Stories for April 2004

Monday, April 26

Review & Preview

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

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

BANKRUPTCIES

Weekly List of recent L.A. bankruptcies

Expansion-Fueled Activity Sees New Projects Rapidly Absorbed

Expansion-Fueled Activity Sees New Projects Rapidly Absorbed

Draw of New Buildings Fails to Stem Tide of Vacancy Increases

With the economy improving but still sluggish, and prospective tenants in a post-holiday season lull, Ventura County's office market was relatively slow during the first quarter.

Pasadena Lease Activity Helps Maintain Healthy Vacancy Rate

Pasadena Lease Activity Helps Maintain Healthy Vacancy Rate

Investing Leads Market Activity As Office Leasing Remains Soft

Investing Leads Market Activity As Office Leasing Remains Soft

Activity by Large Users Sparks Optimism in Mid-Sized Market

Activity by Large Users Sparks Optimism in Mid-Sized Market

Vacancies Continue to Rise as Professional Trades Downsize

Vacancies Continue to Rise as Professional Trades Downsize

LABJ FORUM - Passing On

The Business Journal asked: Does your company have a plan of succession for its top executive?

SeaWorld Must Pay Up

The city of San Diego has prevailed in a lease dispute with SeaWorld San Diego on the Mission Bay land it occupies.

With Land Becoming Scarce, Tenants Relocate Farther East

With Land Becoming Scarce, Tenants Relocate Farther East

Lower Asking Rents Stave Off Increase in Vacancy Rates

Lower Asking Rents Stave Off Increase in Vacancy Rates

Reform Package Leaves Questions To Be Addressed

Employers who are banking on savings this year from the workers' compensation reform package Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law last week may be surprised to find out they will have to wait.

Will Reform Lure Carriers Back to Workers' Comp?

When lawmakers passed the biggest workers' compensation package in a decade, they rejected rate regulation and bet that the reforms would spur vigorous competition and lower premiums.

ECONOWATCH L.A. COUNTY

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

Developers Vie to Meet Demand By Building Small Infill Projects

Developers Vie to Meet Demand By Building Small Infill Projects

High Demand Propels Increased Activity in Sales, Leasing

High Demand Propels Increased Activity in Sales, Leasing

Investors Banking on Rebound To Fill Buildings, Boost Values

Investors Banking on Rebound To Fill Buildings, Boost Values

Weakening Junk Bond Quality Could Cause More Bankruptcies

WALL STREET WEST - Low interest rates and easy financings turned 2003 into a near-record year for junk bond issuances, behind only 1998 in dollar values.

LABJ's LA Stories / The Roving Eye

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

Reverse Merger Paying Off in Security Company's Stock Rise

CORPORATE FOCUS

Greater Absorption Balanced by Consistent Vacancy Rate

Greater Absorption Balanced by Consistent Vacancy Rate

Slow Construction, Low Rents Spur Rise in Submarket Activity

Slow Construction, Low Rents Spur Rise in Submarket Activity

THE LIST - Insurance Brokers

The L.A. Business Journal's list of top 15 Insurance Brokers, ranked by 2003 L.A. County revenues

Monday, April 19

THE LIST - Conventions and Trade Shows

The L.A. Business Journal's list of top 15 Conventions and Trade Shows, ranked by 2003 attendance

Cancellation of Port Deal Tied To Probes Into L.A. Contracts

Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn's chief of staff, Tim McOsker helped scrap a Port of Los Angeles lease deal that had been engineered by former Deputy Mayor Troy Edward

Investors Allege Fraud in Deal for Burbank Bank

Former investors of Western Security Bank have filed suit against executives of the Burbank financial institution, alleging they engaged in fraud and "corporate waste" by taking golden parachutes that pay them 80 percent of their salaries over the next 15

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

Financing Alternatives Drive Rebound on M & A; Scene

Merger and acquisition activity rebounded substantially in the first quarter from depressed year-ago levels, as better financing alternatives allowed more companies to be gobbled up by strategic buyers and private equity firms.

Vic Edelbrock Waves Goodbye To Public Listing, Offers Buyout

WALL STREET WEST

LABJ's LA Stories / The Roving Eye

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

Layoffs Loom in L.A. City, County

State and local financial woes will hit home this week as county and city officials release budgets that must close deficits in the hundreds of millions of dollars for the next fiscal year.

Keller, Under Fire, Known as a Master Of "Wiggle Room"

In the sharp-elbowed worlds of longshoremen, international traders and City Hall politics, Larry Keller has made a point of avoiding conflict.

Investors Embrace Higher Volume of Biotech Offerings

The market for new biotechnology shares has been up and down, but more firms are waiting in the wings for their public debuts.

NEWSMAKERS

Arriving Editor Makes Jump From Doyenne to Dormers

System Down Again? You've Got Company

Almost three-fourths of Los Angeles businesses reported that their computer systems went down at least once in the past year.

ECONOWATCH L.A. COUNTY

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

Review & Preview

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

LABJ FORUM - Root for the Home Team

The Business Journal asks: Have all the distractions with the Lakers affected your interest in the team?

CALENDAR

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

L.A. Tech Firms Enjoy Spoils Of Homeland Security Boom

Locally based contractors are cashing in as Washington turns to the private sector for its growing homeland security and technology needs.

Money Crunches Push Non-Profits To Group Efforts

Talk of consolidation is rippling through the non-profit sector, as decreased funding and higher costs of health insurance and workers' compensation put an increasing number of organizations in financial jeopardy.

