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Group protests Blockbuster sales

Blockbuster Entertainment has come under attack by the American Family Association of Florida for selling Playboy videos in its music stores.

The association mailed a newsletter to its 10,000 members last week urging they write or call Blockbuster in protest.

While the group called the move a new policy by the chain, Blockbuster spokesman Wally Knief said the video giant has always carried R rated material, such as the Playboy videos, and it represented no change.

DELTA TRIMS COMMISSIONS. Delta Air Lines announced Monday it is reducing travel agent commissions on full fare international tickets from 10 percent to 8 percent. Delta is attempting to reduce operating costs by $2-billion annually.

TIME WARNER EXEC RETIRING. Bert W. Wasserman, longtime chief financial officer of Time Warner Inc., will retire at the end of the year, the company said. Wasserman, 62, has been with Time Warner and its predecessor, Warner Communications Inc., for 28 years. No reason was given for Wasserman's decision to retire, and he offered no explanation in a memo to his staff.

NIS BUYS COMPANY. National Insurance Services, a Tampa-based administrator of health insurance plans for small companies, said Monday that it is buying Nashville, Tenn.-based Group Benefits Administrators Inc. The purchase price was not disclosed. NIS is a subsidiary of Pan-American Life, one of the largest mutual life insurance companies in the South.

FUNDS ANNOUNCE DISTRIBUTIONS. Three Templeton funds announced distributions Monday that will give shareholders large capital gains and, in some cases, investment income. The Templeton Emerging Markets Fund will distribute $3.13 per share, the Templeton China World Fund $1.16{ per share and Templeton Global Utilities $1.22{ per share.

RESTAURANTS FEAR SMOKING BAN. Restaurants and hoteliers told an Occupational Safety and Health Administration hearing Monday a proposed ban on smoking in the workplace could cost their industries billions of dollars in lost business. Biff Naylor, incoming vice president of the National Restaurant Association, said a prohibition could cost restaurants $18.2-billion in lost sales. The testimony was part of a lengthy review process the agency is holding as it considers the proposed Indoor Air Quality standards. No final ruling is imminent.

U.S. HOME CORP. The giant home builder said Monday that net income for the quarter ended Sept. 30 was $9.2-million, or 81 cents per share, compared with net income of $53.4-million, or $4.61 per share, for the third quarter of 1993. U.S. Home builds in more than 190 communities in 31 markets in 12 states, including Florida.

OIL COMPANIES HAVE STRONG QUARTER. Big oil companies reported generally stronger quarterly results, reflecting higher prices for crude oil, but weaker refining profits and a sharp drop in natural gas prices. Exxon Corp. on Monday reported a 10 percent earnings gain, while Amoco's profit dropped 14 percent but only because of onetime costs.

CAR LEASING STANDARDS PROPOSED. In a bid to end some car leasing confusion, a trade association of financing companies said Monday it had adopted a voluntary standard to disclose to consumers the total cost of their leased vehicle. The American Financial Services Association said the standard would help consumers determine their total cost of leasing a car. The AFSA said it hoped its 360 members, including the finance arms of General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and the Chrysler Corp. could implement the standard by June.

MOBIL MAY CUT 15,000 JOBS. Mobil Corp. announced plans Monday to cut as many as 15,000 staff support jobs worldwide in an effort to further eliminate "hundreds of millions of dollars" in overhead costs. In recent years, Mobil has eliminated 17,000 jobs worldwide at an estimated annual savings of $700-million. Worldwide employment at Mobil is currently about 60,000.

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