Stories for November 2003

Monday, November 24

Retailer Wet Seal Trying to Fashion Return to Vogue

Most retailers are counting down to the holidays. But Wet Seal Inc. isn't expecting any magic from Santa.

Gemstar Softens Approach, but Wall Street Is Still Wary

Under founder Henry Yuen, hardball tactics and patent litigation marked Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc.'s approach to dominating the market for on-screen television program guides.

LABJ's LA Stories / The Roving Eye

Weekly Columns; More news and talk from around the town, behind the scenes...

BANKRUPTCIES

Weekly List of recent L.A. bankruptcies

LABJ FORUM - Home for the Holidays?

the Business Journal asks: What are your travel plans this holiday season?

ECONOWATCH L.A. COUNTY

Charts of Economic Indicators, Real Estate, Tourism...

THE LIST - L.A.'s Fastest Growing Private Companies

The Business Journal's List of top 100 Fastest Growing Private Companies

USC Toys With Adding Video Game Minors

The halls of academia are quaking there's a movement afoot at USC to make video games a minor.

Baby Steps

Small Business Profile - With the help of his rock-star son, Don Delson morphed an ailing business selling ceramic-shoe keepsakes into a mechandiser of T-shirts for client bands

CALENDAR

Calendar of L.A. business events, conventions, and announcements

Premium Increases Give Boost To Insurers' Profits, Share Price

CORPORATE FOCUS - Higher insurance premiums over the past couple of years have worked out badly for policyholders, but pretty well for local property and casualty insurers.

LAUSD Agrees to Pay Fees, Ending a Tussle With BIDs

For the Los Angeles Unified School District, beset by a budget crunch, overcrowded classrooms and mediocre test scores, it was a principled stand.

Stein, Airport Board Face Mounting Scrutiny

The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners and its president, Ted Stein, are facing increased scrutiny from a number of government agencies over how airport contracts are awarded.

Grocers Assailed for Refusing to Disclose Secret Revenue Pact

In their zeal to maintain an advantage in a six-week-old labor dispute, have the major grocery chains run askew of federal securities laws?

THE LABJ STOCK INDEX

Tracking 200 selected Los Angeles County-based companies; Market Diary, Market indexes, Industry analysis, 52-week performance, weekly top Gainers & Losers, Market summary, weekly profile

Rothenberg Stacking New Bank With Influential Board Members

WALL STREET WEST

Consistently Large Gains in Revenues Difficult to Uphold

& #151;

Whether Hardware or Hardcore, List Reflects Diverse Economy

& #151;

NEWSMAKERS

Businesspeople and businesses in the news, on the move...

REVIEW / PREVIEW

Review of this week's other top news; Preview of upcoming stories and events...

Monday, November 17

Local Firms Fined as U.S. Steps Up Trade Oversight

What began benignly enough as a research project looking at nutritional deficiencies among Iranian children landed UCLA's School of Public Health on the wrong end of U.S. trade policy, costing it both the program and nearly $6,000 in fines.

THE LABJ STOCK INDEX

Tracking 200 selected Los Angeles County-based companies; Market Diary, Market indexes, Industry analysis, 52-week performance, weekly top Gainers & Losers, Market summary, weekly profile

Regional NLRB Accuses Hospital Of Illegal Spying

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's battle with registered nurses over their efforts to unionize has got it in hot water with the National Labor Relations Board

ECONOWATCH L.A. COUNTY

Charts of Economic Indicators, Real Estate, Tourism...

LABJ's LA Stories / The Roving Eye

Weekly Columns; More news and talk from around the town, behind the scenes...

Aura Systems Deal With Former Executives Threatens Its Future

WALL STREET WEST - Aura Systems Inc. has managed to survive scrapes with the Securities and Exchange Commission...

The LIST - Radio Stations

The Business Journal's List of the top 25 radio stations, ranked by audience share, summer 2003

Grocery Chains Sharing Costs to Offset Strike Toll

Unionized grocery workers' biggest gambit in the five-week old strike the decision to pull their picket lines from Ralphs stores in a divide-and-conquer tactic appears to have been neutralized in advance by the three major grocery chains.

