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BUSINESS IN BRIEF

Drug-coated stent sales hurt by clot-risk concerns

THE REGION

Boston Scientific Corp. and Johnson & Johnson are losing sales of drug-coated heart stents because doctors are concerned the devices raise the risk of blood clots. Doctors have used stents, tiny mesh tubes, to prop open diseased heart blood vessels in 4 million people worldwide since 2001. Devices coated with drugs to prevent new blockages accounted for about 88 percent of US sales through the second quarter and then started declining, according to consulting group Goodroe Healthcare Solutions. Several recent studies showed that the drug-coated stents pose a 0.5 percent higher risk of causing clots than older, bare-metal models. The drug-coated stents may be causing an additional 2,160 deaths worldwide each year, according to an editorial published Oct. 11 by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. (Bloomberg)

Ex-NYSE specialist made `mistakes,' lawyer says
A lawyer for David Finnerty, a former New York Stock Exchange specialist at Fleet Specialists Inc., said ``mistakes" and ``miscommunication" were to blame for the thousands of improper trades his client made. Defense attorney Frederick Hafetz told jurors in Manhattan federal court that Finnerty was overwhelmed by frenzied trading on the floor of the NYSE and made ``some" improper trades in General Electric Co. stock. Prosecutors say Finnerty cheated investors by trading for his firm's own portfolio before matching orders from customers, costing them $4.5 million. (Bloomberg)

Raytheon adopts majority vote to elect directors
Raytheon Co. amended its bylaws to require majority voting for the election of board directors, after shareholders pushed for the change. Under the new rules, each director will be elected if they get more ``for" votes than ``against" votes. Any director who fails to receive a majority of the votes cast must tender his or her resignation, the Waltham company said. (Bloomberg)

THE NATION

FCC delays vote on AT&T-BellSouth deal
The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission delayed a vote on the buyout of BellSouth Corp. by AT&T Inc. after commission Democrats Jonathan Adelstein and Michael Copps requested more time to study last-minute concessions proposed by AT&T. FCC chief Kevin J. Martin wrote a letter to the two Democrats saying he would make AT&T's proposals available for public display for 10 days. He also set a commission meeting date for Nov. 3, but a spokeswoman in his office said a vote could happen earlier. (AP)

Troubled Air America files for Chapter 11 protection
Air America Radio filed for bankruptcy reorganization in the latest patch of turbulence to befall the liberal talk radio network that launched two years ago headlined by comedian and author Al Franken. The network will continue to operate with funding from its investor group, led by RealNetworks Inc. chief executive Robert Glaser, who owns 36.7 percent of the company, and two other former board members. The company also named a new chief executive, Scott Elberg, a radio executive who joined the company in May 2005. (AP)

Microsoft says Vista will arrive on schedule
Microsoft Corp. is making several key changes to its forthcoming Windows Vista operating system in an attempt to soothe European antitrust worries, while keeping its worldwide distribution plans on schedule. Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, said the company agreed to changes related to search services and security offerings. But even with the changes, Microsoft said it still plans to deliver Vista to large firms in November and consumers and small firms in January. (AP)

NPR executive resigns, is named ombudsman
National Public Radio's top news executive has resigned, but will stay with NPR as its ombudsman, the nonprofit organization said. William Marimow resigned last week as NPR's vice president for news and information, where he was responsible for shows such as ``All Things Considered" and ``Morning Edition,' NPR spokeswoman Andi Sporkin said. He accepted a job this week as ombudsman, in which he will serve as a liaison for listeners, Sporkin said. He succeeds Jeffrey Dvorkin, who left the job in August. (AP)

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