Stories for May 2006

Wednesday, May 31

Stocks Recover After Tough May

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 73.88 points to end the day at 11168.31, marking a strong end to a month that saw the Big Board lose 198.83 points, or 1.7% of its value, its biggest monthly loss since June 2005.

China to Chart Own Yuan Course

He has visited China 70 times since 1990, but U.S. Treasury Secretary-designate Hank Paulson faces a daunting challenge to get Beijing to veer from its ultra-cautious stance on the yuan.

Disney to Sell Films to Own Online

Disney films such as "Glory Road" and the animated "Chicken Little" will soon be available to own via computer download with some restrictions from the Internet-based movie site CinemaNow.

Headlines: Disney, MGM, QM

An overview of business stories from Wednesday's newspapers.

Oil Prices Dip

Oil prices fell below $72 a barrel Wednesday on expectations that weekly U.S. petroleum supply data due Thursday would show across-the-board gains.

Cable Channel Sues Adelphia Suitors

A startup cable television channel sued cable giants Time Warner Inc. and Comcast Corp. on Tuesday in an attempt block their planned acquisition of bankrupt Adelphia Communications Corp.

Gas Update: Prices Slip Slightly

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles area dropped to $3.344 for the week ended May 29, about 4 cents below the previous week.

Tuesday, May 30

Consumer Confidence Falls in May

U.S. consumer confidence fell in May, weighed down by concerns over rising gasoline prices and diminished optimism about short-term economic conditions, a survey showed on Tuesday.

Headlines: Dowie, Hollywood, Scam Artist

An overview of business stories from Tuesday's newspapers.

TV Guide SPOT Celebrates Anniversary

Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. said its TV Guide SPOT video-on-demand service has reached approximately 20 million subscribers nationwide since its launch one year ago.

Stocks Tumble on Economic Data

Higher oil prices and sliding consumer confidence sent stocks plunging Tuesday, giving up all of last week's gains on the Dow Jones industrial.

Tribune Settles with SEC

Federal regulators have settled with Los Angeles Times parent Tribune Co. over charges the media company reported falsified circulation figures for two of its newspapers in New York.

Disney Denies Malaysian Park Reports

Walt Disney Co. denied it has plans to build a theme park in Malaysia, despite weekend media reports that said the company was in talks with that country's government about a park.

BentleyForbes Makes Chicago Purchase

BentleyForbes, a Los Angeles-based commercial real estate investment and operations company, announced its purchase of Prudential Plaza, a landmark Chicago skyscraper campus.

Oil Prices Rise As U.S. Enters Summer

Oil prices rose to $71.48 on Tuesday, with the market watching for signals of higher demand as Americans entered the peak summer driving period.

DaVita To Terminate Gambro Contract

Gambro AB may lose an important supply agreement with El Segundo-based dialysis service provider DaVita Inc. because of a U.S. ban on imports of Gambro's dialysis monitors.

Molina Regains Medi-Cal Contracts

Molina Healthcare Inc. said that the California Department of Health Services plans to award Molina's California subsidiary the Medi-Cal contracts for San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

Monday, May 29

Small Fly

Looking for a way to cash in on the market for small-satellite launching, Garvey Spacecraft Corp. is pioneering low-cost rocketry.

Bumpy Rides

Universal Studios Hollywood is launching an overhaul on June 26, coinciding with new marketing campaigns and an ambitious sponsorship drive.

Local RV Parts Maker Spurned in Bid for Rival

With Coast Distribution Systems Inc. spurning buyout offers, Bell Industries Inc. is poised for a battle for control of its competitor.

Balancing Act

Where does the high pay of top executives come from, and does it have a real effect on morale?

San Pedro Plan For Waterfront Hits New Snag

The renewal of San Pedro's waterfront has suffered another setback, but backers say the project will resume shortly.

Immigration Compromise

Sometimes you've got to stand on principle. Fight for the cause. Go down swinging and all that. But other times you need to compromise.

NEWSMAKERS & KUDOS

The appointments and promotions of the movers and shakers of L.A.'s business community.

Timing Seems Right for Jeans Manufacturer to Sell Shares

Could Paul Guez be turning blue into green? That's the question now that signs are there is a glut in the blue jeans market and Blue Holdings Inc. has a shelf registration on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell more than 23 million sh

Way Beyond a Bug

The Bugatti Veyron costs $1.3 million, but O'Gara Coach Co. has sold 10 and there's a waiting list for more.

Studio Still Has High Hopes for 'Hedge'

A somewhat soft opening earlier this month for DreamWorks Animation's "Over the Hedge," has had observers wondering whether Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg's dream machine was losing its magic.

OSI Wins Case Over Claim of Business Fraud

OSI Systems Inc. was awarded $125 million in damages after it argued that a business dispute caused it to unfairly lose potential baggage-screening business.

Los Angeles Is Not Just a Hub of Trade, It's a Center for Foreign Investment

Research shows that in today's global economy, foreign direct investment is more important than trade. Initially FDI was largely driven by trade; now it increasingly determines trade.

Stocks Rocking CEO Compensation Boat

Ray Irani, chairman and chief executive of Occidental Petroleum Corp., outflanked his peers to become the highest paid executive in Los Angeles last year, getting $87.5 million in compensation.

When Is Pay Excessive, and When Do They Deserve It?

Critics of excessive compensation would suggest no one deserves those super-high salaries. So why do CEOs keep getting them?

Heart for Art

Julie Cline specializes in creating galleries for her high-end clients who want to decorate their condominiums and businesses.

The Age of Media On-Demand Looks Like It's Close at Hand

The number of intensive on-demand media consumers nearly doubled in the last year, from 11 percent to 21 percent of the public, according to a new study from Arbitron Inc. and Edison Media Research.

It's Fast, It's Coming to L.A., It's Lacrosse

Lacrosse is coming to L.A. in the form of a new team, Riptide.

More Companies Rent Their Art via LACMA

Another way to get art on your wall is LACMA's rental program, which has been such a success that it's raising its rates.

State Senator Finds Vindication After Enron Convictions

The guilty verdicts last Thursday in the conspiracy and fraud cases against Enron founder Ken Lay and former chief executive Jeffrey Skilling won't help Californians recover any money, but some here are feeling a measure of vindication.

Films in Peace

The classic film festival at Hollywood Forever a cemetery where cinema icons are at final rest draws crowds and dollars.

Southland Firms Race to Go Global With Cell Phone 'Eyes'

Santa Monica-based Neven Vision and Pasadena-based Evolution Robotics have both developed technology that allows a cell phone to recognize objects and images captured by its camera.

Retail Condominiums A Nice Fit For Fashion

A series of new commercial condo projects has come to L.A.'s dense fashion district.

Median Home Price in Los Angeles Increases to $567,480

The median price of an existing home in Los Angeles increased 17 percent to $567,480 in April compared to a year ago, but the number of homes sold decreased nearly 13 percent, the California Association of Realtors said on May 25.

Glendale Office Tower Expected to Sell for $200 Million

One of Glendale's premiere office properties is hitting the market. A segment of New York investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co. has hired brokerage Eastdil Secured to sell Glendale Plaza at 655 N. Central Ave.

Pricey Parking Is a Lot of Trouble

As L.A.'s real estate market has exploded during the last three years, the price of workplace parking has spiked 10 to 12 percent.

Beaucoup TV

Patrice Courtaban, the U.S. director of TV5 Monde, is trying to sell French television to the rest of the world.

Merger Scene Remains Active

After a blockbuster March, mergers and acquisitions for companies in Los Angeles County shrank considerably in April, with announced deals totaling $5.9 billion, down from $12.2 billion in March.

Shopping Around

The next time you visit a local supermarket, ask yourself this question: How is this store different from those in any of the other two major chains that serve Los Angeles and Southern California?

