Stories for August 2001

Monday, August 27

EDITOR---Search for New Hollywood Reporter Editor Narrows

The Hollywood Reporter, which for months has been casting a wide net in search of a new editor, is expected to make a decision in the next few weeks.

INTERVIEW---Fashion Statements

Hobbies: Swimming, hiking, yoga, walking, Bonsai trees, study of good health, work with Noetic sciences.

Chet Currier---Making Excuses Most Difficult Job for Fund Managers

Deep in the bear-market forest, a youthful mutual fund manager comes to consult the Oracle of Excuses and Explanations.

AIRPORT---LAX Expansion Foes Relishing Opportunity To Face Airline Group

The umbrella organization representing dozens of cities opposed to the massive LAX expansion plan has finally convinced the airlines to sit down and discuss plans to boost flights at outlying airports.

LABJ Forum---Dining In or Out?

Growth in restaurant sales has slowed in recent months, indicating some consumers are watching their wallets in anticipation of tough times. In response, restaurants in several cities have begun dropping prices in an effort to get consumers out and about

Entrepreneur's Notebook---Articulate Business Strategy at the Heart of Strong Firm

Companies often talk about "business models" when discussing their plans to generate income and profit. Seldom, however, do they define a business strategy to successfully implement their business model. A well-crafted business strategy helps entrepreneur

Weekly Briefing

As a Seattle high school senior in 1984, Dwyane Faux thought he was on his way to becoming a doctor. But one weekend, having nothing to do, he stumbled upon a balloon art seminar that changed his career path.

Wall Street West---High-Yield Bonds Return to Favor with Telecom Tumble

Suddenly, a few of L.A.'s vulture investors those who land when most money mavens take flight are again buzzing about convertible and high-yield debt. Ever since junk bond wizard Michael Milken brought Drexel Burnham Lambert to Los Angeles in 1979, wi

PUBLISHING---Magazine Getting New Attention in Response to Story

Try getting a copy of Los Angeles magazine last week. As word spread of Amy Wallace's controversial profile of Variety editor in chief Peter Bart, the September issue quickly sold out at newsstands and supermarkets in showbiz heavy parts of the city. Also

HOMES---Lenders Compete For Fast-Growing Mortgage Action

Southern California's perceived immunity to an economic slowdown, particularly in the housing market, is showing some signs of vulnerability.

Letters

Blue Cross of California would like to dispel a rumor addressed in Lawrence Darmiento's Aug. 7 article "Embattled L.A. Care Fending Off Rumors."

MERGER---Data Swaps Spur Tech Firm Merger

Seeking to capitalize on the market for digital content delivery, Westlake Village-based Medea Corp. has acquired Storage Concepts Inc. of Tustin in a stock-swap deal.

AIDS---PacifiCare Alleged to Have Violated State AIDS Law

Struggling PacifiCare of California has been hit with a lawsuit accusing it of violating a new state law requiring health maintenance organizations to send their HIV-positive and AIDS-stricken enrollees to specialists.

Mitch Albom---20 Years Later: The Computer Complex

Twenty years ago last week, IBM gave birth to the home computer. It's been downhill ever since. Oh, sure, our speed is up. Our efficiency is up. We can talk to people in Thailand with just a few keystrokes. And any patient who has ever needed medical i

TECHNOLOGY---Avoiding the Wreck

L.A. technology companies that shunned rapid growth are faring better than their larger counterparts

Real Estate Column---Flax Family Floats Mixed-Use Plan for Westwood Site

After more than 50 years of business in Westwood Village, Flax Art Supplies could be on the verge of closing up shop and transforming its property into apartments.

OLYMPICS---L.A. is in the driver's seat to host the Olympics for the third time in 2012 Thrice as Nice

The United States Olympic Committee's Evaluation Task Force visited Southern California last week to assess the region's capabilities to host the 2012 Summer Games. L.A., hoping to be the first-ever three time Olympic host, will be the final city consider

My Favorite Sites

This is the most comprehensive database of information for films in development available on the Web. The site covers films in production right now. It's possible to search by the name of any cast member, writer, director, agent, production studio, etc. I

Residential Developers

Residential Developers

TIMES---L.A. Times Staff Cut by 40 in Newsroom Early Retirements

More than three dozen newsroom staff members at the Los Angeles Times have accepted offers of early retirement as part of its parent company's efforts to reduce headcount.

Our View---Number Massage

When evaluating a public company in the olden days that is, anytime up until two or three years ago only one number truly mattered: net income. It was the literal bottom line and no matter what the circumstances (special charges, one-time events, non-

RESTAURANTS---Larchmont Residents Finding Restaurant Growth Too Filling

Could Blockbuster Video really be considered an eating establishment? How about Rite Aid Drugs? Or the local candy store?

