Sonari Glinton

Sonari Glinton is a NPR Business Desk reporter based at our NPR West bureau. He covers the auto industry, consumer goods and consumer behavior, as well as marketing and advertising.

In this position, which he has held since late 2010, Glinton has tackled big stories including GM's road back to profitability and Toyota's continuing struggles. Glinton has traveled throughout the Midwest covering important stories such as the tornado in Joplin, Missouri, and the 2012 presidential race. He has also covered the U.S. Senate and House for NPR.

Glinton came to NPR in August 2007 and worked as a producer for All Things Considered. During that time he produced interviews with everyone from UN Ambassador Susan Rice to Joan Rivers. The highlight for Glinton came when he produced Robert Siegel's 50 Great Voices piece on Nat King Cole.

Glinton began his public radio career as an intern at member station WBEZ in Chicago. He went on to produce and report for WBEZ. While in Chicago he focused on juvenile justice and the Cook County Board of Commissioners. Prior to journalism Glinton had a career in finance.

Glinton attended Boston University.

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News
4:08 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Toyota Pulls Over 6 Million Vehicles Worldwide

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 6:48 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Another major auto recall today, this time it's Toyota. The Japanese auto giant is recalling 6.4 million vehicles worldwide for a variety of defects, including problems with seat rails and airbags. No injuries have been reported. NPR's Sonari Glinton reports this particular recall is not happening in a vacuum.

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Business
3:42 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Just How New Is The 'New' GM?

CEO Mary Barra told Congress that she sits at the helm of the new GM. Is the company new and improved? The answer is complicated.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 9:34 am

During her grilling before Congress last week, General Motors CEO Mary Barra insisted the new General Motors is different and better than the old one.

So as GM begins to fix nearly 2.6 million vehicles for an ignition-switch defect that has been linked to at least 13 deaths, we decided to put that claim to the test.

Exactly how new is the new GM?

NBC's Saturday Night Live answered with a parody version of Barra's explanation:

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Business
6:13 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

The Long Road To GM's Ignition Switch Recall

Chevy Cobalts on the assembly line in Ohio in 2008. Documents show General Motors was aware of problems with the car's ignition switch years before, but failed to act.
Ron Schwane AP

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 12:08 pm

The new head of General Motors, Mary Barra, goes to Capitol Hill Tuesday to begin two days of testimony.

It's the first time she'll be questioned about a safety defect that's been linked to at least 13 deaths and has sparked a 2.6 million-vehicle recall.

At issue for the Detroit CEO is a classic question: What did GM know about the problems with ignition switch problems in its cars, and when did the company know it?

And just as important for GM and government regulators is the follow-up question: Why did no one act sooner?

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Business
4:24 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

As Carmakers Turn Up The Recalls, Consumers Tune Out

The number of vehicles recalled has more than doubled in the past 20 years.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 7:02 pm

In the past week, Volkswagen recalled 150,000 Passats because of potential hood problems that could damage the headlights, and Honda recalled 900,000 Odyssey vans because of a potential fire hazard.

Those moves follow the recent General Motors recall of 1.6 million vehicles over a faulty ignition switch, which has been linked to 12 deaths. It took the company nearly a decade to inform the public of the problem.

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News
4:31 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Toyota's $1.2B Settlement Puts Criminal Probe To Rest

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 7:59 pm

Toyota will pay $1.2 billion to end a federal criminal probe into a vehicle recall. Federal regulators said five people died in accidents related to unintended acceleration prior to the recall.

Business
5:06 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Delayed Safety Recall May Haunt GM As It Continues Its Makeover

The Chevrolet Cobalt is one of the GM models being recalled for faulty ignition switches.
David Zalubowski AP

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 6:51 pm

General Motors is coming under mounting criticism for its handling of a serious defect. Last month, the company recalled 1.6 million vehicles because of faulty ignition switches linked to 13 deaths. The cars, made from 2003-2007, could stall or fail to deploy their airbags.

It's an issue GM has known about for a while, and now Congress wants to know why it took the automaker almost a decade to warn the public about it.

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Business
4:06 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Theories And Disputes Eddy Around Missing Malaysian Airliner

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 6:51 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

A dramatically different version of events is emerging about the path of Malaysia Airline's Flight 370. Malaysian authorities now say the jetliner made a sharp change in course, heading from northeast to west, and they say the last sign of the plane came an hour later than previously stated. The Boeing 777 disappeared early Saturday morning local time en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.

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The Salt
5:43 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

What Pepsi Can Teach Us About Soft (Drink) Power In Russia

Pepsi was the first American consumer product to be manufactured and sold in the former Soviet Union. In 1991, Russians could buy the soda for 20 kopeks, about 10 cents.
Peter Dejong AP

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 9:09 pm

The United States has threatened economic sanctions against Moscow, but America is light on financial leverage in Russia: The country represents less than 1 percent of U.S. trade, and few major U.S. companies have significant investments there.

