Sonari Glinton

NPR Business Reporter Sonari Glinton covers the auto industry and transportation. His reports can be heard on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition Saturday and Sunday.

Glinton came to NPR in August 2007 and worked as a producer for All Things Considered for three years. During that time he produced interviews with everyone from UN Ambassador Susan Rice to Joan Rivers. The highlight for Glinton came when he produced Robert Siegel’s 50 Great Voices piece on Nat King Cole.

Prior to NPR, Glinton spent four years at WBEZ working his way up from intern. While in Chicago he covered the Cook County Board of Commissioners and the late legendary Cook County Board President John Stroger.

For his work on a series uncovering abuse at the Cook Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, Glinton was honored with the Society of Professional Journalist’s Sigma Delta Chi Award for Investigative Reporting.

Glinton’s first name, Sonari, comes from the southern Nigeria language Ijo and means “God hears our cry.” Born and raised in Chicago's South Shore neighborhood, Glinton cheers for the White Sox, Bears and the Bulls in that order. He's also a rabid jazz and Frank Sinatra fan who owns every Sinatra-released recording from 1953-1993. He attended Boston University.

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5:00am

Thu November 29, 2012
Business

The 'Not Too Crazy' Pulls Ahead In Car Race

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 12:55 pm

Toyota unveils its new RAV4 crossover SUV to the media Wednesday before the L.A. Auto Show opens to the public.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Once upon a time when a car company introduced a new car, it was a new new car.

But at this year's L.A. Auto Show, you won't see any revolutionary new rides — at least not on the outside. You'll find the same sameness in your grocery store parking lot. A lot of cars look alike. Why is that?

"What they're relying on to distinguish these cars from one another is not so much the mechanical pieces of them or the design," says Brian Moody of Autotrader.com. "They're selling sort of a lifestyle or an experience or a philosophy."

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5:22am

Sat November 24, 2012
Business

More Shopping? Small Retailers Want Your Business

Originally published on Sat November 24, 2012 1:04 pm

A flag urges customers to shop locally near a store in Boalsburg, Pa., on Friday. Owners of small stores hope to get a boost from Small Business Saturday.
Genaro C. Armas AP

Jammed between Gray Thursday, Black Friday and Cyber Monday is yet another day devoted to shopping: Small Business Saturday.

Wallets are expected to open yet again on Saturday — this time for mom-and-pop stores. Main Street in Littleton, Colo., is filled with them. The street is lined with small bars and restaurants along with other businesses, including a spice store and a men's clothing boutique.

Dave Drake owns Colorado Frame and Savvy Stuff, the "savvy stuff" being women's accessories, purses, scarves and decorations.

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3:25am

Thu November 22, 2012
Business

On Thanksgiving, Stores Serve Up A Side Of Shopping

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 7:11 am

Walmart associate Angel Campos stocks Christmas decorations Wednesday ahead of the pre-Black Friday event at the Wal-Mart Supercenter store in Rosemead, Calif.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Gray Thursday may become the new Black Friday. Many big retailers have moved up the beginning of their shopping season, traditionally the Friday after Thanksgiving, to Thursday evening.

Brick-and-mortar retailers are feeling pressure from online retailers, which have given consumers an earlier shopping option.

"In the past, online retailers have had Thanksgiving Day all to themselves," says Marshal Cohen, retail analyst with the NPD Group. "And what that means is by the time Black Friday comes around, a lot of consumers have already spent a bunch of money."

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5:50am

Sun November 18, 2012
Business

Tesla Revived The Electric Car, But Can It Sell It?

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 2:13 pm

Tesla workers cheer on the first Tesla Model S cars sold during a rally at the Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif., in June.
Paul Sakuma AP

The American auto industry has a new darling, but it doesn't come from the Big Three or even Motor City. Instead, it comes from the West Coast — Silicon Valley, to be precise.

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5:44am

Sun November 11, 2012
All Tech Considered

Distracted Driving: We're All Guilty, So What Should We Do About It?

Originally published on Sun November 11, 2012 3:02 pm

Despite the well-publicized dangers and laws against it in many states, texting or emailing while driving remains a huge problem.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

One of the most dangerous things you can do behind the wheel of your car is text or check your email. Texting and driving is illegal in 39 states, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands and Guam.

Despite the danger, millions of us continue to do it. I am ashamed to say that I was one of them.

During the recent presidential campaign, I was on the road — a lot. I was mainly driving on rural roads in places such as Iowa, Indiana and, of course, Ohio. On several occasions I checked my email while driving, and like many people I rationalized my behavior.