ENERGY---Low Fuel for Power Fight

Prompted by a recent wave of announced and threatened plant closures and layoffs as a result of the state's energy crisis, a statewide group of economic development officials has launched a counterattack against other states' efforts to lure jobs and comp

BROADBAND---Tiny Firm Looks to Capture Part of Internet Film Future

Internet dreams die hard. As other content-driven Web businesses crash and burn, one local company is pushing forward with a plan to provide a variety of original and classic films, television and other entertainment through an Internet-based subscription

Deals & Dealmakers

El Segundo-based Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp. will try to raise up to $115 million in an initial public offering. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Big 5, which owns more than 200 sporting goods and apparel stores, reported its net in

GROWTH---Organic City

Grassroots growth has transformed l.A. from a business backwater into a diversified Economic powerhouse

CONSUMERS---Bargain Hunting

Debt-laden consumers are looking for good buys and retailers are happy to oblige with markdowns

Media---News Assistants, KFWB Officials Stalled in Talks

Contract negotiations between news production assistants and management at all-news station KFWB-AM (980) have slowed to a crawl, following the employees' decision to authorize a strike.

ECONOMY---Countdown To Relief

In many ways, Kenneth Staub personifies L.A.'s economic slowdown. Operating out of a hulking structure in Paramount, Staub processes and distributes gargantuan rolls of steel that his customers use to make refrigerators, stoves and countless other product

Newsmakers---New Strategy Head for Arden's Portfolio

To spearhead its efforts to dispose of properties "outside of main target areas," Arden Realty has named Howard S. Stern its new vice president of strategic planning.

LAW---Use of BlackBerry Lands Firm on List Of Tech Innovators

International Data Group's CIO magazine named an L.A. company to its list of the top 100 companies that use technology in innovative ways.

Roving Eye

At Mann Theatres it is. It used to be that before 6 p.m. most movies could be seen at a cut-rate price. Now the chain has whittled back its matinee prices to the first movie of the afternoon at several L.A. locations, including Mann's Westwood theaters an

DRUGSTORES---Drugstore Wars

Santa Monicans could be the most heavily medicated people in Southern California or unwitting pawns in the latest retail wars. Perhaps it's a combination of the two.

Ahead of the Curve

House Music: Experimental musician Glenn Branca, who has been cited as a major influence for artists ranging from rock band Sonic Youth to photographer James Welling, brings his sounds to the Schindler House in West Hollywood Sept. 28 and 29. The performa

CORPORATE FOCUS---Gemstar Deal Gives Internet Firm a Leg Up in Wagering

Youbet.com Inc. is betting on its own daily double to reach profitability halfway through next year.

OFFICE---Shubert to Be Razed, Tower To Replace It

The Shubert Theatre will be shut down and the entire ABC Entertainment Center razed to make way for a new $280 million office building that Trammell Crow Co. plans to develop on the prime Century City parcel, sources told the Business Journal.

Jane Applegate---Stay Current When Targeting Lucrative Teen Market

They are loud, annoying and rich. Teenagers, flush with cash from allowances and part-time jobs, spend more than $120 billion dollars a year on clothes, electronics, music and all kinds of other goodies. They are such an important spending bloc and have b

John Dorfman---Profitable Firms Not Necessarily Good Investments

What are the most profitable companies in the U.S? They're the ones in the "Fabulous Fifteen."

MONEY---Waiting for the Flood

Local Venture spending is way down as investors Bide their time waiting for signs of a turnaround

POLITICS---Election to Replace Ferraro Looking Like 3-Horse Race

The race to replace the late City Councilman John Ferraro is entering the home stretch, with election day a mere two weeks away on Sept. 11. Nearly every day brings a debate between the 10 candidates somewhere in the sprawling district, which spreads out

Cybersense---Online 'Wallet' Likely to Pick a Pocketful of Information

As the economic slowdown drains resources from the dot-com market, online entrepreneurs are digging deeper and deeper in hopes of striking it rich.

BOOKS---MeaningBusiness

Goal: To double revenues over the next 2 to 3 years by building its brand and selling subscription services on-line

PORTS---L.A. Ports Bracing for Logjam

Severe bottlenecking is possible this fall at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, as last-minute orders by nervous retailers, uncertain about the strength of the holiday shopping season, generate a higher than usual amount of cargo late in the peak s

Tech Talk---Faded Internet Sector Returns Executives

Has the counter-migration of Hollywood executives turned Internet investment gurus begun? Maybe. Lynda Keeler, who handled new media investments in L.A. for Saratoga, N.Y.-based Redleaf Group, has re-joined her previous employer, Sony Corp.

Jane Bryant Quinn---Cautious Borrowing Wise as Housing Boom Nears Peak

It's starting to look like a bubble to me, or at least a bubble-in-waiting. I'm talking about real-estate prices. Buyers are willing to pay almost anything just to own their first home or a bigger home than they have now.

