Tom Hudson

Vice president of news and special correspondent

In a journalism career covering news from high global finance to neighborhood infrastructure, Tom Hudson is the Vice President of News and Special Correspondent for WLRN.  He hosts and produces the Sunshine Economy and anchors the Florida Roundup in addition to leading the organization's news engagement strategy.

Hudson was most recently the co-anchor and managing editor of Nightly Business Report on Public Television. In that position Hudson reported on topics such as Federal Reserve interest rate policy, agriculture and global trade. Prior to co-anchoring NBR, he was host and managing editor of the nationally syndicated financial television program “First Business.” He overhauled the existing program leading to a 20 percent increase in distribution in his first year with the program.

Tom also reported and anchored market coverage for the groundbreaking web-based financial news service, WebFN. Beginning in 2001, WebFN was among the first live online streaming video outlets. While there he reported regularly from the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Chicago Board of Trade and the CME. Additionally, he created original business news and information programming for the investor channel of a large e-brokerage firm distributed to six large market CBS Radio stations. 

Before his jump to television and broadband, Tom co-anchored morning drive for the former all-news, heritage 50kw WMAQ-AM/Chicago. He spent the better part of a decade in general news as anchor, reporter, manager and talk show host in several markets covering a wide variety of stories and topics.

He has served as a member of the adjunct faculty in the Journalism Department of Columbia College Chicago and has been a frequent guest on other TV and radio programs as well as a guest speaker at universities on communications, journalism and business.

Tom writes a weekly column for the Miami Herald and the McClatchy-Tribune News Service. He appears weekly on KNX-AM/Los Angeles for commentary on the investment markets.

While Tom was co-anchoring and managing NBR, the program was awarded the 2012 Program of Excellence Award by American Public Television. Tom also has been awarded two National Press Foundation fellowships including one for the Wharton Seminars for Business Journalists in 2006. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Iowa and is the recipient of several professional honors and awards for his work in journalism.

He is married with two boys who tend to wake up early on the weekends.

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Tourism
6:04 pm
Sun February 22, 2015

The Sunshine Economy: The Hotel Industry In South Florida

The Marseilles Hotel on South Beach is undergoing a $10 million renovation. Owner Lloyd Mandell is a second generation Miami Beach hotelier.
Credit Tom Hudson

A LITTLE HISTORY

Ian Schrager and Lloyd Mandell used to be neighbors. 

One is an iconoclast who made a fortune (and went to prison for tax evasion) as co-founder of the famed Studio 54 nightclub in New York, and the other a Miami Beach native whose dad owned a gas station where a Starbucks now stands on West Avenue.

The two men are in the same business now, technically. But they came to it in different ways.

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Florida Winter
1:08 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Weather Essay: When Florida Turns Pink

Florida temperatures have dipped into chilly numbers this week.
Credit National Weather Service

“Why is the sky turning pink?”

That’s what my 6-year-old asked me as we watched one of the TV weather forecasts this week. We were on the couch in shorts and T-shirts, just back from the zoo with Grandma who was visiting.

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Health Care
6:09 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Miami's Importance To Obamacare

South Florida is home to the highest number of people signing up for Obamacare.

With just one week before the open enrollment period ends, more than 660,000 people in South Florida have gotten health insurance plans through Healthcare.gov.

Almost one out of every two Floridians enrolling are from the Miami - Ft. Lauderdale - Palm Beach region. It's more than the next two metropolitan areas combined, making South Florida prime territory for the Affordable Care Act.

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Environment
1:49 am
Mon February 9, 2015

Sunshine Economy: Protecting Florida's Environment At $800M A Year (For 20 Years)

Voters overwhelmingly approved Amendment 1 in 2014. It guarantees one-third of the state's real estate documentary tax stamp revenues for the next 20 years will be used for environmental purposes. What qualifies for the money is up to the state Legislature. Environmentalists want some of the dollars to pay for restoring the Everglades (pictured above).
Credit Emma_L_M/flickr

More than 4 million voters approved Amendment 1 in the November 2014 election. The measure received an overwhelming 75 percent "yes" vote.

That vote unleashed hundred of millions of dollars this year and billions of dollars over the next 20 years that have to be spent on acquiring and improving Florida lands. The amendment uses fewer than 150 words to describe the types of projects the money has to be spent on. That section is highlighted in blue below.

    

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Politics
11:56 am
Fri February 6, 2015

Florida Roundup: Diplomacy And Immigration

Credit http://www.facebook.com/pages/Washington-DC/National-Immigration-Forum/63240625785

  On the Florida Roundup, we discuss the week's top stories with journalists.

U.S. AND CUBA DIPLOMACY

U.S. lawmakers gathered on Capitol Hill to discuss the renewed diplomatic relations with the communist island going forward. Despite the move to normalize relations, Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Miami Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen voiced concerns about making concessions without progress in Cuba.

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Health Care
5:15 pm
Sun February 1, 2015

The Sunshine Economy: Obamacare In South Florida

Sunshine Life & Health Advisors kiosk at Mall of the Americas in Miami awaits Affordable Care Act sign-ups on Jan. 28, 2015
Tom Hudson

Odalys Arevalo works out of a shopping mall but she doesn't sell clothes or electronics or jewelry. She sells health insurance. And when it comes to the Affordable Care Act, she and her team of 600 brokers sell a lot of it.