StreamCast Takes Shot At eBay Over Skype's Internet Phone Service

StreamCast Networks Inc., creator of the controversial peer-to-peer file-sharing program Morpheus, filed a lawsuit against eBay Inc. and 21 other defendants, asking for a worldwide injunction on the sale and marketing of eBay's Skype Internet voice produc

Long-Term GOOOOOOOOOAL!

Germany's World Cup is the occasion for another attempt to hitch advertising to soccer, always a challenge for U.S. agencies.

Friday, May 26

Gas Prices Continue to Moderate

Gas prices continued creeping further downward this week from all-time record highs set in mid-May, according to the latest Automobile Club of Southern California's weekend gas watch.

Abraxis Appoints Executives

Los Angeles-based Abraxis Bioscience Inc. said Friday that its board has appointed a chief administrative officer and an interim chief financial officer, the later person to replace an executive who is retiring.

Inflation Rises Above Fed Comfort Zone

Consumer spending grew in April at the fastest pace in three months, supported by solid income growth, the Commerce Department reported on Friday.

Sales of Disney 'Musical' DVD Take Off

On its first day of availability this week, the hit Disney Channel Original Movie "High School Musical" sold more than 400,000 DVD units in North America, according to Buena Vista Home Entertainment.

Roundup: Disney, Abraxis, Global ePoint

From its first day of availability this week, the hit Disney Channel Original Movie "High School Musical" is on course to become the fastest selling television program on DVD this year, according to its distributor.

Oil Prices Fall Ahead of Long Weekend

Oil prices fell Friday as traders worried by the approach of the U.S. summer driving and Atlantic hurricane seasons sold contracts ahead of a long weekend in the United States.

Global ePoint Gets Contracts

City of Industry-based Global ePoint Inc. said that its aviation division, Global Airworks, received orders for it cockpit door surveillance systems to be used by two overseas airlines.

Headlines: Aames, Box Office, FCC

An overview of business stories from Friday's newspapers.

Investors Upbeat on Economic Report

Wall Street extended its rebound to a third session Friday, ending with a moderate advance after personal consumption data bolstered the outlook for the economy and interest rates.

Thursday, May 25

Lay, Skilling Convicted in Enron Collapse

Former Enron Corp. chiefs Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling were convicted Thursday of conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud in one of the biggest business scandals in U.S. history.

L.A. Home Median Hits $567,480

The median price of an existing home in Los Angeles increased 17 percent to $567,480 in April compared to a year ago, as sales decreased nearly 13 percent, according to the California Association of Realtors.

Headlines: Gasoline, Idol, SAG

An overview of business stories from Thursday's newspapers.

Network Moves U.S. Headquarters to L.A.

Spanish-language television network Azteca America, the U. S. Spanish language arm of TV Azteca, S.A. de C.V., said it is moving its U.S. executive and production headquarters to Los Angeles later this year.

OSI Wins $125 Million Jury Award

A federal jury awarded damages to OSI Systems Inc after its lawyers argued that a New York company caused it to lose significant baggage screening business after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Zenith Files Workers Comp Reduction

Zenith Insurance Company has filed with state regulators to reduce its California workers' compensation insurance rates by an average 5 percent for policies starting or renewing on or after July 1.

Stocks Up on Solid GDP Data

Wall Street showed signs of life Thursday, closing sharply higher after a drop in existing home sales and sturdy economic growth calmed investors' inflation jitters and motivated them to buy stocks after two weeks of losses.

CB Richard Ellis To Advise Crow on Sale

Crow Holdings, which oversees investments for the Trammell Crow family, has hired Los Angeles-based CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. and another firm to advise it on selling around $3 billion in properties.

Economy Dashes Ahead

Emerging from a year-end rut, the economy dashed ahead in the opening quarter of this year at a 5.3 percent pace, the fastest in 2 1/2 years, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

Studios, Networks Sue Cablevision

Four Hollywood studios and three major broadcast networks have filed a suit against Cablevision Systems Corp. to bar the cable provider from offering a new video-on-demand service, alleging copyright violations.

Wednesday, May 24

Earnings: Tag-It Pacific, ARTISTdirect

Tag-It Pacific Inc. said it narrowed its losses in the first-quarter even as the zipper and trim maker continues to adjust to industry trends that have shifted manufacturing from Latin America to Asia.

Home Sales Jump, Factory Orders Fall

Economists were surprised Wednesday by reports that new homes sales unexpectedly rose in April to the fastest pace this year, while orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket goods fell by the largest amount in three months

Paula Expands Personal Lines Business

Paula Financial said that its operating subsidiary, Pan American Underwriters Inc., has acquired the assets of Sunland Insurance Services.

Hilton Shareholders Reject 'Pills'

A majority of shareholder votes at Hilton Hotels Corp's annual meeting called on the board to overturn the company's so-called "poison pill" plan that makes it difficult for an entity to acquire large blocks of stock.

Senate Set to Hike Employer Fines

Employers would face fines as high as $20,000 for hiring undocumented workers and have to screen all new hires as part of legislation that would grant legal status to millions of illegal immigrants.

Headlines: NFL, Arbors, Boeing

An overview of business stories from Wednesday's newspapers.

Stocks Finish Higher

Stocks finished another erratic session modestly higher Wednesday after durable goods and home sales data helped ease investors' anxiety about whether the Federal Reserve will continue raising interest rates.

Zenith CFO To Retire

Zenith National Insurance Corp. said that Chief Financial Officer William J. Owen will retire this summer, with a former Zenith executive returning to the company as his successor.

Tuesday, May 23

Inflation Worries Again Sink Stocks

Wall Street closed moderately lower Tuesday after worries about the impact of high oil prices on the economy triggered a late-day drop, erasing an earlier moderate advance.

Computer Sciences Profits Fall

Computer Sciences Corp., which put itself up for sale in April, said fourth-quarter profit fell from the year-ago period, which had been boosted by divestitures.

Fannie Board Contributed to Woes

Fannie Mae's "arrogant and unethical" corporate culture led employees to massage earnings to trigger bonuses for senior executives, and its board contributed by failing to act independently, regulators said.

Semtech Receives SEC Request

Semtech Corp. said it will fully cooperated with a request from the Securities and Exchange Commission to provide information regarding stock options granted since January 1, 1997.

Jacobs Announces Four Contracts

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. announced it has been awarded several contracts, including one to provide engineering support to the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Panama City.

Activision to Distribute Barbie Games

Activision Inc. said it has bought the rights to distribute video games based on Mattel Inc.'s Barbie that will be tied to upcoming movie releases.

Oil Prices Pass $71

Crude futures gained more than 2 percent Tuesday, as scientists' predictions about the next Atlantic hurricane season and a fire at a Louisiana refinery renewed concerns about potential supply disruptions in the Gulf of Mexico.

Headlines: NFL, Crowell Weedon, LAX

An overview of business stories from Tuesday's newspapers.

CytRx Reports Q1 Loss

Compensation expenses resulting from new accounting standards widened losses for CytRx Corp., the drug developer said.

Monday, May 22

Do the Property Rights Thing

L.A.'s Occidental Petroleum Corp. suffered a loss last week when the overreaching government of Ecuador seized its property there.

Restaurant Chains Hiring Executives From Other Sectors

Chains are picking their executives from the ranks of industries outside the sector.

Condo Conversions Create Quandary

The L.A. City Council is beginning a series of hearings on how to protect affordable apartments before they're converted to high-priced condominiums.

CB Richard Ellis Buys Chicago Tower

CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. has agreed to pay $137 million for a 40-story office tower in Chicago from a joint venture that includes insurer MetLife Inc.

El Yack Pack

W Radio, the newest Spanish talk station in Los Angeles, was launched because its leaders think the Mexican-American market is underserved.

On Their Case

Studio C Inc. specializes in display concepts for retail stores and trade show booths.

L.A.'s LGO Hospitality Ready for Some Home Cooking

After years feeding mouths in Phoenix, L.A.-based LGO Hospitality LLC is building its business closer to home.