L.A. Stories

Few cars are generating more excitement than Ford's new two-seater 2002 Thunderbird, which is based on the classic 1955 model. If you can get one of the 25,000 T-Birds being built by Ford, you're likely to pay more than $35,000-$40,000 sticker price.

RENOVATION---Hollywood Heritage

Eighty years after the Warner brothers purchased an East Hollywood farm and made it their Hollywood headquarters, Tribune Co. is giving the historical property a major makeover with a nod to the studio's cultural legacy

RECOVERY---The Uncertainty Factor

Several indicators are showing that a slow and steady recovery is not a done deal, or is it?

CARTOON---'Samurai' Next Battle for Cartoon Creator

For his next trick, Genndy Tartakovsky will try to turn a sullen samurai warrior into an American cultural icon.

MALAISE---Summer of Discontent

More than the average summertime blues, the economic slowdown has been felt at all levels

Monday, August 20

Ahead of the Curve

Sitcom Songs: It's TV night at the Hollywood Bowl on August 26. To kick off Emmy week, John Mauceri conducts the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra in a night of music from 50 years of television. The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences teams up with the Bowl f

AEROSPACE---Antenna Failure May Cost Boeing Millions

Boeing Co. is close to finalizing an agreement to refund as much as $32 million to NASA after the first of three next-generation satellites the defense giant built malfunctioned after being launched into orbit.

REAL ESTATE---Maguire's Search for Venture Partner Broadens

Developer Robert Maguire's search for a partner for his $1.6 billion real estate portfolio appears to have broadened beyond Equity Office Properties Trust.

John Dorfman---Heeding Advice From the Father of Value Investing

A year ago, I wrote a column called "Five Stocks That Would Make Benjamin Graham Choke."

Jane Applegate---Barreto's Advocacy Can't Replace Effective Lobbying

With Hector Barreto of Los Angeles, the new national small-business chief finally confirmed by the Senate, business owners and trade associations are preparing their strategies for influencing policymakers and legislators.

FASHION---Denim Brand Wears Well

Lucky Jeans has been building market share by creating buzz around its pants

Banks+S & L;'s

Banks+S & L;'s

STOCKS---Insider Sales Skyrocket at L.A. Companies

Insiders at Los Angeles-based public companies are aggressively dumping stocks, suggesting widespread pessimism about local corporate performance in the months ahead.

Cybersense---Courts Give Small Firm Outsized Role on Data Swaps

If you download songs off the Internet, the record labels might not be the only ones who think you owe them money.

Roving Eye

Until recently, the Queen Mary's small art deco chapel was off-limits to same-sex couples holding so-called commitment ceremonies. Those were relegated to the ship's deck or reception area salons.

Chet Currier---Wallet, Psyche Suffer as Whipsaw Proves Unkindest Cut

If the term is unfamiliar, picture a double-handled tool that saws a log going one way and cuts it some more coming back. That image serves to describe any financial misadventure that hurts you not just once, but twice or more. Besides the compound dama

Jane Bryant Quinn---Rule Change on Disclosure Stirs Up Financial Planners

Over the years, the public has grown more suspicious of financial salespeople who earn commissions.

HAIR---Hair Maker to Stars Caps Growth in Sale to Japanese Firm

A pioneer hair transplant doctor has sold his firm, Bosley Medical of Beverly Hills, to a major Japanese wig maker.

TECHNICOLOR---Technicolor Hit In Harassment Case by EEOC

Film processor and distributor Technicolor Inc. is under investigation by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for sexual harassment of employees in what the EEOC claims is one of its more flagrant cases of abuse in Los Angeles.

Newsmakers---Keeping Focused on Video Technology

In preparation for the launch of its panoramic video technology, Be Here Technologies has hired five new executives, led by Connecticut native Brian Terkelsen, 38, to join its media and entertainment business unit.

ARCHITECT---Judgment in Lawsuit Forces Architect Nadel to Chap. 11

West Los Angeles architect Herb Nadel has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to avoid paying as much as $7.6 million to MetLife in a civil suit regarding workmanship at the insurer's Costa Mesa office complex.

BILLS---Current State Legislation Could Hit Businesses Hard

As the state Legislature reconvenes this week for its final month-long flurry of bills this session, measures are on the table that could cost California businesses more than $5 billion over the next several years if they are passed and signed into law by

POLITICS---Wave of Departures Adding To Uncertainty at Chamber

As L.A. City Hall is going through a changing of the guard, so is the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce. In the next few weeks, chamber officials are expected to announce their choice for a permanent president and chief executive to replace the Ezunial "Eze"

Entrepreneur's Notebook---Accurate Inventory Appraisal Aids Financing Efforts

The traditional approach lenders take to evaluate how much they'll lend on inventory is to hire an appraiser, with industry expertise, to conduct an evaluation for them. The appraiser generates a report detailing what would happen in a liquidation scenari

Real Estate Column---Caltrans' Headquarters Design Plan Draws Skepticism

The $170 million state project to build a new downtown headquarters for Caltrans has raised questions of fiscal responsibility with at least one local real estate executive.

