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August 07, 2007

Growing Into The Business

Growing into the business

Last week, the Bancroft family voted to sell Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal to media mogul Rupert Murdoch. When she heard the news, Nancy Block could relate. She's in the 4th generation of a family that has owned newspapers since the 1920s. Her family owns the Toledo Blade and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

When Nancy was growing up, she got used to teachers and strangers holding her personally responsible for editorial content in the paper. Working for the family company was the last thing Nancy wanted to do - but after college, her father convinced her to work temporarily for the classifieds department. There, to her great surprise, Nancy discovered an aptitude and deep fascination for the world of business.

Nancy Block talks with guest host Aaron Henkin about the five heady years she spent in the newspaper business - a time when the internet and changes related to September 11, 2001 set the newspaper industry reeling. And she tells him how she came to the decision to leave the family company for business school and a new job on Wall Street.

Challenging Liftoff

The space shuttle Endeavor is set for liftoff tomorrow evening. One member of the crew will be Barbara Morgan, a teacher. 21 years ago, Allan McDonald was a top manager at Morton Thiokol, a company that made the booster rockets for the Challenger. The Challenger exploded just after liftoff, killing six crewmates and Christa McAuliffe, who was to be the first teacher in orbit. Before the Challenger launched, Allan worried there was a problem and argued, unsuccessfully, for a delay. He joins Aaron to talk about what it was like to work as an engineer on the space shuttle and watch as it exploded.

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