FleetBoston Deal Could Exacerbate Local Credit Crunch

The asset-backed lending unit of FleetBoston Financial Corp., which agreed last month to be gobbled up by Bank of America in a $47 billion deal, has been an active and aggressive participant in the Los Angeles market.

Again, JB Oxford Finds Itself Caught Up in Market Scandal

CORPORATE FOCUS - The joint Securities and Exchange Commission-New York Attorney General's investigation into market timing by hedge funds has ensnared JB Oxford Holdings Inc.

The LIST - TV Stations

The Business Journal's List of top 15 television stations, ranked by May 2003 Nielsen ratings

NEWSMAKERS - Rand's New Counter-Terrorism Fellow Takes Center Stage

Businesspeople and businesses in the news, on the move...

German Funds Return to Favor In Film Finance

German tax shelter funds were the financing of choice for Hollywood studios and producers until last year, when tax officials in that country essentially shut down the film financing industry by announcing they would rewrite the rules.

CALENDAR

Calendar of L.A. business events, conventions, and announcements

BANKRUPTCIES

Weekly List of recent L.A. bankruptcies

Rising Stock Markets Help to Stem Upward Trend in Insurance Rates

After several years of double-digit rate hikes for property and casualty insurance, residents and business owners finally may be in for some relief.

Hotel Values Climb as Investors Bet on Imminent Recovery

Fed in part by low interest rates and a cyclical feeding frenzy, investment firms have been bidding up prices of Los Angeles hotel properties.

REVIEW / PREVIEW

Review of this week's other top news; Preview of upcoming stories and events...

LABJ FORUM - Out on the Street

The Business Journal asks: Now that he's unemployed, would you hire Gray Davis?

Rush of Interest Attends Limbaugh's Return

Rush Limbaugh, the undisputed king of talk radio, is due back behind the microphone this week after being in a drug rehab for an addiction to prescription painkillers

Monday, November 10

THE LABJ STOCK INDEX

Tracking 200 selected Los Angeles County-based companies; Market Diary, Market indexes, Industry analysis, 52-week performance, weekly top Gainers & Losers, Market summary, weekly profile

Late-Hour Lobbying Fails to Halt Critique Of Hahn's LAX Plan

It's not every day that L.A. business leaders are lobbied intensely by the mayor's top-level advisors certainly not this mayor, who has been widely criticized as not being attuned to business interests.

Stamps.com's Survival May Hinge on Takeover Appeal

Battling to prove it's not simply a lucky relic of the Internet bubble, Stamps.com Inc. may find its ultimate success with the end of independence.

The Whole Nine Yards

Elie Samaha hangs on as Franchise Pictures is revamped

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY / THE PACESETTER

Summaries of this week's List - Residential real estate brokerages, ranked by dollar volume of L.A. County sales

LABJ's LA Stories / The Roving Eye

Weekly Columns; More news and talk from around the town, behind the scenes...

Two Sue Over Dismissal After Discovery of Parts Sale to Iran

Two former employees of a local Crane Co. division have sued the company for breach of contract and defamation in the wake of their dismissal over allegations they brokered an illegal sale to an Iranian company.

Businesses Asked To Bail Out State Fund for Jobless

First it was workers' comp, then health care now California's unemployment insurance system is under strain and employers are being asked to pay the bill.

Circulation Stays Flat at Dailies as Population Grows

Daily newspaper circulation across L.A. County continued to hold steady during the six-month period ended Sept. 30, according to unaudited figures by the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

State Raids Taint CheckMate Founder

Last week's insurance raid of Orange-based CheckMate Staffing Inc. threw an unwelcome spotlight on the employment agency and its founder Luis "Lou" Perez.

Critics Say Award to Ex-Tenet Executive Is Way Off the Mark

A three-judge appellate panel's ruling that Tenet Healthcare Corp. owed a former executive $253 million as compensation for shares and options has been roundly criticized by compensation experts and securities litigators.

Long Beach Handling More Cargo

More than a year after Maersk Sealand jilted the Port of Long Beach for its sister port in Los Angeles, the Long Beach facility seems to be recovering.

Disney's Lesson in Making (Many) Millions

During its three-year run, "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire" managed to go from primetime phenomenon to overexposed dud for Walt Disney Co.'s ABC network.