BANKING---Mergers Take Toll on L.A. Banking

The local banking industry is undergoing yet another wave of consolidations, with four of L.A.'s 25 largest banks disappearing over the past year and more likely to follow.

HOLLYWOOD---Efforts to Retain Film Production Turn to Congress

Twice stymied in its attempts to obtain federal legislation to slow runaway production, a coalition of entertainment industry groups has changed tactics and it seems to be working.

My Favorite Sites

I'm in the middle of raising money, and as with any new company, knowing what's going on in the VC community becomes important. Understanding who's getting funded and why they're getting funded is almost as important as knowing where to go and how to pres

Corp. Focus---Cost Cutting a Remedy for Dietary Supplement Maker

Like others in the health supplement business, Natrol Inc. spent some time in sick bay last year, as a negative press and consumers' generally tight pocketbooks weakened the industry. Now, after some surgical cost cutting, the Chatsworth-based company is

Deals & Dealmakers

Mattel Inc. officials said the company intended to appeal a federal judge's dismissal of its copyright infringement lawsuit against an artist who produced a series of provocative photographs featuring Barbie.

MERGER---Sheppard Firm Boosts Central Coast Presence

The tech bust hasn't deterred one L.A. law firm from reaching out to young companies.

TRADEMARK---Playboy Appeal Has Major Implications for Internet Ads

Punch in the classic play "Playboy of the Western World" on some Internet search engines and you might wind up seeing X-rated advertising teases that writer J.M. Synge could hardly have imagined back in 1907.

LAW ---Discrimination Claims to Rise As Agency Hires

In a city where there are more lawyers per capita than just about anyplace on the planet, adding seven attorneys to an L.A. office may not seem like much.

F22---Fighter's Green Light Could Mean Windfall For Local Contractors

L.A. defense subcontractors are poised to earn billions of dollars through the next decade now that the Pentagon has green-lighted the first 10 of what could amount to 331 next-generation F-22 stealthy jet fighters.

PENTHOUSE---Lots of Room at the Top

With the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation leaving Fox Plaza in Century City at the end of the year, three of the four most coveted penthouse offices in the Westside office market are on the market.

BROADCASTING---EchoStar's Hughes Bid Gains Allies

On Wall Street, conventional wisdom rules. The trick for investors is to stake out a contrarian position and wait for the rest of the crowd to catch up.

The Weekly Briefing

A new bicycle never topped Steven Klar's birthday wish list while he was growing up in Sherman Oaks. Each year he asked for new accessories to create an aquatic paradise for the 20 fish residing in the aquarium in his bedroom.

Media---Media Synergies Bring Cameras To Times' Office

A camera will soon be installed in the paper's newsroom so that KTLA-TV Channel 5, a fellow Tribune Co. property, can interview Times reporters about topics of interest during its news broadcasts.

ADVERTISING---Bench Mark

After years of being dominated by real estate agents and personal injury lawyers, advertising space on L.A.'s bus benches is attracting a hipper clientele

STATIONERY---Lasting Impressions

Goal: To focus on product design and create workshops to educate people about letterpress printing

INTERVIEW---Urban Missionary

Education: B.A. in communications, Oral Roberts University; Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary

FREEMAN---Under Davis, Free-Speaking Freeman Holding Tongue

S. David Freeman, the folksy Tennessean who headed up the L.A. Department of Water & Power for the last four years, could always be counted on to spice things up with his cowboy hat and colorful quotes. Routinely available to the press, the 75-year-old in

MEDIA---Rights to Journalists' Sources Challenged

Diane Keaton was just doing her job. A seasoned journalist, she was gathering information on the paper and pulp industry, interviewing sources and writing news stories for Los Angeles-based ForestWeb Inc.'s PriceBeat, a news site devoted to the paper and

L.A. Stories

Comedy Central has a winner for its "Fame Ain't It a Bitch" sweepstakes, a promotion for "Primetime Glick," starring Martin Short as the heavy-set, bombastic Jiminy Glick.

Wall Street West---Arbitration Makes Flood of Brokerage Claims Unlikely

The recent conclusion of a couple of high-profile arbitration cases raises the question: Will Wall Street be inundated with investor arbitration claims contending that brokerage analysts did them wrong? Will investors en masse charge that stockbrokers, fo

Mitch Albom---Tragedy Strengthens One Woman's Faith

The son is a teenager now, about to start a new school. The wife does the chores that her husband used to do. She takes care of the lawn, she fills the gas tank. She is hardened by her tears, but strengthened by her faith.