But one company with a long history in Russia is Pepsi.

So how did the American soft drink giant get its foot in the door to build a major market in Russia?

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Sports
5:11 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Winter Olympic Closing Ceremony Held In Sochi

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 7:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Russia put on a spectacular closing show for the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi last night, with fireworks, Russian music and dance, and a thousand children singing Russia's national anthem. As always, the games were full of the sort of drama and surprises that make them one of the world's great spectacles.

Sonari Glinton is about to turn out the lights in NPR's Sochi bureau, but before he does, let's get the low-down from him about the two-plus weeks of competition.

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The Edge
1:27 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Questions About Scoring Overshadow Women's Figure Skating

Russia's Adelina Sotnikova (center) celebrates after receiving her gold medal in women's figure skating Thursday. South Korea's Yuna Kim (left) took silver, and Italy's Carolina Kostner won bronze.
Antonin Thuillier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 10:36 pm

It wouldn't be a Winter Olympics without a figure skating scandal, and the Sochi Olympics hasn't disappointed.

When defending gold medalist Yuna Kim of South Korea took to the ice in the women's long program Thursday night, there was much anticipation. The audience had already seen 23 great performances, and Kim was the last to skate.

She landed six triple jumps in what looked to be a flawless program, one she'd skated many times before. In the stands, her teammates and skaters from other countries seemed amazed.

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Sports
4:18 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Hometown Hero Triumphs In Women's Figure Skating

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 8:02 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

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The Edge
6:22 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Female Figure Skaters Compete For Gold — And The Sport's Future

Yuna Kim, of South Korea, won gold in Vancouver. She's leading the field after Wednesday's short program.
Adrian Dennis AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 8:55 pm

If there is such a thing as a home rink advantage, that makes the competition in the women's figure skating program fierce. Russian fans erupted with glee for Adelina Sotnikova on Wednesday. And then there's Yulia Lipnitskaya, a 15-year-old Russian phenom who has thrilled Russian fans and stunned the figure skating world.

Scott Hamilton, a 1984 figure skating gold medalist, has been watching Lipnitskaya closely.

"She's beyond her years. Like, you look at her and she qualified [to be age-eligible] for the Olympics by days," he says.

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Sports
4:58 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Sochi's Humidity Keeps Olympic Ice Makers Working Overtime

An ice master checks the temperature of the ice rink at the Adler Arena Skating Center, site of the speedskating events at the Sochi Games.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 10:25 am

In Sochi, balmy weather has bedeviled some snowboarders and skiers. The snow is sometimes, well, slush. But inside the Winter Olympics' arenas, the ice is universally praised, though it's taking some work to keep things cool.

It's not the heat, it's the humidity that's leading ice makers to work overtime at the games.

That's paid off, because athletes in Sochi have been gushing about the ice.

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Sports
4:43 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

U.S. Speedskating Falters On Ice — Are Their Suits To Blame?

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 7:59 pm

The U.S. speedskating team came into these games with a great record and what many thought was a real chance to load up on medals. As the skaters approach their final events, the program seems in disarray, in part due to controversy over a highly touted Under Armour suit.

Sports
5:00 pm
Sat February 15, 2014

U.S. Struggles To Find Skating Groove In Sochi

Originally published on Sat February 15, 2014 9:18 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

It was another disappointing finish in speed skating for the U.S. at the Winter Olympics in Sochi. American phenom Shani Davis came in 11th place in the 1500 meter, a race for which he's won two silver medals. The focus is now shifted from the American skaters' performance to their suits.

NPR's Sonari Glinton reports from Sochi.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Ready.

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Sports
5:03 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Men's Olympic Figure Skating Moves To Free Program

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 7:23 am

Some unfortunate falls have changed the outlook for men's figure skating. Japan and Canada are in the lead. And, Russian star Evgeni Plushenko withdrew from the competition because of a back problem.

The Edge
6:12 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

In Men's Figure Skating, U.S. Pins Hopes On A New Class

Jason Brown skated to Prince during his short program Thursday.
Vadim Ghirda AP

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 7:58 pm

What's the hardest sport at the Winter Games — biathlon, aerial skiing, snowboarding, or high-flying slopestyle?

Jeremy Abbott thought it was one of those until an Olympic official told him otherwise. "Hands down," he was told, "absolutely, figure skating is the hardest."

Abbott may not completely agree, but he says it's the rare affirmation he's gotten as a male figure skater.

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Sports
4:29 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

American Speedskaters Leave Ice Disappointed

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 8:00 pm

U.S. speedskating took a big hit in Sochi today, coming out of the 1,000-meter competition with no medals. The team's highest rank was eighth, earned by Shani Davis, who has dominated this race in the past.

