffee bar: Mitch Albom's latest novel, For One More Day. "This is the next step of our entertainment strategy," Starbucks Entertainment president Ken Lombard said. "Our plan has been to start with music, take the next step into film and add books as the third leg of the stool." Already offering a growing variety of CDs and DVDs, the coffee chain has been quietly selling the children's classic The Little Engine That Could and officially launches its book "strategy" with For One More Day. Promotion will include an online video conversation with Albom and an eight-city author tour. Starbucks will contribute $1 from each sale - a minimum of $50,000 - to Jumpstart, an educational organization that works with preschoolers.

Other chatter

TROPICANA INTRODUCES NEW JUICES: Tropicana Products Inc. announced a new line of all-natural premium juices it hopes will encourage fruit drink consumption beyond the breakfast table. One-liter bottles of Tropicana Pure Pomegranate Blueberry, Mango Orange, Triple Berry and Valencia Orange are recommended to retail for $3.79. The chilled juices will be kept in the produce section to enhance the company's message that the no-added-sugar products are healthy.

CORPORATE DIRECTOR PAY RATE SLOWS: Pay to corporate directors grew last year at a slower rate than in 2004 as boards absorbed rule changes brought about by accounting scandals, a new study by Mercer Human Resource Consulting shows. The study said corporate directors received an average 6.1 percent increase in compensation in 2005, vs. a 17.8 percent rise in 2004. That compares with a 5 percent boost for chief executives and an average 5.5 percent rise for workers at private companies across the nation last year.

BUSINESS SCHOOL COMPETITION HEATS UP: There was sharper competition to get into business schools this year, with MBA programs reporting increased applications to both full- and part-time programs, according to a study. About two-thirds of full-time MBA programs saw their applications increase in 2006, compared with 21 percent that reported an increase in 2005, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council. About two-thirds of part-time and executive MBAs - programs designed for older students with more work experience - saw increases.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.