L.A. Gas Price Drops to $3.232

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles area fell 17.2 cents for the week ended May 22, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Five Southland LNG Projects Seek Approval

After years of high natural gas prices and periodic shortages, the race is on to develop liquefied natural gas import facilities along the Southern California coast.

Mouse House Sale Expected to Fetch at Least $170 Million

Walt Disney Co. chief executive Robert Iger is planning to sell off a small piece of the Magic Kingdom.

L.A. County Job Market Growing, Forecast Suggests

Los Angeles County should see more robust job growth for the remainder of this year, while surrounding counties will see their growth slow as the impacts of interest rate hikes kick in.

Casual Approach Helping Ports Deal With Record Cargo

It looks like another deluge is heading its way to the region's ports this summer just don't expect the twin gateways to get swamped this time

L.A. Chamber to Announce New Leader

The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce is expected to name Gary Toebben as its next president and chief executive on Monday.

Trolling for Techies

Riverside is focusing on luring tech companies from L.A. and Orange County to the Inland Empire with free Internet, discount mortgages and even cash payments.

Customized Software Grabbing Spotlight at Stamps.com, Boingo

If recent moves by Los Angeles companies are any indication, personalized software is the way to go.

Oil Futures Fall

Crude oil prices fell nearly $1 a barrel Monday in a selloff prompted by weakness in the commodities market and concerns that high oil prices are hurting demand.

Big Step

Steve Fifield is the leading force on development of the Californian, an ultra-deluxe residential skyscraper on Wilshire Boulevard.

It's a Tough Role to Look for Acting Work

People across L.A. tell us how they do what they do.

STUFF

Inventive, new products from Los Angeles-area companies.

Air Board Drafting Rules on Consumer Product Emissions

If state air regulators have their way, changes will soon be coming to a wide range of consumer products, from deodorants and hairsprays to carpet cleaners, insecticides and paint solvents.

PSA Aims to Stop Iraq Suicide Bombers

A spot discouraging suicide bombers that will run on Iraqi TV was co-produced by Los Angeles-based commercial house 900 Frames and a Lebanese company.

Special Effect

Controversy assures 'Da Vinci Code' will be bigger at the box office.

Creative Director Boasts a Background in Lumber, Sheep and Salmon

Chris Ribeiro has taken a long and winding road to his position as creative director of the L.A. independent advertising agency Wongdoody.

Public Relations Firms Fishing For Bigger Fish in Smaller Pond

Public relations firms are competing for fewer clients with larger budgets, a new study by the USC Annenberg Strategic Public Relations Center suggests.

Energy Drink Craze Gives Fivefold Boost to Shares of Hansen

Hansen Natural Corp. has seen its shares soar on the strength of the energy drink craze.

Golden Fleece

Dodger attendance soared when the big lure was the chance to get a free fleece blanket commemorating the 25th anniversary of the team's 1981 World Series title.

Stocks Decline as Commodities Fall

Wall Street showed some signs of stability late Monday, posting a moderate decline after falling sharply early in the session in response to tumbling commodities prices.

Executive Leading Identity Theft Fight

Money manager Frank Troise had one of his credit card numbers stolen. Now he's launched a ballot initiative over the Internet Stop Identity Theft in California.

True Religion Moving to Vernon

Designer jeans maker True Religion Apparel Inc. said that it plans to move its corporate headquarters and distribution center from Los Angeles to a larger facility in Vernon.

Guitar Center Makes Texas Acquisition

Guitar Center, Inc. announced on Monday that that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire certain assets of Hermes Trading Company Inc., a musical instruments distributor and retailer.

Wall Street 'Fear Gauge' Jumps

The Chicago Board Options Exchange's Market Volatility Index, a key barometer of investor fear, spiked to a near two-year high on Monday, as worries about inflation and rising interest rates weigh on U.S. stocks.

Hollywood Execs Do Much Better Behind Cameras

Imagine our surprise while channel-flipping the other day to find millionaire Jeffrey Katzenberg, chief executive of DreamWorks Animation SKG, making a cameo appearance on Donald Trump's NBC reality TV show, "The Apprentice."

Newsmakers & Kudos

The appointments and promotions of the movers and shakers of L.A.'s business community.

Headlines: VNU, Boyle Heights, NFL

An overview of business stories from Monday's newspapers.

Immigrants Contribute More to the Economy Than They Take

Take a hike. That's effectively what President Bush on May 15 told the throngs of immigrants who marched in Los Angeles two weeks earlier to ask for less restrictive and more humane immigration policies.

Blackjack Buddies Hope to Draw Ace With Tour on CBS

Russ Hamilton hopes TV will do the same thing for blackjack that it did for poker, and make him a tall stack of chips in the process.

Inn-credible

The Farmer's Daughter motel hadn't upgraded for decades. It was time for a facelift when the neighborhood changed.

Abraxis to Open Biopharmaceutical Campus in Culver City

Abraxis BioScience Inc. has bought a 3.5-acre property in Culver City for a new research and development facility.

Natrol Expands in U.K.

Nutritional supplement maker Natrol Inc. announced the establishment of a United Kingdom subsidiary, Natrol UK Ltd.

Friday, May 19

Southwest Water's President Resigns

Los Angeles-base Southwest Water Co. said that Peter J. Moerbeek has resigned as president and chief operating officer.

Govt. Probes Vitesse Option Grants

Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. has received a grand jury subpoena from federal prosecutors for information about how it awarded stock options, part of a widening government probe.

Disney Puts Office Tower on Market

The Walt Disney Co. is hoping to sell its distinctive 21-story Burbank office tower to capitalize on the high prices being paid for L.A. County office buildings.

Gauge of U.S. Economy Slips

Higher jobless claims and slower money supply growth caused a gauge of future U.S. economic growth to slip in the latest week, a report said on Friday.

Fitch Downgrades Mattel

Fitch Ratings on Friday downgraded the credit rating of El Segundo-based toy maker Mattel Inc.because slipping margins and higher costs cast doubt on the company's prospects for a turnaround.

Employment Picture Mixed in April

Los Angeles County's unemployment rate dropped slightly to 4.7 percent in April from 4.8 percent in March as more people left the labor force.

Molina Completes Michigan Acquisition

Long Beach-based Molina Healthcare Inc. said that its Michigan subsidiary has closed on its acquisition of HCLB Inc., the parent company of Cape Health Plan Inc.

Stocks Close Up After 2-Day Plunge

Wall Street stabilized at the end of a difficult week Friday, closing moderately higher as investors shook off some of their stress about interest rates. The major indexes each lost about 2 percent this week.

Roundup: Mattel, S.W. Water, Molina

Southwest Water Co. said that Peter J. Moerbeek has resigned as president and chief operating officer.

Headlines: Milberg Weiss, Valley, CW

An overview of business stories from Friday's newspapers and wire services

Thursday, May 18

Billionaire's Divorce No State Secret

The California Supreme Court has denied billionaire investor Ronald Burkle's bid to keep his divorce records secret, an action that expands public access to California courts.

Headlines: Actors Guild, Northrop, Tenet

An overview of business stories from Thursday's newspapers.

Northrop Grumman President Named

Northrop Grumman Corp.'s board has named finance chief Wesley Bush as the company's president, putting him in line to potentially succeed Chief Executive Ronald Sugar one day.

L.A. Gas Prices Flatten at $3.401

After nine weeks of sky-high prices at the pump, a weekly survey indicates that L.A. gasoline prices leveled off this week as more supply entered the market and consumer demand flattened.

Reliance Declares Stock Split

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co.'s board has declared a two-for-one stock split and a 20 percent increase in the company's dividend rate.

Abraxis BioScience Buys Land for Campus

Abraxis BioScience Inc. said that it has bought a 3.5-acre property in Culver City to be the site of a new research and development facility, and also has acquired a laboratory facility in Marina del Rey.

Markets Drift, Then Drop Again

Wall Street extended its losses Thursday, a day after an inflation scare sent the Dow Jones industrial average on its biggest one-day drop in three years and put the Nasdaq composite index in the red for 2006.