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5:36am

Sun November 4, 2012
House & Senate Races

Rape Comment Hangs Over Senate Race In Indiana

Originally published on Sun November 4, 2012 2:08 pm

Republican Richard Mourdock, candidate for Indiana's U.S. Senate seat (right) meets Mike Nestor and LoRita Stofleth at Blueberry Hill Pancake House Saturday in Indianapolis.
Darron Cummings AP

Republicans are hoping to gain control of the U.S. Senate. The path toward victory had Indiana solidly on their side. That was, until Indiana's treasurer Richard Mourdock beat longtime Sen. Richard Lugar in the primary.

Then, during a debate on Oct. 23, Mourdock and his Democratic opponent, Congressman Joe Donnelly, were asked about abortion and contraception. Like Donnelly, Mourdock said he was against abortion.

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4:00pm

Wed October 31, 2012
It's All Politics

Auto Legend Iacocca Backs Romney In Ohio Car Wars

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 5:06 pm

Mitt Romney campaigns Monday in Avon Lake, Ohio.
Tony Dejak AP

As the presidential race zeroes in on Ohio, and the auto industry gets renewed focus in the all-important swing state, Mitt Romney's campaign is touting the backing of former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca and the company's former president, Hal Sperlich.

"In our opinion, Mitt Romney is the leader we need to help turn our economy around and ensure that the American auto industry is once again a dominant force in the world," Iacocca and Sperlich write on Romney's website.

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3:31am

Mon October 15, 2012
It's All Politics

In Battleground Ohio, Catholic Voters Apply Faith In Different Ways

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 8:34 am

Both Vice President Joe Biden and GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, shown at their debate on Thursday, are practicing Catholics.
Mary Altaffer AP

Catholic voters are an important constituency in the battleground state of Ohio, where they represent about one-fourth of voters.

They went for President Bush in 2004, but for candidate Barack Obama in 2008. This year, for the first time, they'll be choosing between two tickets that both feature a practicing Catholic.

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7:06pm

Fri September 28, 2012
It's All Politics

In Ohio, Obama and Romney Duel Over Trade With China

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a roundtable discussion on manufacturing this Wednesday in Bedford Heights, Ohio.
MANDEL NGAN AFP/Getty Images

If there is a boogey man in the Ohio presidential sweepstakes, it's China. According to Bloomberg, the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates have aired nearly 30,000 ads that mention trade with China, many airing in the key swing state of Ohio.

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6:16pm

Fri September 28, 2012
Presidential Race

In Ohio, China's A Top Campaigning Point

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 7:24 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

According to Bloomberg, President Obama and Mitt Romney have aired nearly 30,000 TV spots addressing the issue of trade with China, and that's just in the past month. Many of those ads aired in Ohio where both candidates are spending a lot of time. NPR's Sonari Glinton explains the Ohio-China nexus.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: If there's a boogeyman in the Ohio presidential sweepstakes, it's China.

(SOUNDBITE OF AD)

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8:15am

Fri September 28, 2012
Around the Nation

Obama, Romney Mine For Swing Voters In Ohio

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 11:15 am

Coal miners listened as GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney spoke during a rally last month in Beallsville, Ohio. Both Romney and President Obama have made the state a focal point of their campaigns.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Undecided voters in Ohio got a lot of attention this week from President Obama and GOP rival Mitt Romney. Coal may be the key to many swing voters in the Buckeye State, which remains a top coal producer.

It's an issue weighing on coal miner Rick Carpenter's mind at the Barnesville Pumpkin Festival in southeastern Ohio.

"Save coal — fire Obama. Yeah, I've got one of those signs in my yard," he says.

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3:27am

Tue September 25, 2012
Business

Chicago Pits Quieter, But Traders' Outcries Linger

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 8:18 pm

Traders work in the bond pit at the Chicago Board of Trade in 1995. In recent decades, much of the trading has left the pits and gone electronic.
Michael S. Green AP

The trading pits at the Chicago Board of Trade and the Mercantile Exchange have long been potent symbols of American capitalism. And they used to be as rough and tumble as the city itself, where burly men bought and sold commodities like hogs, cattle, corn and soybeans.

Trading volume has gone up considerably in recent years, but Chicago's trading pits are tamer places today — the result of a revolution futures trading has undergone over the past quarter century. Much of the trading has left the pits and gone electronic.

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4:24pm

Mon September 24, 2012
All Tech Considered

Tesla's Big Gamble: Can The Electric Car Go Mainstream?

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 4:33 pm

Tesla workers cheer on one of the first Tesla Model S cars sold, during a rally at the Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif., in June. The company is now unveiling a new network of refueling stations for the vehicles.
Paul Sakuma AP

Starting a new car company from scratch isn't tried often in the United States. The last time one was truly successful was about 100 years ago. And Tesla Motors, a startup from Silicon Valley, faces some unusual hurdles.

