Stories for March 2002
Monday, March 25
As L.A. city officials seek to curb the proliferation of billboards and reduce the thousands that already dot the urban landscape, property owners throughout the area stand to lose a steady and sometimes significant source of income from billboard lease p
Weekly Column; The Pacesetter - KORN/FERRY INTERNATIONAL
Real Estate Special Report L.A. Turns Inward
The Federal Reserve last week inched toward an interest-rate hike, fueling speculation that the 12-month recession was finally drawing to a close. But while some are confident that an economic recovery is on the horizon, many believe that the downturn cou
Real Estate Special Report L.A. Turns Inward
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Odds are you know Paul Goldenberg as the king. And you wouldn't be alone. Goldenberg, owner of Paul's TV & Video in La Habra, is etched into Southern California's cultural landscape as the king of big-screen TVs. Millions of people, from sports fans to m
In setting up a new sales office in Santa Monica, Yahoo Inc. is trying to make good on the promise brought by Terry Semel, the former Warner Bros. chief who replaced Tim Koogle as chief executive last spring.
Several major domestic and international banks have cut back their foreign trade finance operations in Los Angeles, laying off staff but creating an opportunity for L.A.'s base of small community banks to gain market share.
L.A.'s schools want to get more into show business and with it, the money from shooting movies and TV shows on its campuses. The Los Angeles Unified School District has hired the Entertainment Industry Development Corp. to manage and market its campus-f
Vans Inc., the seller of athletic shoes and T-shirts for the extreme sports set, is used to tapping into a consumer generally suspicious of behemoths like Nike Inc. and Reebok International. Now, it's taking the bet one step further by entering the music
With tourism hit hard by the effects of Sept. 11, the dot-com collapse, unaffordable housing and highly contentious retail wage and development issues, Santa Monica finds itself a microcosm of the broader Southern California economy.
The last thing West Hollywood needs is more traffic noise. So why has the city hired an artist to provide just that?
Importing for major hotel and casino clients as well as the local pet shop, Sea Dwelling Creatures Inc. provides exotic fare from world's oceans.
As Los Angeles embarks on its experiment in neighborhood councils, it joins a small group of other cities with similar bodies, though never on such a large scale.
In a decision being trumpeted by California's hospital industry, a state Court of Appeal panel has upheld the right of health-care facilities to place liens on monetary damages won by injured patients they treat even after the hospitals received payment
Los Angeles Superior Court is bracing for a shortage of court reporters that could paralyze the movement of cases through the legal system as early as this fall.
Coastview Capital LLC, the biomedical venture capital firm started by former Amgen Inc. chairman Gordon Binder, expects to close its first fund within the month, but it will total $60 million far less than the $100 million anticipated.
One conservative talk show host knocked KABC-AM (790) out of its spot in the Top 10 among L.A. radio stations. Another conservative could get it back on the list.
National Golf Properties Inc. is set to announce final terms of a planned merger with its primary tenant, golf-course operator American Golf Corp., and other interests controlled by National Golf Chairman David Price.
EUniverse Inc., which earlier this month withdrew its $55 million offer for troubled online marketer L90 Inc., remains interested in the company's assets and may yet make a play for several pieces.
State legislators are considering placing four multibillion-dollar propositions on the November ballot. If all four make it, voters will face a record $23 billion in bond measures.
Monday, March 18
Cecil Mills' phone rang with another report of an arrest in Los Angeles Superior Court. This time, someone had tried to smuggle a 14-inch World War I fighting knife into the Los Angeles County Courthouse. The arrest was the fourth that week.
The Los Angeles office of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP has started the year on spin cycle.
Like so many small business owners in L.A., Michael Nogueira feels like he's finally back in action. Six months after the terrorist attacks left his limousine and party planning business in a shambles, Nogueira said he's getting a sense that the bad days
Clayman and Tsiamis say the company they co-founded in 1996, VS Media Inc., is a profitable venture that reaps double-digit margins on about $20 million in annual revenues. From Porn.
During his three decades as a record producer, Denny Diante has worked with everyone from Barbra Streisand to the Grateful Dead. None of that experience, however, could have prepared him for his latest venture cataloging, digitizing and marketing a 400,
Wireless games developer JAMDAT Mobile Inc., betting on an unproven U.S. market, has been moving aggressively to tie up potentially valuable software licenses.
Los Angeles is at risk of losing one of its biggest and most profitable conventions as organizers of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) consider moving the annual event to Las Vegas.
It's been a rocky ride, but six months after the Sept. 11 attacks many of L.A.'s stocks are doing just fine. Powered by strength in the fundamentals of a number of technology, media and homebuilding companies, the LABJ Index of 200 publicly traded compani
Hired to help track illegal sharing of copyrighted music files, a small North Hollywood software firm has found that some legitimate good has come from Napster.