Salem Makes Another Acquisition

Salem Communications Corp. said will acquire American Ministry Resources LLC, which publishes a variety of print and online publications and sponsors events for ministers.

Slower Growth Expected

The number of new people signing up for jobless benefits rose sharply last week mainly due to the lingering effects of a partial government shutdown in Puerto Rico, which caused worker layoffs.

Aspyra Raises $4.5 Million in Private Placement

Calabasas-based Aspyra, Inc. said that it had raised $4.5 million through a private placement of its common stock with a group of accredited investors.

Milberg Weiss, 2 Partners Charged

Prominent class-action law firm Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles on fraud, conspiracy and other charges related to an alleged kickback scheme.

Wednesday, May 17

IHOP Corp. Names CEO as Chairman

Glendale-based IHOP Corp. has named president and Chief Executive Julia Stewart as chairman of the board.

Mattel Licenses Technology from Cannery

The Cannery said it has an agreement with Mattel Inc. to license cEDGE, its enhanced game engine technology, for the interactive DVD version of Mattel's popular game Mad Gab.

Investors Seek Protective Strategies

Defensive activity in the U.S. options market is on the rise suggesting investors are increasingly worried about the potential for further losses in U.S. stocks due to inflation fears.

Big CPI Rise Stokes Inflation Worry

Consumer prices jumped 0.6 percent in April, the most in three months, propelled by rising costs for a wide range of goods and services including gasoline, clothing and medical care.

Overhill Farms Obtains New Credit Facility

Overhill Farms Inc. said that a new $47.5 million senior secured credit facility with Guggenheim Corporate Funding LLC has been funded.

Cash Technologies Rebrands Subsidiary

Cash Technologies Inc. said that it has changed the name of its wholly owned Heuristic Technologies Inc. subsidiary to better capture the purpose of its products

Earnings: Napster, ePoint, Hot Topic

Online music-downloading service Napster Inc. posted a narrower fourth-quarter loss than analysts had predicted, as sales jumped 54 percent on subscriber gains.

Northrop Grumman Raises Dividend

Northrop Grumman Corp. said that its board of directors has approved a 15 percent increase of the common stock quarterly dividend to 30 cents per share from 26 cents.

Vitesse Fires CEO, Two Other Execs

Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. has fired three top executives, including company co-founder and Chief Executive Louis Tomasetta, over allegations concerning stock option grants.

Markets Tumble on Rate Fears

The Dow suffered its biggest one-day loss in three years Wednesday and the Nasdaq composite index turned negative for 2006 over fears that the Federal Reserve will continue to hike interest rates.

Headlines: Home Prices, Milberg Weiss

An overview of business stories from Wednesday's newspapers.

Salem Acquires Digital Publisher

Salem Publishing, a division of Camarillo-based Salem Communications Corp. said it has agreed to acquire Xulon Press, a premier on-demand digital publisher of books targeting the Christian audience.

Dip Forecast in Region's Job Growth

A slowing housing market will put a crimp on the Southern California job growth this year, according to a university economic forecast.

Tuesday, May 16

Headlines: Digital Domain, CW, Univision

An overview of business stories from Tuesday's newspapers.

Ecuador to Seize Occidental Oil Field

Ecuador's state oil company said that plans to seize a field operated by Los Angeles-based Occidental Petroleum Corp. and may auction it to a producer from Venezuela or Brazil.

Coast's Board Rejects Bell's Offer

El Segundo-based electronics wholesale Bell Industries Inc. has had its bid to acquire Coast Distribution System Inc. rejected by Coast's board of directors.

Jacobs Engineering Wins Contracts

Pasadena-based Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. announced it had won two large contacts, one of them in the United Kingdom.

Durazo Gets Top Labor Post

Maria Elena Durazo, widow of Los Angeles County Labor Federation chief Miguel Contreras, has been formally named to his old post.

Former Fleishman-Hillard Execs Convicted

Former Fleishman-Hillard executives Douglas Dowie and John Stodder Jr. have been convicted on charges that they conspired to over-bill the city on a $3 million L.A. Department of Water & Power contract.

Core Inflation Tame

Wholesale prices leaped ahead by the biggest margin in seven months, propelled largely by soaring energy costs, the the Labor Department reported Tuesday.

Stocks Down on Inflation Worries

Inflation fears pushed stocks modestly lower Tuesday as a surge in wholesale prices obscured data showing signs of a moderating economic growth.

Credit Counselors Lose Tax Status

The IRS plans to revoke the tax-exempt status at least 41 credit-counseling organizations, saying many of these firms appeared to be primarily motivated by profit, not by helping debt-burdened consumers.

Monday, May 15

Dow Closes Up 48, Nasdaq Down 5

A late-day rebound left stocks modestly higher Monday as oil and gold prices tumbled and mild economic data lifted bonds from their recent lows.

Sometimes Anonymous Donations Aren't Really Secret

Major contributions may not be public, but insiders know the score.

Community Foundation Faces an Array of Challenges

Antonia Hern & #225;ndez of the California Community Foundation discusses the challenges faced by non-profits.

STUFF

Inventive, new products from Los Angeles-area companies.

True Religion Wins Judgements

True Religion Apparel Inc. said that the company has won two court default judgments against several individuals and businesses charged with importing and selling counterfeit versions of its jeans.

Risky Business

Chris Palmer compiles data that allows filmmakers to address the risks of making movies in foreign locations.

Wealth and Its Real Worth

A few years ago, as I was having dinner with a group of visiting Japanese, the Japanese started asking pointed questions about America. Why hasn't America solved its federal budget and foreign trade deficits? they asked. Why couldn't American manufacturer

Goal of Foundations Is Providing Service to Community

Elliot Ponchick gives an inside view of his working methods.

Maguire REIT Cruising on Wall Street

Maguire Properties Inc. is well-placed to benefit from the city's investment in revitalizing its urban core.

Lights! Camaraderie! Action!

Corporate team-building groups make their own movies at Universal Studios.

Headlines: Counterfeit, Eriksson, Port

An overview of business stories from Monday's newspapers.

Oil Tumble Nearly $2 on Forecast

Crude-oil futures retreated Monday, approaching the $70 a barrel mark as markets reacted to a lower demand-growth forecast from the International Energy Agency.

Charitable Works Have Taken Many Forms in City's History

The modern L.A. tradition of good works can be traced to Henry Huntington.

Makeup Mensch

Zvi Ryzman's American International Industries has stuck around while beauty dropouts have piled up in the industry's graveyard.

Card Club Owner Antes Up $17 Million for Compton Casino

As the owner of several California card clubs, Haig Kalegian has made some large wagers but none possibly as high as buying the Crystal Park Casino Hotel in Compton.

... Maybe They'll Be on Next Year's List

Maybe Michael Eisner will return next year. Maybe Magic Johnson and Jack Nicholson should be on the list.

Even for Those at the Top of the List, Things Can Change

Some of last year's wealthiest have fallen off the list, but most have remained and added to their net worth.

L.A. Market Ready to Support NFL Team, Study Finds

The return of the NFL to the second largest television market will be successful because the market has not yet reached a saturation point, a new study has concluded.

L.A. Isn't at Top of List for Charity Giving

Los Angeles has more than its share of billionaires and millionaires, but other cities show more charitable giving.

L.A.'s Richest Got Richer Last Year

LABJ'S WEALTHIEST ANGELINOS: Some of last year's wealthiest have fallen off the list, but most have remained and added to their net worth.

Tree Spirit

Artisan crafts custom furniture without using lumber from forests.

Stocking Up on Art? Think About 'Pink Sheet' Paintings

Low-priced art has appreciated faster than more expensive work

New Model of Corporate Philanthropy Combines Donations, Sweat Equity

There's been a steady rise in the number of businesses in Los Angeles that are following a new model of corporate philanthropy. And everyone benefits.

Garden Party?

L.A. officials are considering a requirement that all new public facilities include rooftop gardens.