Hollywood---Liberty Media's Aggressive Malone Isn't One to Cross

You don't want to be on the wrong side of the table from Liberty Media Corp. Chairman John Malone.

Tech Talk---Pocket PC Gains Adherents As Handheld Market Ebbs

Things are not looking good in the handheld market, but that hasn't stopped Hollywood-based Multimeteor Inc., a trade show organizer, from forming the first-ever Pocket PC Summit in Los Angeles.

Monday, August 13

Entrepreneur's Notebook---Credit Insurance Assists in Changing Export Climate

Companies doing business overseas need to be aware of recent changes that can affect the ability of their customers to meet their payment terms, and the credit expectations of their international business partners.

FASHION---Wholesale Changes

A planned increase in business at the CaliforniaMart could create a parking crunch in the downtown Fashion District already in the midst of a renovation boom.

LAW---Mayorkas Finds New Practice Has Old Challenges

He was the highest-ranking federal law enforcement official in the region, but that doesn't mean his new job will be easy.

TANGO---AllTangoedUp

The romantic Argentine dance has found a following in Los Angeles, where Americans are overcoming fears of the dance's 'touchy-feely' elements

Mitch Albom---Value of Decalogue Measured at Home

I love the Ten Commandments. I can recite them. I don't always succeed in obeying them, but I still try, and I think the world would be better if we all did.

Chet Currier---Enthusiasm for Sector Funds Weighs on Performance

Savvy as modern mutual-fund investors may have grown, they're as bad as ever at the sector-fund selection game.

Roving Eye

The latest fad to hit your toy shelves is the pogo stick, that funky device that goes up and down and seems to entertain energy-charged children until they drop.

MEMORY---Memory Maker Sees Gains in Market Dip

It's easy to feel sorry for memory companies these days. But Kingston Technology Co. doesn't want pity.

BURGERS---Back to Golden Oldies

There was an Elvis sighting last week in Manhattan Beach right under the Golden Arches.

Wall Street West---Imperial Credit Shareholders Sent Back to the Beginning

Wall Street can be a vengeful mistress. Take a look at Wayne Snavely, past chairman and chief executive of Torrance-based Imperial Credit Industries Inc., a diversified business lender. He resigned Aug. 2, after his initial successes running Imperial Cred

ENERGY---Powerful Friends

Core Business: Installing generators that convert natural gas into electricity for commercial buildings

John Dorfman---Out-of-Favor Stocks Often Have Edge in Appreciation

I've created a handful of fanciful stock portfolios in this column in the last four years. They don't have real money in them, but I do use them to generate ideas for client portfolios.

Real Estate Column---Softening Industrial Market Forces Change in Strategy

A softening industrial market has caused Zelman Development Co. to back off its plans for a 630,000-square-foot industrial park in Burbank in favor of a safer, bankable parking garage

ARCHITECTURE---L.A.'s Houses of Glamour

But for Noam Murro, living in R.M. Schindler's Roth House in Studio City isn't about doubling or tripling his money, it's also about art.

RADIO---Christian Radio Booms as Market Swells

KFSH-FM (95.9) is on its way to becoming a big fish in a growing pond of Christian contemporary radio stations.

PROPERTY---Tallest Building in Beverly Hills Sold

In what is believed to be the first major commercial building sale in Beverly Hills this year, the city's tallest building, located at 9701 Wilshire Blvd., has been sold to local real estate developer/movie producer Alex Winitsky for $32.9 million.

PUBLISHING---Easyriders Stalled by Chapter 11 Filing

Forced into bankruptcy because of a dispute with its major creditor, Agoura Hills publisher Easyriders Inc. is looking to make a quick recovery by focusing on what it knows best: motorcycles and tattoos.

L.A. Stories

Last year, the Business Journal reported that Promises, which charges around $1,000 a day, had become the facility of choice for stars seeking luxurious environs during their treatment. That clearly hasn't changed.

Hollywood---Studios Keeping Close Watch Over Video-on-Demand

There's a problem brewing in our digital-cable television household. Our 12-year-old has found the tantalizing 999 channel that offers but doesn't yet deliver video-on-demand.

My Favorite Sites

I like seeing what people are doing in the advertising community. It's a great way to see whether our directors' work is playing well with the critics. And it's also the only way to see some of the racier stuff that's only been aired once or twice. They a

CORPORATE FOCUS---Ticketmaster Gets Renewed Vigor Away From Internet

As shares of Los Angeles-based Ticketmaster Inc. climbed in recent weeks on news of strong revenue growth, the company was lauded by the press as one of the few strong Internet plays.

NPR---NPR Tunes in to West Coast

As part of a move to significantly expand West Coast coverage, National Public Radio officials are nearing a decision on a location for a major production facility in the Los Angeles area that will employ up to 100 people.