The Edge
8:12 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Germany's Hoefl-Riesch Wins Women's Super-Combined Skiing

Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch during the slalom run of the women's alpine skiing super-combined event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
Stefano Rellandini Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 11:47 am

As always, if you're among those who don't want to know who's won what until NBC-TV's primetime show is on the air, stop reading now. For those who do like to know what's happening, here's a quick look at the medals already awarded today and some of what's coming later on:

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Sports
5:18 am
Mon February 10, 2014

U.S. Takes Bronze In Team Figure Skating In Sochi

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 7:45 am

Russia won its first Olympic gold on Sunday. The Olympic host took first in the team figure skating, a new event for these games. Canada won silver and the U.S. team won bronze.

The Edge
9:14 am
Sun February 9, 2014

U.S. Speedskaters Get A Little Help From Their Friends

From left: U.S. Speedskaters Kelly Gunther, Brittany Bowe, Heather Richardson and Sugar Todd are aiming for Olympic glory in Sochi, Russia.
Matthew Stockman Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 4:15 pm

Speedskating is the U.S.'s most successful winter Olympic Sport. In Sochi this year, great things are expected again.

The secret to their success includes talent, skill and hard work, but there's also a network of support that buoys the team.

Two-time gold medalist Shani Davis is looking to win a history-making third: He would be the first speedskater to win the same event in three different Olympics.

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The Edge
3:23 am
Fri February 7, 2014

In Team Event, Figure Skating Rivals Cheer For Each Other

Marissa Castelli (front center) and Simon Shnapir (front right) of the U.S. wait for their scores in the pairs short program Thursday in Sochi. With them are coach Robert Martin and teammates (back, from left) Jeremy Abbott, Charlie White and Meryl Davis.
Darren Cummings/Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 11:26 am

There's always a lot of drama in figure skating, and not necessarily on the ice. There's the judging and the personalities — think Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding.

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The Edge
6:12 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Countdown To Sochi: Will The City Be Ready?

In Sochi, sporting arenas are ready to receive athletes and visitors, but some stores and hotels aren't quite finished.
Sonari Glinton NPR

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 8:07 pm

The Winter Games begin Thursday in Sochi, Russia.

Thousands of athletes and journalists have already converged on the city along the coast of the Black Sea, and spectators will be streaming in this week. But ahead of the games, the real race is to see if all the last-minute preparations can be completed in time.

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Business
3:28 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Detroit Touts Clean, Efficient Diesels, But America Isn't Sold

Automakers like GM, Chrysler and Volkswagen are introducing new, cleaner diesel passenger cars to the U.S. market as fuel-efficient alternatives.
Carlos Osorio AP

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 3:07 pm

At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week, it's not all hybrids and battery-powered cars. Some car companies are making significant investments in a fuel that's not new at all — diesel.

The newest diesel engines are far cleaner than their predecessors, and they get many more miles per gallon. The question is, what's holding customers back from switching gas pumps?

When you look around the auto show, there's a lot of energy and there's a lot of money being spent again. The one topic that keeps coming up, of course, is fuel economy.

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Economy
5:09 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

For Target, Holiday Woes Are Worse Than Expected

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 7:19 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

The retail giant Target delivered more bad news today. The company was the victim of a massive security breach before Christmas, and today it announced that that cyber-attack was much worse than originally reported. NPR's Sonari Glinton explains.

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Remembrances
5:42 pm
Sun December 29, 2013

Remembering Eydie Gorme, A Vegas Singer Without The Drama

Steve Lawrence (left), Edyie Gorme (center) and Jerry Lewis sing during the MDA Telethon at the Sahara Hotel in 1993.
AP

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 12:52 pm

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Business
4:38 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Drug Stores Rx For Profits: Offer More Than Prescriptions

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 7:49 am

Earnings are skyrocketing at drug stores — Walgreens alone saw its earnings grow nearly 70 percent in the last quarter. Drug stores no longer handle just prescriptions and selected sundries. Big chains now compete with grocery stores and sandwich shops. Consumers are also shopping there for holiday gifts.

U.S. Commutes: The Way We Get To Work
3:15 am
Wed December 25, 2013

What's In Store For Commuting's Future? (Hint: There's Hope)

Imagine if the road ahead includes driverless cars.
Jiha Hwang Illustration from The Car in 2035: Mobility Planning for the Near Future is courtesy of the Civic Projects Foundation

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 7:04 pm

If you want to look into the future of commuting, you need only go to the graduate transportation program at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif.

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Economy
8:05 am
Sat December 7, 2013

Service Jobs Among Those On The Rise

Originally published on Sat December 7, 2013 11:39 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

As the overall economy's been slowly but there is one job sectors that has actually grown consistently - leisure and hospitality. That's considered a sign that Americans have discretionary income and are willing to spend it. But many of these new jobs in this sector tend to be lower paying and have few benefits. NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.

SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: If you want to see a sliver of the new economy at work, all you have to do is go to a party in Beverly Hills.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: Have a fantastic party.

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Business
5:44 pm
Sun December 1, 2013

Bentley, Once An Exclusive Car, Trying To Become 'Mainstream'

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 7:55 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

It's ALL THING CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

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