Health Net Makes Key Hire Amid Turbulence in Market

Health Net of California hired Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's former chief of staff, a move highlighting the opportunities for growth in the sector

Stocks Mixed As Oil, Gold Decline

Stocks fluctuated Monday as commodities prices fell sharply and discount retailer Target Corp. reported a weaker-than-expected profit.

Wealthiest Angelenos The Top 50

Short profiles of the city's wealthiest.

Newsmakers and Kudos

The appointments and promotions of the movers and shakers of L.A.'s business community.

L.A. Gets Some Benefit From The Star Power of Hollywood

The city gets some benefit from the star power of the film community, but efforts often go elsewhere.

Great Gifts

Some of the greatest cultural landmarks and civic achievements in L.A. resulted from its philanthropic leaders.

A New No. 2 At Law Firm Linked to P.I.

Patricia Glaser has jumped to No. 2 on the shingle at her firm Pellicano fallout?

Valuing the Rich

Compiling the list with calculations, public records and estimations.

Architectural Historian Helping Facades Face the Future

Christopher Hetzel is passionate about history. As architectural historian at Jones & Stokes, one of the largest environmental consulting firms on the West Coast, he focuses on the preservation of historical sites.

Creator of Teen Hit 'Romeo!' Loves Potential of Chinese TV

In children's television, a new audience is born every five years, according to Hollywood wisdom.

For SkyMeals, Long Beach Provides Orange County Entry

If Long Beach were searching for a promoter, the city could consider Richard Katz.

Bond Could Kick Start 710 Truck Lanes

A proposed bond package would include $20 billion for possible truck tollways and more.

Hiking the Tax on Cigarettes Risks Igniting a Fiscal Blaze

Why is it such a shock to the tax and spend crowd that people will actually change their behavior to avoid paying taxes?

Oil Prices, Advances in Europe Fueling Turnaround at IMPCO

After posting losses of more than $55 million over the past four years, IMPCO Technologies Inc., a manufacturer and developer of alternative fuel systems, appears to have turned the corner.

Hilton Workers to be Reinstated

In a partial victory for union activists, Los Angeles Airport Hilton Hotel hotel management said that 77 workers placed on suspension after protesting working conditions will be reinstated.

Bear Market or Healthy Correction?

Falling equities, a declining dollar and a sharp sell-off in bonds across the world are straining investor nerves and reviving nasty memories of the bursting of the tech bubble.

Global Online Game 'World of Warcraft' Heads for Big Screen

'World of Warcraft," the multiplayer online game with 6 million users worldwide, will soon come to a theater near you.

Passengers Leaving LAX For Burbank

During the first quarter, 230,000 fewer people flew into or out of LAX than a year ago, a drop of nearly 2 percent.

Average L.A. Gas Price Flattens

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles area fell 2.4 cents to $3.404 for the week ended May 15, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Change Of Heart

In the old days, corporations drove philanthropy in L.A.; today it's individuals driven by their own passions.

Keeping Up in the World of Property Buying

People across L.A. tell us how they do what they do.

Irving Turning Over Manatt Phelps Helm to Quicksilver

Paul Irving, managing partner and chief executive at Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP for the past seven years, will step aside to become chairman of the board.

Maximizing Hallmark Channel Is Key to Crown's Recovery

At Crown Media Holdings Inc., cost-cutting is up and losses are down.

Culver City Revival Leads to Demise of A Booster's Eatery

Restaurateur Jay Handal, a Westside gadfly and the longtime president of the Greater West Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, is closing his San Gennaro restaurant in Culver City and bowing out of the city's Downtown Business Association, which he helped cre

Geek Sneak Peaks

Microsoft Corp. descended on Los Angeles in force for the Electronic Entertainment Expo.

Beverly Hills REIT Acquires Building

Kennedy Wilson has purchased the prominent Beverly Hills office building at 9701 Wilshire Blvd. for more than $51 million.

Suncal Trumps 'The Donald'

An Orange County homebuilder out-maneuvered Donald Trump for a key Century City parcel.

Computer Sciences Wins Contract

Computer Sciences Corp. announced that it is one of five firms that have been awarded a Principal Resource for Information Management Enterprise-wide blanket purchase agreement by U.S. Agency for International Development.

Tarrant Apparel Gains Credit

Tarrant Apparel Group said that it has signed a commitment letter with Guggenheim Corporate Funding LLC for a $65 million credit facility.

Anderson Sets Sharper Focus On Key Fundraising Projects

Marion Anderson is sharpening her focus on key causes.

Friday, May 12

Keystone Moving Top Execs. to Nashville

Keystone Automotive Industries Inc. said it plans to relocate some of its senior executives, including the chief executive officer and chief financial officer, from Pomona to offices in Nashville, Tenn. over the next several months.

Bloated Corporate Audits Targeted

After over two years looking at whether auditors do enough to watch over U.S. corporations, the chief of the top auditing watchdog says examiners will now look at whether audits go too far.

Hotel Labor Tensions Heat Up

UPDATED: Union activists and clergy members picketed in front of the Los Angeles Airport Hilton Hotel this week, protesting the suspension of at least 65 hotel workers.

Roundup: Keystone, Exodus

Keystone Automotive Industries Inc. plans to relocate some of the company's senior executives, including the chief executive officer and chief financial officer, from Pomona to new offices in Nashville.

Weinstein to Distribute Venice Film

The Weinstein Co. said that it will represent all domestic international distribution rights to Venice-based Exodus Film Group's first feature-length, CG-animated comedy, "Igor."

Average L.A. Gas Price Hits $3.39

New record high prices for gasoline were again set throughout the Southland this week, but prices may be close to a plateau, according to a weekly survey.

Petition Filed for Oil Tax Initiative

Consumer advocate proponents of an initiative to tax oil companies have submitted twice the required number of signatures to the Secretary of State's office, virtually assuring the measure will be on the November ballot.

Major Indexes Again Decline Sharply

Stocks faced a second day of steep losses Friday as the dollar weakened and bonds prices fell after data showing higher import prices stoked the market's inflation worries.

Earnings: Reinhold, Magnetek

Reinhold Industries Inc. reported first-quarter net income of $1.2 million and revenues up 35 percent on increased sales of aerospace components and seating products.

Windfall Enables Budget Boost

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has released a revised $101 billion budget that spends $7.5 billion in additional revenues on education, on early debt repayments and to boost reserves.

Failed Rally Shows Strength of Downturn

If anything underscores the depth of negative sentiment toward the dollar right now, the currency's broad-based and steep slide on Thursday is it.

Televisa, Gates to Bid for Univision

The world's largest Spanish-language broadcaster and the world's rich man are teaming up to buy Univision Communications, the nation's largest Hispanic media company.

Trade Deficit Declines

The U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly declined in March for a second consecutive month, something that hasn't happened in more than two years, the Commerce Department reported Friday.

Thursday, May 11

Headlines: Univision, Edison, Gap

An overview of business stories from Friday's newspapers.

Dow Closes Down 141 Points

Anxious investors sent stocks plunging Thursday as surging commodities prices fed fears that the Federal Reserve would extend its two-year streak of interest rate hikes.

Cost-of-Living Boosts Poverty Rolls

L.A.'s poverty rate is actually 20 percent higher than official figures indicate, according to a report released Thursday from the Public Policy Institute of California.

Ethanol Requests Flood World Bank

The World Bank's private sector arm is being deluged with funding requests for ethanol projects around the globe as crude oil prices trade near record highs, an official said.

In-N-Out Legal Battles End

A wild and circuitous series of litigation between In-N-Out Burgers Inc. and ousted executive Robert Boyd came to an end with a settlement of all civil and probate litigation, it was announced on Thursday.

DirecTV Adds to Line-Up

Satellite television provider DirecTV Group Inc. has become the first U.S. provider to offer the BabyFirstTV channel to its customers, starting Thursday.