Still, despite the challenges Tesla faces, the electric car company and its CEO, Elon Musk, have gotten further than most automotive entrepreneurs.

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5:58pm

Wed September 12, 2012
Education

Rahm Emanuel Walking A High Wire With Teachers

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

It's the third day of the teachers' strike in Chicago. For the first time in 25 years, teachers are on the picket line and 350,000 students are out of class. The strike poses a unique challenge for Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel. That's because he's also one of President Obama's top fund-raisers and surrogates.

From Chicago, NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

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5:36pm

Tue September 11, 2012
Education

Chicago Orgs Scramble To Watch Kids During Strike

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 9:57 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

I'm Melissa Block. And we begin this hour with day two of the Chicago teachers' strike. Some 350,000 students are affected by the walkout in the nation's third-largest school district. We'll have a report on how the strike is playing out in the presidential race.

CORNISH: But, first, NPR's Sonari Glinton reports on how parents, churches and local charities are scrambling to figure out what to do with so many kids with nowhere to go.

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3:21am

Wed September 5, 2012
Business

'Quite Good' May Not Be Good Enough For GM

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 4:54 pm

The General Motors logo is displayed atop the Renaissance Center in Detroit. The automaker, while doing much better following the government bailout, is still lagging some of its competitors.
Carlos Osorio AP

When you talk to car people about General Motors, they all say the company has gotten better.

"I think General Motors, productwise, is in a better position than it's been in a decade or so," says Jack Nerad of Kelley Blue Book. "The new products, we feel ... are all quite good."

Like many people, however, Nerad adds an important caveat. He says GM's improvement doesn't mean the company is completely out of the woods, because the competition is very good as well.

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4:04am

Mon September 3, 2012
Around the Nation

Charlotte Braces For Democratic National Convention

Originally published on Mon September 3, 2012 4:56 pm

A view of the skyline of Charlotte, N.C., on Sunday. Preparations for the Democratic National Convention are under way around Charlotte, where the party is expected to nominate President Obama to run for a second term.
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

Delegates, journalists and protesters are beginning to fill the streets of Charlotte, N.C. The city has a lot riding on the Democratic National Convention, which gets under way Tuesday.

Hundreds of protesters paraded around the downtown area of Charlotte — which residents call Uptown — gathering in front of Bank of America headquarters.

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4:44am

Fri August 31, 2012
Business

Buffett Donates More To His Children's Foundations

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 12:48 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And our last word in business today is Happy Birthday.

Turns out when you're a billionaire investor you can celebrate any way you want. Warren Buffett turned 82 yesterday and his wish was to give away billions, so he did, in the form of millions of dollars worth of his company stock. All told, those shares will eventually be worth about $3 billion. That gift was divided between his three children's charitable foundations.

NPR's Sonari Glinton has more.

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6:11am

Tue August 21, 2012
Business

Drought Dries Up Crops, But Not Airline Schedules

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 9:01 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The airline industry is having a better than expected summer. Airline stocks have been on the rise and customer service is improving. These days, airlines are less likely to lose your luggage. They're also seeing the highest percent of on-time arrivals since the government started keeping track in the late 1980s.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports the industry is getting some help from an unlikely source.

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5:29pm

Tue August 14, 2012
London 2012: The Summer Olympics

Medalist Claressa Shields Gets A Hero's Welcome

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 1:07 pm

Olympian Claressa Shields visits the USA House in London before leaving for her home in Flint, Mich. Shields was greeted by a marching band and a motorcycle escort in her hometown.
Joe Scarnici Getty Images for USOC

Hundreds gathered in Flint, Mich., Tuesday, to celebrate the return home of Olympian Claressa Shields. At 17, Shields became the first U.S. woman ever — and the only American this summer — to win a gold medal in boxing.

In a rare moment of joy, Flint greeted the high school student with a marching band and a motorcycle escort.

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7:58am

Sat July 7, 2012
Economy

Adjustments Behind The Numbers Shape Job News

Originally published on Sat July 7, 2012 8:57 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Eight-point-two percent, that's the number economists and politicians are looking at closely. It is the unemployment rate for the month of June. The U.S. Labor Department reported that the economy added only 80,000 jobs last month. As the economy continues its very slow recovery, it's worth asking, is the jobs report always the best indicator? NPR's Sonari Glinton has more.

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4:48pm

Thu July 5, 2012
NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century

A Company Town Reinvents Itself In South Bend, Ind.

