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Weitzman Shown the Door

Universal Studios Inc. has ousted one of its top executives.

Howard Weitzman, the former top entertainment attorney who has headed Universal's corporate operations for the past two and a half years, is the second high-level casualty of the senior management team assembled by Seagram Co. Chief Executive Edgar Bronfman Jr.

In April 1997, former Universal Executive Vice President Sandy Climan was forced out and returned to his former employer, Creative Artists Agency. Both Weitzman and Climan were hired by Universal Studios President Ron Meyer, who co-founded CAA and was its longtime president; Weitzman is Meyer's close friend and former attorney.

Weitzman was responsible for overseeing day-to-day administration of Universal's corporate businesses, including legal and human resources, new media, consumer products and studio operations. Studio officials say he will not be replaced.

New Energy Alliance Set

Atlantic Richfield Co. and PG & E; Energy Services, the energy marketing arm of San Francisco-based Pacific Gas & Electric Co., have formed a California energy alliance to provide power and energy management services to Arco facilities throughout the state that are currently served by investor-owned electric utilities.

Under the agreement, PG & E; will supply more than $60 million in electricity to some 350 of Arco's owned-and-operated retail gas stations, as well as gasoline distribution terminals, pipeline pump stations and oil and gas production facilities in California.

Electricity supplied under the agreement became available when deregulation opened the California electricity market to competition on April 1.

Rail Cars for Sale

The financially troubled Metropolitan Transportation Authority is considering selling new rail cars it bought for a rail system that may never be built, and has placed ads in a transit-industry trade publication.

The MTA has spent $160 million on 52 custom-made light-rail cars and could face a $10 million penalty for cutting back on its original order. The agency also spent $145 million for 74 new subway cars.

The cars were intended for subway extensions to the Eastside and Mid-City and for a light-rail line from downtown to Pasadena.

Those projects have been put on hold, making it likely that they will not be built for years, if at all. The agency faces a projected $85 million deficit in next year's budget.

Shuttle Vote Delayed

The Los Angeles Airport Commission last week postponed voting on a controversial plan to award exclusive shuttle concessions to LAX's two largest operators Prime Time Shuttle and SuperShuttle Inc.

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