BANKING---Portfolio Reductions Send City National's Stock Soaring

City National Corp.'s stock has been on a tear lately, setting numerous 52-week highs and proceeding to burst right through them again.

Cybersense---Timely Release of Windows XP May Hinge on Courts

You know you've reached the big time when your marketing strategy shows up on the to-do list of all three branches of the federal government.

ENTERTAINMENT---Caught in the Act

When Mark Lambert joined the city attorney's consumer protection section three years ago, he had limited resources.

INVESTMENT---Finance Veteran Goes To Fiduciary Trust in Competition for Talent

In a sign of the increasing competitiveness among Los Angeles investment management firms, Fiduciary Trust Co. International has snagged veteran financial services executive William Barrett from U.S. Trust Corp., where he had worked since 1988, most recen

Jane Bryant Quinn---Once a Source of Security, Houses Finance Lifestyles

Once upon a time, homes were like piggy banks. That's where people saved. Now, you're treating homes as if they were credit cards. That's where you borrow when you're looking for extra money. Home prices have been rising nicely in most parts of the countr

Tech Talk---Lively Wireless Firm Swings Key Deals

If there's been good news recently about the wireless sector in Southern California, it generally has emanated from San Diego. Except when it comes to Jamdat, the Los Angeles wireless entertainment company.

FRANCHISES---Franchisee of Burger Chain Files Chap. 11

Unable to keep up with payments on its large debt burden at a time when sales have been falling, Cimm's Inc., one of the nation's largest Burger King Corp. franchisees, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

SECESSION---Secessionists Try 'Education' Campaign

Faced with apparent apathy and a fairly small piggy bank, advocates of San Fernando Valley secession have launched what they are calling a grassroots campaign to educate the public on the pros and cons of breaking away from the city of Los Angeles.

Jane Applegate---Protecting Against Computer Viruses a Wise Investment

Your computer network may have been spared by the most recent "Code Red" virus, but don't think because you are small, you aren't vulnerable to a crippling security breach or nasty virus.

Media---No Changes Yet For TV Stations In Same Family

The general manager of KTTV-TV Channel 11 and KCOP-TV Channel 13 is quashing any speculation that News Corp.'s purchase of Chris-Craft Industries Inc. would bring immediate operational changes at either station.

INTERVIEW---Downloaded

Career Turning Point: Leaving a consulting firm and taking a job as a consultant for Capitol Records.

BIOTECH---Molina Opposes Plan for Larger Biotech Facility

The outlook for a 100-acre biotech park next to USC's Health Sciences campus appears bleak following the failure to garner key political support for the project.

LAWYERS---First-Year Lawyers' Pay Starts to Flatten Out

OK, so they're not laying off. But most of the area's largest law firms have opted not to raise their first-year associate salaries, freezing the decade-long increase in pay at a peak of $125,000 and signaling that the economic squeeze is pinching the leg

Travel Agencies

Travel Agencies

Ahead of the Curve

Oscar's Swing: The Hollywood Bowl swings on August 22 when Oscar Peterson rolls into town with his quartet. Peterson's dazzling technique has helped make him one of the most highly regarded and instantly identifiable pianists in jazz. The evening is a tri

LAWSUIT---Executive Life's New Twist

The California Attorney General's Office is considering expanding the scope of its multibillion-dollar lawsuit against various parties involved in the 1991 sale of defunct Executive Life Insurance Co., according to several sources familiar with the case.

RADIO---Target Advertising Market for L.A. Radio Gets Younger

Age 54 used to be the end of the line as far as advertisers were concerned. Anyone at that point in life was thought to be not worth their time.

STUDIOS---Full House Prompts Studio Growth

Despite the current production slowdown, downtown's Los Angeles Center Studios is about to undergo an expansion with the addition of six state-of-the-art sound stages.

SPORTS---Sporting Goods Maker Slips As Scooter, Skate Sales Stall

For parents, dealing with the changing tastes of teenage children can be a bother. For K2 Inc., the Los Angeles company that produces everything from skateboarding shoes to scooters to fishing tackle, those whims are more problematic.

HEALTH CARE---Salick Eyed as Potential Health Services Leader

The search for a new chief to head the county's Department of Health Services is turning out to be even tougher than anticipated. And now, none other than health care entrepreneur Bernard Salick has cropped up as a candidate.

Newsmakers---Executive Analysis Provides Studio Edge

John Cacavas is the numbers man. Recently promoted to vice president, worldwide distribution analysis at Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, Cacavas is responsible for analyzing the worldwide motion picture industry and in particular how the company's

Monday, August 6

ADVERTISING---High-Impact Marketing Courting Clients

Economic downturn or not, some of the nation's largest companies are spending large sums of money on reaching their target audiences and using a Calabasas marketing company to do it in creative ways.