Originally published on Fri July 6, 2012 1:55 pm

Pete Buttigieg, 30, is the first mayor of South Bend, Ind., born after car manufacturer Studebaker left town.
Peter Hoffman for NPR

There are two truths about South Bend, Ind. No. 1: You can't escape the influence of the University of Notre Dame. No. 2: You can't escape the ghost of Studebaker.

South Bend may be best known as the home of the Fighting Irish, but it was once the home of Studebaker automobiles. When Studebaker closed in 1963, it left a gaping hole in the town, where unemployment is at 10.4 percent, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Now, the city is working hard to create a second act for the commercial life of South Bend.

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4:43am

Fri June 15, 2012
Planet Money

Can Lincoln Be Cool Again?

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 10:56 am

An ad for the 1965 Lincoln Continental.
courtesy Lincoln

In the car business, Lincoln once stood as the pinnacle of luxury. Frank Sinatra drove a Lincoln. So did the Shah of Iran. In the U.S., the presidential limo was a Lincoln.

The brand peaked with the 1961 Lincoln Continental, a beautiful, innovative car that stood for style, individuality and sophistication.

But after the '60s, Lincoln started on a long, slow decline that mirrored the slide of the American auto industry.

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5:15am

Thu June 7, 2012
Business

What's Next For Organized Labor?

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 4:17 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

We'll begin this program with the aftermath of Tuesday's recall election in Wisconsin. Public sector unions took on Republican Governor Scott Walker, and the governor won. Walker became the first U.S. governor to beat back a recall attempt. The unions had spent a lot time, money and political capital in Wisconsin.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports on what's next for organized labor.

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5:49am

Mon May 28, 2012
Business

Subprime Market Aids Car Industry Growth

The average credit score for new- and used-car buyers has taken a fall since the days of the financial crisis in 2008. It's fallen especially in the last two quarters. Brands such as Kia and Dodge are gobbling up a disproportionate number of subprime buyers. An increasing number of new-car buyers are getting loans with interest rates higher than 10 percent.

8:16am

Sat May 19, 2012
Business

Average Investors Share Facebook Feelings

Originally published on Sat May 19, 2012 11:19 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The Facebook IPO hasn't just sent a jolt of excitement through Silicon Valley, there are many average individual investors who are also thrilled. NPR's Sonari Glinton has more.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: All right. It's a little after 9:30 on Friday. The bell just rang on the NASDAQ, and I'm gonna check in with some regular investors. I'm gonna start with Nelly Sai-Palm. She's a student at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, and I'm going to give her a call.

(SOUNDBITE OF TELEPHONE RINGING)

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6:20am

Sun May 13, 2012
Economy

The Price We Paid: Gas Is Down, Maybe For A While

Originally published on Sun May 13, 2012 12:09 pm

Mayeli Vasallo (left) and Jorge Monte pump gas in Miami in April. The average price of a gallon of gas has dropped 20 cents in the last month, to $3.73.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

After spending much of the year on the rise, gas prices are now falling. The average price for a gallon of regular gas nationwide is $3.73, according to AAA. That's a drop of nearly 20 cents in one month, and industry analysts expect the price to keep falling.

You can get in a lot trouble trying to predict commodity prices, though. Phil Flynn, a market analyst at futures brokerage PFGBEST in Chicago, says there is one thing you can predict.

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5:20pm

Thu May 10, 2012
Money & Politics

Obama Lures Donors With A Hollywood Sweepstakes

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 10:50 pm

President Obama talks with actor George Clooney during a White House meeting about Sudan in 2010. The president is attending a fundraiser at Clooney's house Thursday, along with a few sweepstakes winners.
Pete Souza The White House

President Obama is attending a fundraiser at the home of actor George Clooney in Studio City, Calif., on Thursday evening, along with about 150 guests. Almost anyone can attend, if they pony up $40,000.

But for a few sweepstakes winners, the price of admission is about $3. It's the latest innovation in political fundraising.

Marketing-wise, there's nothing more old school than a sweepstakes.

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9:35am

Thu April 12, 2012
The Two-Way

Reporter's Dream: A Mansion Straight Out Of 'Please Don't Eat the Daisies'

Originally published on Thu April 12, 2012 11:26 am

There was something romantic about the 1960's movie and TV show Please Don't Eat the Daisies. In the film, Doris Day and her husband, played by David Niven, move into a suburban mansion/castle with their four children and their giant dog — and comedy breaks out.

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4:00am

Fri April 6, 2012
Business

Average U.S. Car Price Tops $30,000

Average prices for cars are at an all-time high, reflecting increased demand and a healthier economy. The average car price has gone up nearly $2,000 since last year. Even though car prices are higher, buyers haven't shied away from picking up a new car.

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