Arevalo is co-founder of Sunshine Life and Health Advisors. The idea for the company began in a coffee shop. Operations started with a single mall kiosk and now the firm has eight outlets, including a 24,000 square feet "store" at the Mall of the Americas in Miami-Dade County.

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Business
8:01 am
Mon January 26, 2015

State Of The Sunshine Economy

Credit Junette Reyes / WLRN

    

To get a sense of the economy, look at the the data showing falling unemployment rates over the past year and rising home prices.

Or, you can listen to the voices of some of those looking to begin their careers soon, posted below.

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Race & Business
10:58 pm
Sun January 18, 2015

The Sunshine Economy: Magic And Mike (Fernandez)

Health care billionaire Mike Fernandez and Earvin "Magic" Johnson. Johnson became a strategic partner with the Fernandez-owned health insurance firm Simply Healthcare.
Credit Mike Fernandez / Courtesy

  

By the looks of this photograph, one would think Mike Fernandez and Earvin "Magic" Johnson have known each other for years. When they greeted each other before their interview on the Sunshine Economy, they embraced in a bear hug, the 6-foot-9-inch former NBA point guard more than a head taller than the billionaire health care entrepreneur. Fernandez even gave Johnson a kiss on the cheek. This was not a boardroom greeting, but the two have known each other only since 2012.

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Politics
12:00 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Florida Roundup: Cuban Adjustment Act

Credit Don McDougall

On the Florida Roundup we talk to the area's journalists about the week's top stories. 

Cuban Adjustment Act

A Sun-Sentinel yearlong investigation finds more than $2 billion within two decades was fraudulently brought into Cuba and how the Cuban Adjustment Act plays a role in letting the criminals get away without prosecution. 

Haiti

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Business
8:53 am
Mon January 12, 2015

Sunshine Economy: Beyond The Wedding Bells Of Same-Sex Marriage

Florida is the 36th state to allow same-sex marriage. While the court challenges continue, newlyweds and those who married out-of-state now have their marriages legally recognized extending the legal and financial rights brought by marriage.
Credit Tom Hudson

After the big emotions of the wedding day come the economics of marriage: insurance, taxes, wills, bank accounts, property titles, credit card accounts, etcetera. 

Thousands of gay Floridians have gotten married since January 6, when their unions became legal in the state. Thousands more are now recognized as married if they wed in a place that allowed gay marriage prior to Florida's ban on same-sex marriages being overturned by a federal judge.

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Sunshine Economy
2:02 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

U.S. Cuba Policy Changes: Opportunity Or Entrenchment?

Credit WLRN

Miami is not a top departure point for American goods headed to Cuba. So say the official U.S. government trade statistics. Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale is the second-largest American port from which goods are sent to Cuba.

Yes, despite the 53-year-old trade embargo, America still does a little business with Cuba. The U.S. sells fresh and frozen chicken, soybeans, corn and an assortment of other food and medical supplies. 

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The Florida Roundup
5:26 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

LISTEN: Understanding Same-Sex Marriage In Florida

As of Friday, Jan. 2, courts in three of four South Florida counties were prepared to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 6.
Credit Peetje2 / Creative Commons/Flickr

2015 began with a clarification over same-sex marriages in Florida. All county clerks can issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples beginning Tuesday, Jan. 6.

Before that happens, take a moment to hear this interview with the Miami Herald's Steve Rothaus. You'll learn all the background info you need to understand what's going on in the courts locally and in Tallahassee.

Key points:

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Business
9:38 am
Mon December 15, 2014

The Sunshine Economy: Not For Profit But For A Cause

Alonzo Mourning at his foundation's downtown Miami headquarters with Mourning Family Foundation President Bill Diggs.
Credit Tom Hudson

Alonzo Mourning likes to tell the story about a deflated basketball on the desk of his Georgetown coach John Thompson.

He calls that deflated basketball from his collegiate years a "powerful statement because many of us as young athletes think that basketball is it." 

Mourning told the story during his enshrinement in the NBA Hall of Fame in August of 2014. It is a story he uses to illustrate his desire to give back. 

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Art And Business
12:06 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Art And The Sunshine Economy

VIPs and media make their way to the 2014 opening of Art Basel Miami Beach. The art fair, which began in 2002, is credited with bringing a global art audience to South Florida each December.
Credit Tom Hudson

    

There are plenty of ways to measure the meaning of art: aesthetic value, emotion resonance, ticket sales, auction price, jobs. South Florida's art economy is young but growing.

Communities have invested hundreds of millions of public dollars in performing arts centers and museums, cultural programs and outreach efforts. The arts are embedded in the promise of South Florida marketed to visitors.

And increasingly, South Florida artists are appearing on the world's stage. 

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The Business of Big Events
12:17 am
Mon November 24, 2014

The Sunshine Economy: Books, Basel, Boats, Booze

A shot from the street fair at the 2001 Miami Book Fair International.
Credit Miami Book Fair International / Courtesy

South Florida knows how to throw a party. And it better, considering how important hospitality is to the regional economy. From conferences and conventions to fairs and festivals, the event business picks up as temperatures up north drop. Some are for out-of-towners exclusively, others celebrate South Florida for South Floridians.

To get a sense of the economics and local emotions involved, The Sunshine Economy spoke with the driving forces behind four big events that dot the South Florida map.

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