Universal Music Settles Payola Probe

Universal Music Group Recordings Inc. has agreed to pay $12 million to settle a payola case that claimed the company provided vacations, electronics and other bribes to increase radio play for their artists.

Trash Fee Proposal Gets Boost

The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce's board has voted to support Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's proposal to hike residential trash fees to raise money to help fund the hiring of 1,000 police officers.

Headlines: Budget, Lofts, Air Base

An overview of business stories from Thursday's newspapers.

Retail Sales Up; Jobless Claims Drop

Consumers, spurred by a late Easter and warmer than usual weather, pushed retail sales up by a solid amount in April although soaring gasoline prices kept the increase below expectations.

Film Commission Appointments Made

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday announced the appointment of several entertainment industry colleagues to the California Film Commission.

Wednesday, May 10

Relationship Sites Form Partnership

The Reunion.com online relationship site and Yahoo! Inc. announced that Yahoo! Personals and Reunion.com have developed a strategic partnership.

THQ Acquires Game Franchise

Agoura Hills-based THQ Inc. on Wednesday announced the acquisition of the Stuntman franchise from Atari Inc. and plans to acquire the video game studio that designs it.

Activision to Open Glendale Studio

Video game maker Activision Inc. and DreamWorks Animation SKG said that Activision will be opening a dedicated studio facility at DreamWorks' Glendale campus.

Stocks Slide on Outlooks

Lackluster forecasts from Cisco Systems Inc. and Federated Department Stores Inc. pushed stocks lower Wednesday as anxious investors awaited the Fed's impending decision on interest rates.

Crown CEO Resigns

Crown Media Holdings Inc., which runs the Hallmark Channel cable-television network, said Chief Executive David Evans has resigned effective in June, about three months before his contract ends.

Fed Expected to Boost Key Rate

Wall Street widely expects Fed policy-makers will boost the federal funds rate to the highest level in five years when they meet on Wednesday.

Sports Add to Area's Economy

Los Angeles County sports organizations generated $1.2 billion in revenue last year, according to a study by the Los Angeles Sports Council and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.

Yahoo!, Telemundo in Web Venture

Yahoo! Inc.'s Internet service and NBC Universal Inc.'s Telemundo broadcast network are merging their Spanish-language Web sites in the U.S. to better reach a growing Hispanic market,

21st Century Insurance Hires CFO

Steven P. Erwin, former chief financial officer at Health Net Inc., has been appointed to the same position at 21st Century Insurance, the company announced Wednesday.

Women Oppose Divorce Privacy

An uprising by female lawmakers is clouding the fate of high-priority legislation to restrict public access to financial records in California divorce cases.

Cheesecake Factory Repurchases Shares

The Cheesecake Factory Inc. announced that it recently repurchased 1.5 million shares of its common stock for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $50 million.

Stocks Falter on Rate Hike

Wall Street ended an uneasy session mostly lower Wednesday and bond prices tumbled after the Federal Reserve suggested it might not be through raising interest rates.

Federal Funds Rate Hiked to 5 Percent

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday raised a key interest rate to the highest level in more than five years, but signaled that it may pause to assess the impact of its string of rate hikes.

London Firm buys ESPN Service

London-based PA Sport, a leading sports information provider, has agreed to acquire SportsTicker from ESPN.

Headlines: Disney, Kaiser, Video Expo

An overview of business stories from Wednesday's newspapers.

Tuesday, May 9

Mixed Day for Markets

Wall Street ended Tuesday mixed, with Dow Jones industrials reaching a fresh six-year high and within reach of its best-ever close. Dell Inc.'s profit warning put a dent in the tech sector.

Headlines: Pellicano, Sony, Garamendi

An overview of business stories from Tuesday's newspapers.

Activision Acquires Video Game Publisher

Activision, Inc. said that it has entered into an agreement to acquire video game publisher RedOctane, Inc., publisher of the popular Guitar Hero franchise.

ITC to Consider Amgen Complaint

Amgen Inc. said the U.S. International Trade Commission has agreed to investigate efforts by Swiss drug maker Roche Holding AG to import a competing anemia drug into the United States.

Indicators Points to Job Growth

Despite rising prices putting the squeeze on bottom lines, an index of California employment conditions shows the state's job picture remains strong, even nudging up slightly in the second quarter.

County Health Head Selected

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors have unanimously appointed Bruce Chernof, acting director of the troubled County Department of Health Services, to the permanent position.

Warner Bros. to Sell Content Via BitTorrent

Warner Bros.'s video unit said it plans to sell movies and TV shows for legal downloads to BitTorrent Inc., which operates a Web site once blamed for enabling swapping of illegally copied films and programs.

Yuen Ordered to Pay $22 Million

A federal judge ordered the former CEO of Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. to pay $22.3 million in fines and penalties in an investment fraud case.

Gold Prices Hit $700 an Ounce

Gold prices surged to a new quarter-century high on Tuesday as funds bought into the market, driven by tension between the United States and Iran and expectations of a pause in interest rate hikes.

Oil Prices Steady Near $70

Crude-oil futures hovered around $70 a barrel Tuesday, with persistent concerns over Iran's nuclear ambitions tempered by expectations of rising U.S. gasoline stocks.

Youbet.com Inc. Wins at Derby

Youbet.com Inc. said that the company and its subsidiaries shattered all previous records for betting volume at last weekend's Kentucky Derby.

Monday, May 8

Are These Prices for Real?

With gasoline prices increasing so much recently, people are understandably asking: Are consumers being gouged at the pump? In a word, the answer is "no." That being said, the public needs factual answers about why prices have increased and what should

Long Beach Health Care Property REIT Acquires Florida Rival

Health Care Property Investors Inc. says that it plans to buy another health care real estate investment trust in a $3.5 billion cash-and-stock deal that would create the nation's largest public REIT specializing in health care properties.

Trust Pays $30 Million for Universal City Office Building

Glenborough Realty Trust acquired a prominent Universal City office building for more than $30 million.

Port of Long Beach, Matson On Board for 'Cold Ironing'

The Port of Long Beach signed a lease agreement with Matson Shipping Co. that includes a ship-to-shore electrical power hookup to reduce diesel emissions.

At L.A.'s Ports, It's Not Christmas in July Now It's in May

Believe it or not, the first Christmas goods are now arriving at the port months earlier than last year.

Oil, Acquisitions Lightly Boost Stocks

Stocks finished a quiet session little changed Monday as investors' anticipation of the Federal Reserve's decision on interest rates muted their reaction to lower oil prices and a trio of acquisitions.

What Are the Ethics of Blogs? The Market Will Make the Call

In every mass medium, there's a contract between the writer and the reader. As long as the writer keeps the bargain at its most elemental, to deliver the truth the reader keeps consuming the medium.

Gas Prices Rise 5 Percent

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles area continued to climb, rising 16 cents to $3.428 for the week ended May 8.

Revival of Commission Could Help Raise Minimum Wage

It may sound strange, but a Republican state legislator is proposing to resurrect a defunct state regulatory body specifically to pass an increase in the state's minimum wage.

NBC Universal Unit Targets Mobile Phone Entertainment

Universal Studios Consumer Products Group created a new division dedicated to mobile phone-based entertainment.

Spanish Lesson

Standing 6'4" and bearing a Ukrainian-Jewish surname, Carl Kravetz doesn't fit the stereotype of the Hispanic consumer. Nevertheless, he has become a spokesman for the market as the new chairman of the national Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies

L.A. NFL Fans Seen as Staying True to Favorites

There may be a political push to bring an NFL team or two to Southern California, but some see a lack of popular support.

Selling Country-Fried Steak in Beverly Hills

People across L.A. tell us how they do what they do.

Sporting Goods Chain Taken Private by L.A. Buyout Firm

Los Angeles private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners LLP completed its $1.3 billion buyout of Sports Authority Inc. last week and took the company private.

Emmis Plans to Go Private

Emmis Communications Corp., which owns several Los Angeles media properties, will go private under a plan announced by Chief Executive Jeff Smulyan.