MEDIA---Closure Won't Halt Drive for Local Cable News Station

Despite news that Adelphia Communications Corp. will shut down Orange County's sole 24-hour local cable news channel, the prospects of a similar operation opening up in L.A. are far from dead, according to a number of local media executives.

Jane Applegate---Persistence, Focus Pay Off When Publicizing Business

Jane Pollak, a Westport, Conn.-based artist and entrepreneur who creates intricately decorated eggs, has had great success getting media attention. Her secret of success: persistence.

Roving Eye

Local business owners have hired an English town crier to walk up and down the boulevard, officially welcoming tourists and dispensing tidbits of information.

RESTAURANTS---Massive Expansion Planned by Well-Heeled Cheesecake Factory

Oh, to be the Cheesecake Factory. Thirty-six quarters nine years of consecutive same-store sales increases. Landlords knocking down the door to help pay for new locations. Average sales of close to $1,000 per square foot nearly twice the numbers put

Deals & Dealmakers

In a stinging rebuke that could make it more difficult for the construction giant to land public contracts, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury ordered Tutor-Saliba Corp. to pay more than $29.5 million to the MTA for misconduct stemming from its work on the

Mitch Albom---Branded Kids: Next Step in Culture's Fall

The child could end up being called Pampers, or Saltines or Pepsi, but that's a chance the parents will take. He could be Cap'n Crunch or little Baby Ruth. One day, his mom might yell down the street: "Oh, Kleenex! Dinner's ready!"

BAKERIES---LaBrea Bakery Faces Challenge After Purchase by Conglomerate

In the life of many a celebrity chef there finally comes a time to hand over the business to those who presumably can grow it bigger, faster and more profitably.

NETWORK---Investment Bank Expands Popular Networking Effort

Finding that its recipe for encouraging deals and generating fees has been a regional success, Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin Inc. is rolling out its Business Forum networking sessions on a national scale.

TELECOM---Regulators Target Pac Bell Increases In Business Rates

Business phone rate increases of up to 200 percent have triggered an unusual protest from state regulators and has forced Pacific Bell into a high-stakes battle over competition in the local phone service market.

NEIGHBORHOOD---New Tenants in the Wings

Struggling to find itself after years of decay, Westwood Village is in the midst of a sea change that could see the area return to its roots: that of a neighborhood-type village serving the everyday needs of nearby residents, workers and students.

Ahead of the Curve

Nightmares: Bored with somnolent August days? Enter the dark, violent and fearful world of Austrian-born director Fritz Lang, whose films from the 1930s through 1950s screen at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The LACMA series, called "The Minister o

Media---Azteca Network Settles for Quiet Station Launch

Blame construction delays and a slowing financing stream for the quiet arrival of KAZA-TV (Channel 54) to Los Angeles, which marked the launch of Spanish-language network Azteca America Inc.

Weekly Briefing

Laurence Rifkin had been applying traditional dentistry techniques in Santa Monica and Beverly Hills for 14 years until the sculpture, painting and drawing classes he enrolled in changed the way he practiced. Until the early 1990s, his cosmetic and recons

THEATERS---Mann Prepares to Close Three of Its Venues in Village

Mann Theatres is about to undertake a large-scale withdrawal from Westwood Village, where it has maintained a stronghold for decades.

CORPORATE FOCUS---Healthier Outlook Seen for Blood-Test Machine Maker

Investors who stuck it out with startup Careside Inc. finally may be getting some relief.

Golf Courses

Golf Courses

Real Estate Column---Speculative Projects Flood El Segundo Office Market

Newport Beach developer CT Realty Corp. has renamed and broken ground on its $8 million speculative redevelopment project in El Segundo, which upon completion will add another roughly 50,000 square feet to the 1 million square feet of spec space slated to

FIBER---Dormant City Fiber-Optic Plans Revived in Cable Contract

When L.A. city officials cut their landmark cable franchise agreement last month with fiber optic company Western Integrated Networks, it marked a major step in their long-running attempt to bring competition to L.A.'s cable market. But they also hope the

GROCERY---Longtime Grocery Has Market Locked Up

Roberto Rodriguez always believed he had a head for business. So when it came time for his father to pass on the reins of his grocery store in 1990, he jumped at the chance.

Tech Talk---Multi-Player Online Games Drive Start-Up

You've heard of the console wars. Get ready for the server wars. As the online gaming industry slowly picks up steam, Sony Corp., Electronic Arts and Microsoft Corp. will have a lead as providers of servers and games that pave the way for what the industr

POLICE ---Rampart Payouts Less Than Expected

Now that the key informant of the LAPD Rampart scandal has been released from prison, the long-predicted flood of lawsuits spawned by the case is unlikely to materialize.

Chet Currier---Institutional Buys No Guarantee of Success

Somebody who wanted to stage a Broadway show about investing might call it "I Can Get It for You Institutional."