Center Trust Inc., owner of the long-struggling Media City Center mall in Burbank, is preparing to renovate the property at a cost of as much as $30 million.
A vote to unionize immigrant workers at a Koreatown supermarket has been challenged by both sides. Retail by Deborah Belgum
When it comes to getting out, Angelenos are staying home.
For 30 years, Hilli Dunlap Enterprises has worked incognito by hiring out "mystery" customers to rate business service.
While leading a pre-opening tour of The Grove at Farmers Market last week, developer Rick Caruso spoke of the "residual value" of the 575,000-square-foot retail center, which he said would increase property values for nearby homeowners.
West San Fernando Valley cable viewers are the first in the United States to have a 402-channel lineup, according to Time Warner Cable officials, who have tripled their channel choices in the last two months as part of an effort to compete with satellite
A management buyout of Jim Henson Co. appears likely as troubled EM.TV & Merchandising AG decides what to do with the Hollywood-based creator of the Muppets, sources close to the company said.
Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. is putting up for sale BP Plaza, the fifth-tallest building in downtown Los Angeles.
Investment guru William O'Neil has parlayed his self-taught knowledge of the stock market into a variety of businesses, including Investor's Business Daily.
The new head of the financially troubled county health department this week will outline to the Board of Supervisors plans to overhaul the county hospital network in a move that eventually could save hundreds of millions of dollars.
What does tracking plague among cats and constructing a new public health lab have in common? They're part of the county's proposed bioterrorism strategy...
Shortfall: Revenues from the Hollywood & Highland parking garage will not be enough for a bond payment.
The U.S. may be at war, but many Angelenos have another issue on their minds: the 74th Academy Awards. It's a year where there's no clear-cut favorite to sweep. But any uncertainty will be resolved on March 24 when the winners are announced at the new Kod
Careside Inc., the Culver City-based startup that manufactures blood testing machines for doctor's offices and clinics, is quickly running out of cash despite a steady rise in sales.
Patty Polinger and Cathy Tauber, who have been friends since pre-school, decided to go into business together in 1985.
National Golf Properties Inc. Chairman David Price may be willing to give up operating control of the Santa Monica REIT as part of an equity infusion that would restructure the finances of the ailing firm and its affiliates, according to sources familiar
L.A. accounting firms large and small are quietly gearing up for an all-out war for accounting firm Arthur Andersen's clients and its staff.
Monday, March 11
This week, the wrangling begins over Global Crossing Ltd.'s proposal to sell itself out of bankruptcy court for $750 million to two Asian firms.
Laemmle Theatres, the West Los Angeles-based art house chain, has pulled out of negotiations with developer CIM Group LLC to be the anchor tenant on a proposed 60,000-square-foot retail development in Hollywood.
A last-minute deluge of political advertising leading up to last week's primary didn't live up to the expectations of local media executives.
SCPIE Holdings Inc., a leading Southern California underwriter in the troubled medical malpractice insurance sector, has had its rating downgraded in anticipation of a "substantial" year-end and fourth-quarter loss.
Italian Eatery Rosti On Block Following Parent's Bankruptcy. Retail by Deborah Belgum
Under the leadership of Managing Partner Paul Irving, venerable L.A. law firm Manatt Phelps & Phillips revamps while remaining close to its political base.
Media & Technology: It might seem unorthodox to read a comic book from back to front, but John Parker swears it's going to be a big hit.
Robert Farina's Cimarron Group has cut feature film trailers for years now he's looking to diversify his client base by leveraging that creativity
Downtown San Pedro was once a bustling blue-collar haven, where nearby shipbuilders and cannery workers would drop buy for drinks after a hard day's work. But one-by-one, the shipbuilders and canneries closed, and the downtown merchants who relied on thes
Organizers of last November's summit on the post-Sept. 11 economy claim that progress has been made on a broad range of issues, according to a report being released this week by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.
Not everyone is happy that Hollywood is coming back to life. The community's renewed popularity is making some shop owners angry as several event-related street closures recently have caused them to lose business.
At a time when most hoteliers are rolling out the red carpet to lure tourists as occupancy rates slump, Andre Balazs is taking the opposite approach.
Shareholders of Scope Industries are banking on the wits of one man, Chief Executive Meyer Luskin. Shareholders, likening Luskin to Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett, say it's his ability to make good investments that has brought value to Scope.
Hundreds of L.A.-area firms are lining up to get a piece of President Bush's $38 billion request for homeland security.
Miramax Films, fresh from its failed investment in the recently folded Talk magazine, is putting more money in a new publishing venture to debut this month: Los Angeles Confidential.