Police Chief Pounds The Interview Beat For High Schoolers

Police Chief William Bratton was on the other end of a grilling last week, and seemed to enjoy it.

L.A. Times Tries Shifting Some Graphics Operations to India

Graphic artists in India are designing classified ads for the Orange County editions of the Los Angeles Times and Recycler Classified.

Headlines: Golden West, Meat, NFL

An overview of business stories from Monday's newspapers.

Newspaper Circulation Declines

Growing Internet readership of news may have helped to accelerate a drop in U.S. newspaper circulation in the six months through March, with the Los Angeles Times reporting a 5.4 percent decline to 851,832.

Fuel's Paradise

High costs and regulations have forced manufacturers to take heed of how much energy they're using.

Lennar Forces Donation On Homebuyers

Lennar Corp. is changing the definition of charity by requiring homebuyers to contribute $250 to the company's foundation.

Downtown Hotels Face Competition From Over the Hill

Not only do downtown L.A. hotels have to jostle with Las Vegas and Orlando for convention business, now they have to compete with hotels in the San Fernando Valley

Cover Story

TV Guide's decision to upend its venerable digest wasn't made lightly, but the new magazine is doing reasonably well.

STUFF

Inventive, new products from Los Angeles-area companies.

Keeping Clear

Air and water are the building blocks of life. But for William Wendling they're the elements of a successful business. The owner and founder of Oxygen Ozone Inc. has enjoyed triple-digit growth designing air and water purification systems for green-consci

Kiddie Chic

More stores are selling upscale kids' clothes, targeting parents who don't

Not for Ladies Who Lunch, but for Ladies Who Hammer Nails

Burbank-based home improvement site for women, Be Jane Inc., just buckled its tool belt. The 2-year-old company appointed Eric P. Meyer as chairman and chief operating officer, and secured private funding from him as well.

Does a Day Make a Difference?

Many organizers of the recent protest marches wanted Los Angeles' economy to stop for a day. Although measuring the impact isn't easy, the effects do not appear to be significant

Trump Seeks L.A. Lawyers to Look Good or Bad on the Show

Dying to get fired? Mark Burnett, the reality guru behind "Survivor," is trolling online for a "top-notch attorney" to compete for a chance to appear on "The Apprentice," the NBC reality program in which contestants interview with Donald Trump for a job r

Who Needs Powerball?

Too bad that California's PacifiCare didn't get a better buyer.

Denim Company True Religion Considers Going Private

True Religion may be mulling going private, as have local competitors Seven for All Mankind and Citizens of Humanity.

Gasoline Supplies Should Be Regulated and 'Shortages' Should Be Prevented

Anyone whose hair stood on end during the latest round of record oil company profits ought to start bracing now for next quarter's reports.

Magnetek Faces Bright Future Pending Appeal of Patent Case

Magnetek Inc. could be a winner again as it lowers production costs amid rising demand. But it also may have to pay a huge judgment if its appeal of a patent infringement ruling isn't upheld

Newsmakers and Kudos

The appointments and promotions of the movers and shakers of L.A.'s business community.

House Prices Rise as Volume Slows

The median price of a home in Los Angeles County rose for the fourth straight month in April, countering perceptions of a cooling market, according to data provided to the Business Journal.

Oil Prices Fall Below $69

Crude-oil prices dropped below $69 a barrel Monday on rising U.S. gasoline supplies and a letter from Iran's leader to President Bush proposing "new solutions" to escalating tensions.

Kudos

Hunt-Scanlon Advisors, a market research firm, has ranked L.A.-based Korn/Ferry International as the No. 1 U.S. Executive Search Firm and Los Angeles' Morgan Samuels Co. at No. 24 in their seventh annual recruiting industry survey and rankings report.

Nielsen Will Count L.A. Billboard Viewers

Nielsen Media Research will track people's travel patterns to determine how often they may see billboards.

Economists Say Economy to Slow

The Federal Reserve will raise interest rates once more and leave them steady at 5 percent through 2007 as economic growth slows and inflation remains moderate, a survey released on Monday said.

Jock Sticker Shock: Stern Payout Putting Hit on Sirius Radio

Even as its revenue increased, Sirius racked up a big loss. That was partly because it gave $225 million in stock to its new marquee act, Howard Stern.

Friday, May 5

Job Growth Slows in April; Wages Up

New hiring slowed significantly in April as employers added just 138,000 people to their payrolls, the slowest pace of job growth in six months.

Pixar Shareholders Okay Takeover

Shareholders of Pixar Animation Studios Inc. on Friday approved Walt Disney Co.'s bid to acquire the studio for $8.06 billion in stock.

Dow Climbs to 6-Year High

Wall Street barreled higher Friday, sending the Dow Jones industrials up 138 points to a new six-year high after a report of modest job growth bolstered hopes that the Federal Reserve will end its interest rates hikes.

Lawmakers Send Bond Deal to Voters

The California Legislature completed one of its most significant achievements in recent memory early Friday by putting a $37.3 billion package of infrastructure bonds on the November ballot, with significant bipartisan support.

Average L.A. Gas Price Hits $3.337

Gasoline prices hit new record heights this week and more increases are expected in the coming week due to a two-day spike in the local wholesale gas market, according to a weekly survey.

Headlines: Hilton, Mayor, TomKat

An overview of business stories from Friday's newspapers.

Earnings: THQ, MannKind

Video game publisher THQ Inc. fell to a loss in its fiscal fourth quarter as revenue declined 14 percent, but said it may still meet its full-year forecast.

Thursday, May 4

Council Seeks Living Wage Expansion

The Los Angeles City Council has ordered city staff to draft an amendment to the city's living wage ordinance that would extend its reach to hotels near Los Angeles International Airport.

Roundup: Dreamworks, THQ, Staar

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has recommended ending a nearly year-long inquiry into DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. earnings and stock trades without taking enforcement action.

Productivity Rebounds in Q1

The efficiency of American workers rebounded in the opening quarter of this year, growing at an annual rate of 3.2 percent and wages rose at a brisk pace, the Labor Department sad Thursday.

Headlines: Grocers, Condos, Art

An overview of business stories from Thursday's newspapers.

Stocks Rise on Economic News

Stocks climbed Thursday as strong April retail sales and a steep drop in oil prices alleviated investors' worries about a greater-than-forecast jump in labor costs.

Herd Mentality Takes Hold

Once a disparate group of small, illiquid markets, commodities are now a cohesive asset class, where big jumps on one exchange can ripple through the sector.

Wednesday, May 3

March Factory Orders Up 4.2 Percent

New orders at U.S. factories rose more than expected in March amid strong demand for transportation equipment, computers and electronic products, and machinery, government data showed on Wednesday.

Stocks Slump on Rate Fears

Stocks closed modestly lower Wednesday as the latest batch of upbeat economic data made investors uneasy about more interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.

Remembering Rukeyser

In finding a large and loyal audience for market talk, iconic PBS financial commentator Louis Rukeyser, who died Tuesday at age 73. was indeed early if not unique.

Oil Prices Fall More Than $1

Oil prices fell Wednesday after the U.S. government released data showing that gasoline demand has been flat over the past four weeks and that motor fuel supplies are growing as refineries ramp up output.

L.A. in the Running for Olympics

Los Angeles is one of five U.S. cities selected as a potential host for the 2016 Summer Olympics, the U.S. Olympic Committee announced.

Ports Activity Breaking Records

The torrid pace of trade through Southland ports continues to grow, particuarly as a gateway for top U.S. trade partner China, according to a study by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.

Headlines: Boycott, NFL, Ameriquest

An overview of business stories from Wednesday's newspapers.

Tuesday, May 2

Petrodollars Fueling Global Imbalances

The world's attention is firmly turned toward Asia when it comes to widening imbalances in global trade and investment, soaring foreign-exchange reserves and the dollar's structural weakness.