APPAREL---L.A. Tie Company Buys San Diego Firm

Looking to profit from a shift toward more formal office attire, Los Angeles-based Superba Tie Co. has purchased a San Diego handmade tie maker and dress-shirt distributor.

DOT-COM---Suit Says Dot-Biz Registry is Illegal Lottery

The companies responsible for doling out the Internet dot-biz names are conducting an illegal lottery, according to a lawsuit filed in the Superior Court of Los Angeles.

PARKING---The Loneliest Parking Lot in L.A. Prepares for Concrete Makeover

What happens if you build the largest parking structure west of Chicago and nobody uses it?

MUSIC---Dick Clark Bets on Boy Band From Russia for Record Label

The man synonymous with television's "American Bandstand" is once again getting into the record business and he's doing it with one of Russia's biggest pop sensations.

FOOTWEAR---Investor Worries Dim Skechers' Time in the Limelight

The week of July 23 was a hectic one for Manhattan Beach footwear company Skechers USA Inc. On the newsstand cover of its Aug. 6 issue, Forbes was calling Skechers "The Hottest Act in Shoe Biz." Also on the cover: an arresting photo of bare-bellied pop st

My Favorite Sites

This site has audio files that you can very easily insert in a power point presentation. For example, whenever I show a chart of our financial history I insert a song like "we're in the money." When you go to the site you can click on an audio file and li

John Dorfman---Sifting Through a Tangle of Mutual Funds

It's popular to decry the surfeit of mutual funds. Defining your terms right, there are more funds than there are stocks to invest in a near absurdity.

Hollywood---AMC Movie Chain Rebounds From Brink

Fancy finding a comeback story among this season's bankrupt theater companies, shuttered dot-coms and collapsing telecommunications ventures.

Wall Street West---Tale of Two Energy Firms: Loser Gains as Gainer Loses

All is fair in love, in war, and on Wall Street, and the results of the three pastimes are about equally predictable.

POLITICS---Business Tax Reforms Give Edge to Early Year Start Ups

Mayor James Hahn last week continued to move on his campaign promise for business tax reform, proposing with newly-elected councilman Jack Weiss a business license tax exemption of up to two years for start-up businesses with less than $500,000 in revenue

GOLF---Corporate Cuts Drive Away Golf Business

There was a time when Ron Molina wouldn't think twice about dropping $1,000 for an afternoon of networking with potential clients on one of L.A.'s upper-crust golf courses.

Entrepreneur's Notebook---Clear Objectives Enhance Success of Marketing Plans

The term "integrated marketing" is bandied about a great deal these days, but what does it really mean, and why are so many people using it? Even more to the point, should you develop an integrated marketing program for your business?

BIZ TEAM---City Hall Insider Heads Business Team

Following through on one of his campaign promises, L.A. Mayor James Hahn last week said he intends to expand the Mayor's Business Team's mission to include identifying sites for housing and expediting mixed use projects with substantial housing components

Jane Bryant Quinn---Stock Downturn Forces New Approach to 401(k) Planning

Have you been losing money in your 401(k) retirement plan? You're probably in a state of shock.

HEALTH---Embattled L.A. Care Fending Off Rumors

First, its founding chief executive resigned over allegations of a conflict of interest. Then, its acting chief executive and longtime financial officer resigned suddenly without explanation.

INTERVIEW---The 'Weakest' Power

Education: B.S. TV, Radio and Film from Syracuse University: M.F.A. in dramatic writing from New York University

BOOKS---Storied Establishment

Acres of books relies on a love of browsing and reading to keep it competitive with internet rivals

VENTURE---L.A. Venture Action Falls Amid Gloom

Mirroring a national trend, venture funding for Los Angeles-area companies plummeted to $198.6 million in the second quarter, an 82.5 percent decline from the like quarter a year ago, according to Thomson Financial/Venture Economics, a New York-based rese

ARCHITECTURE---Boxed In

The dingbat, those rectangular houses built on stilts, are hideous to some but beautiful to others who want to preserve that post-war slice of L.A. life and architecture

RETAIL---Melrose High-Fashion Hopes Seem to be Fading Away

Hopes that a vibrant high-fashion district would sprout along a stretch of Melrose Avenue near the popular Fred Segal store are starting to fade.

Newsmakers---Executive Charts MGM Technology Path

In a job that looks to the future, David Bishop will be nurturing MGM Home Entertainment Group's emerging technologies business.

L.A. Stories

Glendale officials are steamed by what they say is flawed accounting software from PeopleSoft Inc. that has cost them $5 million in recent years $3 million more than budgeted.

Cybersense---Digital Copyright Law's Consequences Exceed Its Intent

But the controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act is being questioned because its supporters made the mistake of using it exactly as it was designed.