L.A. Speciality Publications Adding Advertising Pages

As the mainstays of New York's magazine business slog through a tentative advertising recovery, things are looking sunnier on the West Coast

BANKRUPTCIES

Weekly List of recent L.A. bankruptcies

Needle Safety Remains a Sticking Point in Medical Offices

Workplace safety inspectors are continuing to turn up serious violations of the state's landmark needle safety law at California medical offices

Monday, April 12

Writers Attempt to Revise Health Benefits in New Pact

Rising health care costs have emerged as a likely haggling point in talks that began last week between film and TV writers and Hollywood producers.

P.R. Firm Doing Damage Control Over Its Own Billing

Fleishman-Hillard Inc.'s local public relations practice has found itself in an ironic position: trying to smooth out its own public relations.

THE LIST - Construction Projects

The L.A. Business Journal's list of top Construction Projects, ranked by project cost

CALENDAR

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

New Ideas About Expanding LAX Take Off Quickly

L.A. Mayor James Hahn's plans to expand LAX appear doomed and alternative proposals are ready for takeoff.

Film Director Smith Sharing Secret Stash At Westwood Locale

The writer and director of "Clerks," "Chasing Amy" and "Dogma" is opening a West Coast version of a comic book store named after recurring characters in his movies.

Doing the Smart Thing With Tons of Dummies

Doing the Smart Thing With Tons of Dummies

Budget Deficit Widens as Revenues Fall Short

Instead of the hoped-for narrowing of the state's deficit, the governor and lawmakers are face a widening gap as the critical May revise nears.

Review & Preview

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

BANKRUPTCIES

Weekly List of recent L.A. bankruptcies

Two National Awards For Business Journal

The Los Angeles Business Journal has been recognized by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers for last year's examination of L.A.'s underground economy.

End of All-News Programming Doesn't Vex Radio Advertisers

First quarter radio ratings won't be released for another week, but so far the demise of all-news programming in Los Angeles in favor of cooking and computer shows is turning out to be a lucrative move.

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

NEWSMAKERS

Love and Money Making Tappin Happy in New Position

ECONOWATCH L.A. COUNTY

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

Character Development: Writers Guild Seeking to Expand Contract to Reality Shows

The Writers Guild of America wants to expand its influence in reality television as part of its contract talks with Hollywood producers.

Readers, Merchants Bask in Growth of Book Festival

The L.A. Times-sponsored Festival of Books has emerged as the biggest event on the UCLA campus and one of the most lucrative for Westwood businesses.

Less Confrontation Expected in Coming Round of Budget Talks

The Sacramento Showdown is fast approaching.

Youbet Hits Jackpot After TVG - Folds Hand on Stock Purchase

Youbet Hits Jackpot After TVG -

LABJ FORUM - Taxing Matters

The Business Journal asks: Do you think there are too many corporate tax loopholes?

Monday, April 5

Close-Knit Group Under Riordan Never Forgot Who Was Boss

For two years, Stephanie Bradfield was separated from Richard Riordan by a few steps and one word.

Problems at Testing Firm Exceed Initial Disclosures

The ban that the FDA placed on new product submittals from Diagnostic Products Corp. last month resulted from a far broader set of problems with clinical trials than the company has disclosed to date.

ECONOWATCH L.A. COUNTY

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

Disney Shareholders Content to Wait for Comcast Drama to End

Almost two months after Comcast Corp.'s all-stock bid for Walt Disney Co., many investors and analysts remain convinced that the Philadelphia-based cable giant would have to up its offer for the deal to have a chance.

Sustained Rise in Gas Prices Hurts Spending in L.A.

A nickel more at the pump can be a pain, all the greater for drivers of gas-guzzlers. In the long run, however, a pain can become a major drain.

Frederick's Considers Offer to Sell Controlling Stake

The board of Frederick's of Hollywood Inc. is considering an offer for a controlling stake in the Los Angeles-based lingerie retailer, according to a source familiar with the discussions.

CALENDAR

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

EMachines Executives Move Quickly to Reshape Gateway

Gateway Inc. may be founder Ted Waitt's baby, but it's now firmly in the hands of Wayne Inouye.

Patent, Staff, Tax Issues Vetted Before Amgen Bought Tularik

WALL STREET WEST

Investors' Flight to Stability Marks First Quarter Trading

Investors fled risky, speculative stocks in the volatile first quarter and ran back into the arms of stability: banks, brokerages and homebuilders.

LABJ's LA Stories / The Roving Eye

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

Distractions Deflect From Issues v Even Around City Hall

Comedians get paid good money spoofing Angelenos and their lack of attention to serious items in the news, such as grand jury investigations into how city contracts are divvied out.

LABJ FORUM - Spring Break

The Business Journal asks: What is your favorite spring thing?

Insider Offering Forces Decline In Shares of Molina Healthcare

CORPORATE FOCUS - When insiders unload shares in a company through a secondary offering, it can be read by outside investors as a vote of no confidence, and it can play havoc with the stock price.

BANKRUPTCIES

Weekly List of recent L.A. bankruptcies

THE LIST - Public Relations Agencies

The L.A. Business Journal's list of top Public Relations Agencies, ranked by 2003 L.A. County net fee income

Tribune, Google Team to Micro-Target Online Advertising

Taking the first step to gain a share in the rebounding online advertising market, Los Angeles Times parent Tribune Co. has rolled out a cooperative deal with Google Inc. to sell targeted messages keyed to specific stories on the paper's Web site.

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

Review & Preview

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

THE LIST - Advertising Agencies

The L.A. Business Journal's list of top Advertising Agencies, ranked by 2003 Los Angeles County billings

Dual Inquiries Set Federal, Local Investigators at Odds

Xandra Kayden, a senior fellow at UCLA's School of Public Policy, said she wasn't surprised to be contacted last month by the L.A. County District Attorney's Office, which is investigating whether contracts have been let based on political contributions.