Double-Digit Gain for Gas Prices

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles area continued to climb, rising 18 cents to $3.262 for the week ended May 1, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Street Leaps on Verizon Earnings

Solid earnings from Verizon Communications Inc. lifted stocks Tuesday, sending the Dow Jones industrial average to its best close in six years even as oil prices neared an all-time high.

Port Reaches Agreement on Emissions

The Port of Long Beach has reached a tentative agreement with a major terminal operator for the port's first ship-to-shore electrical hookup that would reduce harmful diesel emissions.

Long Beach REIT Makes Acquisition

Health Care Property Investors Inc. said it plans to buy another real estate investment trust in a $5.2 billion deal that would create the nation's largest public REIT specializing in health care properties.

Headlines: Boycott, Gas, NFL

An overview of business stories from today's newspapers.

Arden Sale is Completed

G.E. Real Estate and Trizec Properties Inc. announced that both companies have closed a $5 billion deal to buy Arden Realty Inc.

Monday, May 1

Off-Balance Sheet Financing Curbs Are Double-Trouble

Depending on how you look at it, two federal regulations passed in 2003 are giving accountants particularly real estate specialists some real headaches or some real job security.

Military's Plans for Westwood Site Drawing Opposition

Mani Bros. Real Estate Group has inked a $32 million deal with a tenant that it lured from one of its former office properties.

Latin Roots

For Twentieth TV and sister Fox Broadcasting, telenovelas in English instead of Spanish represent a gamble as debut programs for MyNetworkTV.

Stocks End Lower on Interest Rate Fears

Wall Street's interest rate anxiety sent stocks moderately lower Monday after comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke compounded investors' concerns about surging oil prices and a weak U.S. dollar.

Headlines: Boycott, Starbucks, Angelides

An overview of business stories from today's newspapers.

Restaurateurs Fuming Over Rewards Network 'Advances'

Eateries around the state are joining a class action suit against Rewards Network over high-interest "advances."

Give Them a Break

More than two decades after California's Enterprise Zone Program was created to encourage job and business growth in economically distressed areas, the program is in need of reform.

Bankruptcy Attorney Turns in Peak Performances at 64

It appears there is no mountain too high for Bill Burke, a 64-year-old bankruptcy attorney with Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP in Los Angeles.

View Skew

Jordan Levin helped launch the WB's successful shows. He's turning that expertise into a new venture, Generate, producing content for traditional and emerging media.

Cordova Grows Into the Top Post at Childrens Hospital

It was a summer internship 30 years ago in Los Angeles County's Department of Health Services that did it for Richard D. Cordova. He'd instantly found his calling in health management.

Feet First

Piloti is making its mark thanks to specialty designs of footwear for auto racing drivers and fans of the sport.

Going Private and Digital Panavision's Focus

Camera-maker Panavision Inc. is moving out of the public eye as it continues its shift into digital film and TV production.

Diagnostic Products Picked Up by European Giant Siemens

Siemens AG, Europe's largest engineering company, has agreed to buy Los Angeles-based Diagnostic Products Corp. for about $1.86 billion in cash, the companies announced April 27.

An Effective Method of Creating and Retaining Companies

The California Enterprise Zone program has been around since the 1980s and offers both employees and employers a number of tax benefits to encourage businesses to operate in the 42 most economically challenged regions throughout the state.

Rare Hispanic Bank Opening In Los Angeles

One America Bank is the first Hispanic-focused bank to be incorporated in California since the 1980s.

New Federal Courthouse Project Faces More Delays

The General Services Administration quietly canceled the bidding process for a new federal courthouse in L.A.

Salem Radio Seeking Christian Music Stars

Salem Communications Corp. is holding "American Idol"-type tryouts for Christian music stars.

Bell Industries Sells J.W. Miller Unit

Bell Industries Inc. has sold substantially all of the assets, excluding real estate, of its J.W. Miller magnetic components division to Bourns Inc. for $8.5 million.

Industry Leaders Offer Their Take on Real Estate Pinch

The Business Journal asked the top real estate accountants in Los Angeles about the state of their field and what they saw as the reasons behind the sudden personnel crunch.

Info on Street Closures, Bus Routes

Major streets will be closed Monday to accommodate immigrant rights demonstrations, according to the Los Angeles Department of Transportation. Dash service routes and the City Hall shuttle also will be affected.

Uneducated Labor Posing Challenge For L.A. Business

L.A. businesses have to adopt training programs in order to function with a work force that lacks basic reading and math skills.

Stamps.com Claims It Didn't Take a Licking In Acacia Settlement

Stamps.com Inc. recently settled a patent infringement lawsuit with a Minnesota company over the stamp company's use of the two-dimensional bar code that appears on each personalized stamp.

K-Swiss Developing Holes in Shoe Sales on Home Front

Footwear company K-Swiss Inc.'s style mainstay it's Classic shoe is getting scuffed up.

Upping the Tax Revenue

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last week ordered an investigation into gouging at the gasoline pumps. I looked around a little while and I believe I found some.

Smoothie Operator Looking to Juice Revenues at Robeks

Tony Gioia is confident nutritional food purveyors such as Robeks can lucratively ride a wave of health-conscious consumption.

Napster to Offer Music Listening

Napster Inc. will offer some music free as part of an effort to drive more customers and advertisers to its Napster.com Web site, the company announced.

Business Community Cautious On Villaraigosa's Takeover Plan

L.A.'s business community is cautious about Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's plan to take control over the L.A. school district.

Telecom Boom Boosts Satellite Firms

There aren't many companies flying higher right now than Hi-Shear Technologies Corp. The question is whether the Torrance-based aerospace firm can sustain its orbit or end up falling back to Earth.

The Library Card

The explosion of new distribution platforms is adding value to studios' film and TV libraries. Acquisitive private equity firms are among the beneficiaries.

Thompson Hardware Provides Hi-Definition Lift for DirecTV

El Segundo-based DirecTV Group Inc. has begun receiving Thomson H20 set-top boxes for its high definition service expansion last week.

Newsmakers & Kudos

The appointments and promotions of the movers and shakers of L.A.'s business community.

Heavy Lifting

Dynamic Medical Systems Inc. has found growth potential as a result of Americans' expanding waistlines.

Stuff

Inventive, new products from Los Angeles-area companies

Companies Team Up to Design and Build the Backyard Fort of a Boy's Dreams

Today, he's a shy but confident fourth grader. But a few years ago, when he was a 6-year-old, Joshua Bailey was diagnosed with leukemia.

Making Things Stick

Dean Scarborough's plan for Avery Dennison is to grow the company in emerging markets such as China and Eastern Europe.

Construction, Consumer Spending Up

Manufacturing cranked up, builders boosted construction spending to an all-time high and consumers opened their wallets wider, according to reports released Monday.

CurtCo Media May Fetch $500 Million In Upcoming Sale

Malibu's CurtCo Media Labs, known for its magazines for the super rich, is on the block and could bring as much as $500 million at auction.

Accountant Deficit

Accountants are in such high demand in Southern California that Haskell & White LLP has offered to pay its employees $20,000 if they refer an experienced accountant to the firm and the candidate is hired.

Toyota Revs Rollout of Yaris With 'Mobisodes' From Fox

Toyota and Fox are teaming up for a promotion that could give the term "cell phone" new meaning.

Milken's Confab Draws Extremely Healthy Turnout

It seems that Michael Milken, the creator of "junk bonds" who pled guilty to securities violations and served nearly two years of a 10-year sentence in the 1980s, is putting his past further behind him all the time.

'Sustainable' Firms Aim for Mainstream

Refillable lipstick, a soft camisole made of soybean waste, a normal hybrid car -- these are just some of the new "sustainable" products companies hope will attract the mainstream consumer.

Vitesse Launches Internal Stock Inquiry

Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. has placed three top executives on leave and said it won't file its second-quarter financial report on time due to an internal probe into its stock options accounting.

Five Pillars of Wisdom in Online Advertising

People across L.A. tell us how they do what they do.