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Matt Kempner

Business columnist

Matt Kempner is the AJC’s sometimes irreverent business columnist, who enjoys finding  the twists behind our adventures with business, money and careers. Prior to his latest assignment, he wrote a regular column on intriguing entrepreneurs and reported on technology and energy. His career has included serving as a business editor and public editor as well as lots of reporting gigs, from business investigations to politics, government and the environment.  You can follow him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mattkempnercolumnist or on Twitter: @Mattkempner 

Latest from Matt Kempner

Kempner: Time for a nuclear apology from your power company
 Sometimes, even rah-rah cheerleading isn’t enough to make a bad situation look good. That’s a shame for Georgia Power, because the CEO of its parent has tried to make the company’s nuclear misadventure look like a puffy cloud on a pretty spring day. Four years ago, when the project to expand nuclear power at Plant Vogtle...

Posted: a day ago

Sometimes, even rah-rah cheerleading isn’t enough to make a bad situation look good. That’s a shame for Georgia Power, because the CEO of its parent has tried to make the company’s nuclear misadventure look like a puffy cloud on a pretty spring day. Four years ago, when the project to expand nuclear power at Plant Vogtle...
Panama City Beach loses push for Christian spring break concerts
 The push to find a big new spring break crowd for Florida’s Panama City Beach isn’t yet working out as hoped. Private promoters cancelled a scheduled series of Christian music concerts that locals hoped would bring spring business back to the Gulf Coast beach town after a crackdown shooed away lots of college spring breakers...

Posted: 6 days ago

The push to find a big new spring break crowd for Florida’s Panama City Beach isn’t yet working out as hoped. Private promoters cancelled a scheduled series of Christian music concerts that locals hoped would bring spring business back to the Gulf Coast beach town after a crackdown shooed away lots of college spring breakers...
Kempner: Evicting spring break was the easy part for Panama City Beach
 One of Florida’s most popular beach hot spots is learning how hard it is to kill its reputation as a college and high school spring break guzzle-a-thon and replace it with something safer. Panama City Beach locals this year thought they found a fresh way to woo Atlantans and others from around the nation to the amazing powdery...

Posted: 7 days ago

One of Florida’s most popular beach hot spots is learning how hard it is to kill its reputation as a college and high school spring break guzzle-a-thon and replace it with something safer. Panama City Beach locals this year thought they found a fresh way to woo Atlantans and others from around the nation to the amazing powdery...
Kempner: Will self-driving cars give parking lots the boot?
 Jerry Skillett, CEO of one of the nation’s biggest parking companies, should be rolled up in a fetal position under a table. Self-driving cars are coming, and according to plenty of urbanists, futurists and transportation engineers, Skillett’s industry is going to be decimated. All those parking lots close to office towers, malls...

Posted: 14 days ago

Jerry Skillett, CEO of one of the nation’s biggest parking companies, should be rolled up in a fetal position under a table. Self-driving cars are coming, and according to plenty of urbanists, futurists and transportation engineers, Skillett’s industry is going to be decimated. All those parking lots close to office towers, malls...
Kempner: A Hail Mary to save the Atlanta Falcons’ old nest
 Molly Read Woo has been trying to save the Georgia Dome for years, convinced we’re throwing away an economic gem. We are. But her current grass-roots campaign isn’t going so well. At a recent press gathering, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed told it straight to the frequent community activist when she asked if the city would be willing...

Posted: 21 days ago

Molly Read Woo has been trying to save the Georgia Dome for years, convinced we’re throwing away an economic gem. We are. But her current grass-roots campaign isn’t going so well. At a recent press gathering, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed told it straight to the frequent community activist when she asked if the city would be willing...
Kempner: A crushing end to the Georgia Dome
 Goodnight, sweet prince. And flights of monster trucks sing thee to thy rest! (Shakespeare, 2017) The Georgia Dome — the sports palace that we spent lots of money building and now are throwing away like a week-old stadium pretzel — hosted its last performance Sunday night. At times I was a little short of breath. I’d like...

Posted: 24 days ago

Goodnight, sweet prince. And flights of monster trucks sing thee to thy rest! (Shakespeare, 2017) The Georgia Dome — the sports palace that we spent lots of money building and now are throwing away like a week-old stadium pretzel — hosted its last performance Sunday night. At times I was a little short of breath. I’d like...
Kempner: A new way to curb Georgia regulators?
 There was one particular moment when state regulators didn’t rubber stamp Georgia Power’s plans in recent years. It happened after the power company turned in long-range plans showing that it wouldn’t generate even a flicker of solar power, at least not in the next 20 years. That’s when Lauren “Bubba” McDonald...

Posted: 26 days ago

There was one particular moment when state regulators didn’t rubber stamp Georgia Power’s plans in recent years. It happened after the power company turned in long-range plans showing that it wouldn’t generate even a flicker of solar power, at least not in the next 20 years. That’s when Lauren “Bubba” McDonald...
Kempner: Beat it! Vacation rentals curbed on pricey N. Ga. lakes
 If you want to rent a vacation home on some of Georgia’s priciest and most tranquil lakes this spring and summer, better move along bub. A bunch of them are no longer available. And they may never be again. That’s because homeowners are being told to stop renting to visiting vacationers at least on land owned by Georgia Power...

Posted: 27 days ago

If you want to rent a vacation home on some of Georgia’s priciest and most tranquil lakes this spring and summer, better move along bub. A bunch of them are no longer available. And they may never be again. That’s because homeowners are being told to stop renting to visiting vacationers at least on land owned by Georgia Power...
Kempner: Atlantan not a movie guy, but now has Oscar connection
 Nelson Burke is more surprised than anybody that an Atlanta guy like him is in the movie business and has ties to a production up for an Oscar on Sunday. It’s become kind of routine. But he tells me he often gets a worrisome twinge. It’s not his back; it’s Georgia legislators. What if the folks at the Capitol get some...

10:19 PM Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017

Nelson Burke is more surprised than anybody that an Atlanta guy like him is in the movie business and has ties to a production up for an Oscar on Sunday. It’s become kind of routine. But he tells me he often gets a worrisome twinge. It’s not his back; it’s Georgia legislators. What if the folks at the Capitol get some...
Kempner: Losing our Fortune 500 companies should be a clue
 Long ago, my fellow Gwinnett voters treated the idea of letting MARTA into the county a bit like suggesting someone put a fire ant on our dinner plate. Gwinnett chairman Charlotte Nash has a clear memory of this. But now Nash says she will push for a new public referendum on transit — though she said she doesn’t know if it would...

11:17 PM Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017

Long ago, my fellow Gwinnett voters treated the idea of letting MARTA into the county a bit like suggesting someone put a fire ant on our dinner plate. Gwinnett chairman Charlotte Nash has a clear memory of this. But now Nash says she will push for a new public referendum on transit — though she said she doesn’t know if it would...