Safeway's Acquisition Missteps Amplify Problems With Labor

CORPORATE FOCUS - It's easy to see how Safeway Inc., parent of Vons and Pavilions, became the primary antagonist of 70,000 unionized employees who are either striking or locked out of their jobs.

Theme Parks Trying to Scare Up Locals

Halloween marked the start of an aggressive push by theme parks, tourist attractions and hotels to lure travelers to Southern California for the holidays.

ECONOWATCH L.A. COUNTY

Charts of Economic Indicators, Real Estate, Tourism...

Japanese Game Maker Bases New Division in L.A. to Tap Hollywood

Konami Corp., the Tokyo-based developer of branded entertainment, has formed Konami Digital Entertainment Inc. to oversee its global videogame business and headquartered it in Los Angeles.

The LIST - Residential Real Estate Brokerages

The Los Angeles Business Journal's List of top 25 Residential Real Estate Brokerages, ranked by dollar volume of L.A. County sales

State Woes Temper Optimism

Survey of Area Executives Finds Most Expect Growth

Industry Pressures City to Relax Subprime Lending Law

A Los Angeles city ordinance on predatory lending remains in limbo nearly a year after being approved by the City Council, as subprime mortgage lenders pressure the city to remove the law's tough liability provisions.

REVIEW / PREVIEW

Review of this week's other top news; Preview of upcoming stories and events...

Boy Wonder at eUniverse Quits As Investor Group Raises Profile

WALL STREET WEST

LABJ FORUM - More Financial Corruption?

The Business Journal asks: Has the recent scandal made you think twice about investing in mutual funds?

BANKRUPTCIES

Weekly List of recent L.A. bankruptcies

Questions About New Cancer Drug Trigger Lawsuits

Patrick Soon-Shiong is once again at the firing line. The public company he controls, American Pharmaceutical Partners Inc., faces a slew of shareholder lawsuits following a $1 billion plus loss in stock market value.

CALENDAR

Calendar of L.A. business events, conventions, and announcements

Monday, November 3

Spate of Post-Recall Legislation Spurs Backlash Measures Jamming Ballots

California is no stranger to initiatives and referenda, but next year could be a whopper. Some two-dozen measures are in the signature-gathering phase or are soon to be collecting signatures.

THE LIST - Talent Agencies

The Los Angeles Business Journal's List of top 15 Talent Agencies, ranked by Los Angeles County agents

THE LABJ STOCK INDEX

Tracking 200 selected Los Angeles County-based companies; Market Diary, Market indexes, Industry analysis, 52-week performance, weekly top Gainers & Losers, Market summary, weekly profile

CALENDAR

Calendar of L.A. business events, conventions, and announcements

REVIEW / PREVIEW

Review of this week's other top news; Preview of upcoming stories and events...

Concern Over Amgen's Ability To Match Growth Slows Shares

CORPORATE FOCUS

ECONOWATCH L.A. COUNTY

Charts of Economic Indicators, Real Estate, Tourism...

Delayed Paychecks Spur Lawsuits by Hollywood Crews

Waiting a week for a paycheck may seem unremarkable to most workers, but in the world of television, commercial and motion picture production it's a big deal and it may be illegal.

Sale of WellPoint to Rival Has Origins in Failed 2002 Merger

WellPoint Health Network Inc.'s decision to be acquired by Anthem Inc. had its roots in another deal involving the Thousand Oaks-based company that came apart earlier this year.

Fires Adding to "Nightmare" for Truck Drivers and Distributors

Fires Adding to 'Nightmare' for Truck Drivers and Distributors

Diners Served Up Tough Choices as Beef Shortage Forces Prices Higher

Waiters at La Boheme are steering customers to fish and chicken entr & #233;es.

BANKRUPTCIES

Weekly List of recent L.A. bankruptcies

LABJ FORUM - Packing Up Fast

The Business Journal asks: If you only had a few minutes to leave your home, what would you take?

NEWSMAKERS

Businesspeople and businesses in the news, on the move...

LABJ's LA Stories / The Roving Eye

Weekly Columns; More news and talk from around the town, behind the scenes...

Longer Waits at ERs Expected Because of Nursing Ratio Rules

Walk into the emergency room at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center for a non-life threatening condition, and it can be up to four hours before a patient is sent on his way.

Venture Firms Like What They See in Mann's Latest Company

WALL STREET WEST