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

Tom Hudson

The sound of turning over the pistons in an internal combustion engine are familiar to just about everyone. The almost soothing feeling of that low rumble of a well-tuned engine in idle.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Energy

Linda Gassenheimer doesn't have these sounds or feelings anymore. And she doesn't miss them.

That's Linda on the right, in the driver's seat of her all-electric car.

And it's like her; petite but with a certain pizzazz.

Tom Hudson

We are burning less gasoline. That may sound strange but Floridians have less of a thirst for gas.

Some of the drop can be blamed on the slower economy since the Great Recession, but also we are driving more fuel efficient cars and trucks. Except for a three-year period (2004-2006) the volume of gasoline Florida drivers are buying has fallen from its high in 2002.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Energy

A decade ago FPL burned more oil to make electricity than any other electric utility in the United States.

But this year it expects to burn 99 percent less crude oil.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Energy

Much of the difference has been made up by natural gas, with some of the new power coming from nuclear energy.

Tom Hudson

Flip a light switch, turn the ignition key or hit the start button.  These are actions most of us do several times each day without thinking about where the power is coming from. Florida may have plenty of sunshine but it doesn't have any substantial supply of fossil fuels.  And fossil fuels still power much of our lives.

That's Spencer Antle in the picture to the left. He left South Beach for Palm Beach and has seen his lifestyle fashion business flourish.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Fashion

He founded Island Company, now headquartered in West Palm Beach. His clothing designs, retail shops and now music label have landed him on Inc. Magazine's list of the fastest growing 5000 companies in the U.S. four years in a row.

Penguin, Perry Ellis and Jantzen are some of the global fashion brands that trace their corporate ownership to the Doral headquarters of Perry Ellis International.

Over several decades George Feldenkreis built the company into the firm it is today selling $1 billion worth of merchandise worldwide.

Feldenkreis came to Miami from Cuba in 1961 and began by manufacturing and distributing auto parts. Instead of bushings and pistons, Feldenkreis oversees a business today that includes fashion design, manufacturing, technology, distribution, licensing and retailing.

Pastels in Palm Beach? Parrot Head T-shirts in Key West? South Florida has an image of a very fashionable place. On August 5, the Sunshine Economy explored the fashion industry here, but what about our sense of fashion?

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Fashion

Several members of our Public Insight Network helped give South Florida some fashion advice below:

Tom Hudson

Designing high fashion is an art. So is making those designs into dresses.

Designer Rene Ruiz does both from a low-slung building in Hialeah. His factory is tucked in with furniture makers and hurricane shutters installers. About 50 people work there making dresses for Ruiz's well-heeled clients in South Florida and for his dresses destined for Neiman Marcus stores.

RELATED: The Sunshine Economy: Fashion

Tom Hudson

Rene Ruiz makes women's dresses. Fancy dresses. In the picture to the right, he is standing with a new spring 2014 design. Ruiz designs and makes them in Hialeah. Ruiz grew up here and as his fashion design business began taking off with merchandise showing up in Neiman Marcus stores, he decided he wanted to stay in South Florida.

Tom Hudson

On the right is a picture of lancets.

These are small devices used by diabetics to prick their fingers in order to test their blood for sugar. The maker of these devices, Specialty Medical Supplies, is based in Coral Springs. The company was manufacturing up to 100 million of them each month in China until June of this year, when the company's president, Chip Starnes, was taken hostage during a visit to his Beijing plant.

citizensfla.com

The largest home property insurance company in Florida is $4 billion shy of what its head honcho feels it needs if a major hurricane were to hit the state this season.

In a recent interview, Citizens Property Insurance CEO Barry Gilway tells WLRN Special Correspondent Tom Hudson if a once-in-every-one-hundreds-storm—say, something more destructive than Hurricane Andrew—hit the state, policyholders and possibly taxpayers could be on the hook for all that money.

Below is a portion of that interview:

Tom Hudson

L'Hermitage One Condominiums on Ocean Boulevard in Ft. Lauderdale is in an enviable location right on the beach. But when a hurricane is brewing, it's on the front lines of the storm.

On Monday's Sunshine Economy, come along as we talk with the building's manager, engineer and residents about their investment in storm preparedness.

In South Florida, we live with the risk of a big storm for six months of the year... every year. Like no place else in the U.S., we know the devastation a hurricane can bring. And the expense to protect ourselves.

WLRN

South Florida may be known for its sun and sand, but software? There is a burgeoning effort to grow, encourage and attract the technology industry to South Florida.

Silicon Beach

Local entrepreneur advocates have been very active building the necessary infrastructure to support local start-ups. What else is needed? Can Miami really become “Silicon Beach?”

Future of Technology

WLRN

Tourism has been the fuel for South Florida's economy since Henry Flagler stretched his railroad to Palm Beach in the 1890s. It remains a significant and long-term driver of the local economy to this day.

Our program starts where Henry Flagler ignited the industry, at The Breakers in Palm Beach. The Breakers CEO Paul Leone tells us his resort has never been busier, even as it gears up for the "slow season" (which isn't slow.)

WLRN

 

REAL ESTATE

From world famous beaches to international trade flows, South Florida has become one of the world's most vibrant and diverse economies.

Through a series of one-hour radio programs, special correspondent Tom Hudson hosts a weekly radio show on Mondays in May and June exploring The Sunshine Economy, a fresh take on the key industries driving growth across South Florida.

Topic & Guests: South Florida's economy is underpinned by the local real estate market, which is influenced by global trends.

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