BizWorthy: Divorce Rising In Charlotte Amid Pandemic
According to an analysis of court filings by the Charlotte Ledger Business Newsletter, there were more divorces on record in June in Mecklenburg County and across North Carolina than any of the previous 12 months.
For more on that and other news, we turn now to the Ledger’s Tony Mecia for our segment BizWorthy.
Marshall Terry: Tony, I guess the pandemic has been good for divorce attorneys?
Tony Mecia: Well, unfortunately, I think, yes, it has been good for divorce attorneys. The numbers are up — a number of different indicators just showing that divorces and separations are on the rise. Maybe it's not entirely a surprise, Marshall — you know, forced to spend 24/7 with somebody in lockdown who maybe you're not compatible with or you've been planning to leave.
Maybe all that time together sort of exacerbates things, and then the curtain lifts and you sort of have the ability to maybe make a different life decision. So, yes, our Cristina Bolling talked to several divorce attorneys (and) counselors, saying they say they've seen an uptick, and, you know, the numbers also show it.
Terry: I want to turn now to some tech news Red Ventures, which is based in Fort Mill (South Carolina), is buying CNET Media Group for $500 million. What exactly do these companies do? And is this acquisition a big deal?
Mecia: Those are good questions, Marshall. So, to try to understand what they do, a lot of times they put it in language that's not entirely understandable. But basically, what Red Ventures does is it develops websites, it buys websites from other companies, streamlines them, puts technology behind them, tries to drive customers toward them and then, you know, sell them things. And then it gets a percentage of those of those sales; also sells ads.
So, what they're doing here, Red Ventures, which have bought a number of different websites or brands in the last few years, is buying CNET, which also comes with TVGuide.com, Chowhound. A few years ago, Marshall, Red Ventures bought Bankrate, which has creditcard.com, The Points Guy, a number of sites where people go online to try to get information before they make purchases.
Terry: Let's go now to the Myers Park Country Club, where you report a homeowner on the golf course there is blasting top 40 music from his house as part of a protest. So, what's his beef exactly?
Mecia: Yeah, I talked to this homeowner last week, Marshall, who owns a $2.7 million house off Sharon Road that backs up to Myers Park Country Club. He moved in a couple of months ago, started building a pool in his backyard. The club apparently didn't like it, put up some trees that could eventually grow to 50 or 60 feet tall and screen out his view.
And so he says that they're unwilling to work with him. And so in protest, he's been blasting music from his backyard, getting sort of the evil eye from a lot of the golfers that are passing by there. But he's hoping to bring the country club to the negotiating table.
Terry: Is he breaking a noise ordinance?
Mecia: Well, when I was out there, Marshall, he had a noise meter ready to go in case the police showed up so that he could say, "Hey, I'm under 85 decibels," which is, during the day, what the noise limit is. And he was playing it at 78.
Terry: Has the country club expressed any interest in coming to the negotiating table with him?
Mecia: I reached out to the country club. They didn't return calls or emails. He says he still has not heard from them, hired a lawyer, and so they're taking it from there. You know, legally, the country club planted the trees on its own land, and he's building his pool on his land. Not sure what legally they might be able to do, but the homeowner certainly hoping for some sort of negotiated resolution.
Terry: Finally, Tony, what's this about Christmas coming to Charlotte early this year that you reported this week?
Mecia: Yeah, Marshall, you know, it's been a rough year for a lot of people. Maybe some good news is that the holidays are coming early. There's a made-for-TV movie being filmed in Charlotte right now called "A Nashville Christmas Carol" shooting around town.
Terry: A "Nashville Christmas Carol," but it's being shot in Charlotte?
Mecia: Yeah. You know, this is not uncommon in the film industry to have cities stand in for other cities. "The Outer Banks" — that series that was filmed mostly in South Carolina. When "Homeland" was filmed in Charlotte, that was actually supposed to be in Washington, D.C. This is set in Nashville (Tennessee) but filmed in Charlotte. And Martin, you'll be happy to know that it supposedly tells the story of a busy film director and producer who is visited by the ghosts of country music's past and present.
Terry: Well, I look forward to seeing that, and I guess to the producers, maybe "A Charlotte Christmas Carol" just didn't have the right panache to it.
Mecia: I think Nashville's got maybe a little more brand recognition, Marshall.
Terry: All right, Tony. Well, we'll leave it there this week. Thank you.