Speculation over who would win the GOP primary for governor and take on incumbent Democrat Gray Davis in November came to an end last week when Republican Bill Simon handily defeated former L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan. But the real campaign is just getting
Opposition to the proposed franchise agreement between talent agents and the Screen Actors Guild is emerging from a little-heard quarter: smaller agencies that could lose out to the big boys.
Kamran Ghalchi in late December was preparing to let 3,000 businesses know he planned to sue them because they had failed to notify employees and customers that they were in the presence of harmful chemicals.
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Agensys Inc., a four-year-old Santa Monica biotech company, closed a $42.8 million private placement financing last month, a cash infusion it said would help boost its genetic research efforts into cancer treatment products.
In pursuing the hostile takeover of TRW Corp., executives at Northrop Grumman Corp. might well be studying Lockheed-Martin Corp.'s debt-laden buildup in the mid-'90s and learning a few lessons.
"This was not an election won by Bill Simon," said local attorney and Republican Sheldon Sloan. "It was an election lost by the Riordan campaign and it shows that, no matter how many advantages one has going into a campaign, there's no substitute for comp
The Community Health Foundation medical clinic, which has been plagued with accusations of billing irregularities, owes up to $6.5 million or more in debt that may force it to shut down.
Investments & Finance; Corporate Focus by Anthony Palazzo
Monday, March 4
National Golf Properties Inc. Chairman David Price, now in the midst of a struggle to save his golf empire, borrowed heavily against his paper fortune in the mid to late '90s, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The March 15 opening of The Grove at Farmers Market, L.A.'s newest shopping center, could be met with massive traffic problems as thousands of cars a day are added to what is already an increasingly congested part of the city.
Carondelet Health System Inc. has reached a deal to sell Santa Marta Hospital, the last of its Los Angeles County facilities, to a new for-profit company out of Newport Beach.
The music industry can claim some success against online piracy, but the battle to boost record sales remains to be won. Sales at U.S. retailers dropped 4.1 percent to the lowest levels in years, according to the Recording Industry Association of America,
The following are excerpts from an interview with Michael Milken, conducted at the Milken Institute in Santa Monica by Business Journal Editor Mark Lacter. The transcript was edited for clarity.
Three years after leaving Film Roman to open a smaller production business, animator Phil Roman, who founded the company two decades ago, is re-establishing ties.
It's long been considered the ultimate California pipe dream: a 700-mile high-speed rail network from San Diego to Sacramento, also connecting L.A. to the Bay Area. And no wonder, given its projected of cost $25 billion and a buildout time of 10 to 20 yea
Tim Haight, dean of Cal State L.A.'s business school, is bringing the campus national recognition
Once again, L.A.'s hopes for wiring the city with a fiber optic network appear to be waning, the result of deteriorating capital markets in the telecom sector.
A Hollywood executive has been fired. He's hurt, angry and ready to sue his former employer, and he's turned to Brian O'Neill, a founding partner of O' Neill, Lysaght & Sun LLP, for a little fatherly advice.
ABC has a lot riding on the work of a man many people recognize as that weird-looking guy on Hollywood Squares.
Favorite Websites, by Wes Nichols, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Direct Partners
The stock of American Pharmaceutical Partners Inc., one of L.A.'s newest public companies, finally climbed above its $16 offering price last week after tumbling from a $22 a share high following its December IPO.
The promise of delivering movies, concerts and other programming to consumers wherever and whenever they want has proven too tempting to ignore for film studios, cable companies and a handful of Internet entrepreneurs, many of them based in Los Angeles.
Who's Who Law L.A.'s Rainmakers: In the world of onetime lawyer and bestselling author John Grisham, the Rainmaker is a brash kid with an eye for truth who lands the big client for his down-and-out boss.
Xdrive Technologies Inc., the Internet storage company from Santa Monica turned software supplier from Marina del Rey, has acquired competitor FreeDrive Inc. for an undisclosed price.
Rockwell Collins Inc. soon will go to trial against Hughes Electronics Corp. over breach of contract, claiming that the El Segundo-based electronics giant misrepresented the value of the in-flight entertainment business it purchased in 1997.
Having secured agreements on about a quarter of the property it needs for a $20 million South Central shopping center, Majestic Realty Co. officials expect building to begin in about a year.
His computer seizing up and in the process making an important document disappear, Richard L. Liuag at first did what everyone does: get aggravated and call the tech department.
The parent company of Los Angeles architecture and engineering giant DMJMH+N (formerly Daniel Mann Johnson & Mendenhall) plans to raise as much as $473 million in an initial public offering to be completed in the coming months.
Jeff Lim started out fast and hasn't looked back, building a growing chain of markets catering to expatriate Filipinos
Almost a year after starting a local biomedical venture capital firm, retired Amgen Inc. Chairman Gordon Binder is close to raising his first fund, which is set at $100 million, sources say.