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 regularly on KNX-AM/Los Angeles and WBBM-AM/Chicago for commentary on the economy and 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.

Ways to Connect

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A top hospital CEO promises to say how much his hospital gets paid for procedures. The top hurricane insurance boss warns about his firm’s ability to pay.

Tom Hudson

Modern society has separated many of us from our food source. Sure, there are local field-to-table efforts and farmer’s markets, but it’s awful hard to know where all your food comes from.

Jeff Onsted / FIU

Two pieces of land in real estate development-hungry South Florida. They are less than two miles apart but more than 10-times the difference in assessed values (see photo above).

The reason: the Urban Development Boundary (UDB) in Miami-Dade County.

Tony DiMare

The juicy red tomato has been the target of an international trade war since the mid-1990s. It pits U.S. tomato growers, including DiMare Company of South Florida, against growers in Mexico.  

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Agriculture

Jay Pellis

Jay Pellis is among the thousands of South Floridians who are underemployed. After 18 months of being counted among the unemployed, that's improvement. This week, Pellis began a part-time job teaching GED classes to teenagers and young adults leaving the foster care system. It is the type of work he's done before.

Tom Hudson

Odds are Ian Kramer should be working. He has a MBA from USC. He has experience in the cut throat  world of Miami real estate development. The unemployment rate for someone with his education is half that of the overall level. And real estate is rebounding with several residential high rises sprouting from once dormant stretches of land.

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Half of the paychecks of Floridians are smaller today than they were in 2004. Thanks to a wicked combination of fewer working hours and the financial erosion of inflation, the median hourly wage in Florida is $0.63 less than what it was eight years ago, according to a recent study by the Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy at Florida International University.

Tom Hudson

Ian, Jay and Sal. That's them in the photo on the right. Each of them is an unemployment statistic with a story.

Tom Hudson

Jimmy Choo at Sawgrass Mills. Hermes in the Design District. Even Marky's Caviar in Miami Gardens. South Floridians are welcoming luxury retailers with open arms just like Britto's "Welcome" sculpture greets shoppers near Dadeland Station in the photo on the right.

Luxury retailing in South Florida is expanding beyond its traditional glitzy locations and stretching to include not just shoes and accessories, but also shoppers’ appetites.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Retail

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Of course you shop online. You're a digital consumer. You're on the Internet right now. You are a savvy shopper, looking for the right product at the right price and you want it fast and easy. Point, click, buy.

But you're in the minority. The vast majority of retail sales across the nation take place at brick and mortar stores. While Americans spend about $1 trillion per quarter in the retail industry, only a nickel of every dollar is spent online. But in the fight between online and in-store retailing, online spending is growing faster, much faster.

Tom Hudson

One square foot is not a lot of space. You can fit a pair of shoes in one square foot. But, if you are a luxury retailer at Bal Harbour Shops in Bal Harbour, you sell $2,800 worth of merchandise per square every year. That's six times what the average shopping center generates in the same amount space.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Retail

In the 1970’s it was water beds. In the 1980’s, Keith Koenig sold dinette sets. Now it’s couches and entertainment centers.

Koenig and his brother began what would become City Furniture in 1971. He has seen plenty of cycles in the South Florida economy, as well as how consumer tastes impact his business. Housing booms and housing busts. A growing population. And wicker. Koenig has a unique perspective at the intersection of two industries: real estate and retail. His outlook?  Very positive.

Florida public school teachers will get about $250 dollars this year to spend on classrooms supplies.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Education

Teachers have gotten an annual stipend for more than a decade, helping make up for some of the money teachers spend out of their own pockets for student supplies.

WLRN's Sunshine Economy spoke with several teachers about what they spend and why.

A letter grade can be one of the clearest methods to communicate quality. The USDA uses it for meat. S&P uses letter grades for credit ratings. The state of Florida uses it for public schools.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Education

But the leaders of the two largest public school districts in the state have little or no confidence in the current letter grading system used by Florida.

Jon Hage may be one of the most important school leaders you probably have never heard of. No one elected him to a school board or hired him as a superintendent.

But his company, Charter Schools USA based in Fort Lauderdale, is one of the fastest growing charter school operators. It runs more than a dozen schools in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties and has expanded to a half dozen more states.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Education

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