Stories for November 2006

Thursday, November 30

House Of Blues Seeks a D.C. Home

The House of Blues is looking to build a $120 million complex in the Washington D.C. near the new Washington Convention Center that would include a live-entertainment hall, a hotel, retail stores and restaurants.

Drivers Pass up Flash for Function

At the Los Angeles Auto Show, where big engines once ruled and horsepower was king, cushy seats and stereo gadgets now hog the spotlight.

Company Plots Takeover of Euro Disney

A Swiss theme park operator said late Wednesday that it was going to make a hostile takeover bid for Euro Disney SCA, Europe's largest theme-park operator.

Hollywood's Highest Paid Actresses

The Hollywood Reporter has announced its fifth annual actress salary list, a report of what the top leading ladies pocketed this year.

Guess, Hot Topic Post Solid Month

Los Angeles area apparel retailers Guess? Inc. and Hot Topic Inc. reported solid sales for the month of November Thursday.

Impco Gets $6 Million Order from State

Fuel Systems Solutions Inc. said it has received orders worth $6 million from the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board.

Kerkorian Selling More GM Shares

Dissident General Motors Corp. shareholder Kirk Kerkorian is selling another 14 million shares in the troubled automaker, dropping his stake by a third to 4.95 percent for a price of just over $400 million.

Intuit to Buy Digital Insight

Intuit Inc. said Thursday that it has agreed to buy Internet banking services provider Digital Insight Corp. for $1.35 billion in cash.

Toyota Trys to Keep Hybrid Tax Credits

Toyota North American President Jim Press urged Congress on Wednesday to extend federal tax credits for hybrid vehicles and accelerate its buying of hybrids and alternative fleet vehicles to help address energy concerns.

Wednesday, November 29

NBC Weighs Restructuring in Burbank

Two weeks after a major management shake-up at NBC Universal's New York headquarters, Jeff Zucker, the company's top television executive, is considering a reorganization of the entertainment division in Burbank, three executives close to the situation sa

Northrop Expects its Insight to Pay

Leveraging its experience with the B-2 bomber, Northrop Grumman expects a steady flow of income for many years.

THQ Signs Deal With Microsoft

THQ Inc. said that one of its subsidiaries signed an agreement with Microsoft Game Studios to be the exclusive U.S. distribution partner for Windows-based PC products.

Disney Ups Dividend

Walt Disney Co. will boost its annual dividend by 15 percent to 31 cents a share, the biggest jump in eight years.

DirecTV Goes After Dish Customers

DirecTV Group Inc. is taking advantage of a recent court ruling by offering certain Dish Network customers $150 to switch satellite TV providers.

Revver Inks Verizon Deal

Verizon Wireless said Wednesday that it has signed a deal with Revver.com to offer Web-based content via the carrier & #700;s V-Cast video service

Universal Sees MySpace Settlement

Doug Morris, chief executive officer of Universal Music Group, the world's largest music company, said on Tuesday he expects to reach a settlement with MySpace, which the company sued for copyright infringement.

Ecuador's President Ready to Deal

Recent Ecuadorian President-elect Rafael Correa said he will seek a bigger chunk of oil profits from foreign energy companies when he takes office.

Tuesday, November 28

Baja Fresh Sale Completed

Wendy's International Inc. has completed the sale of its struggling Baja Fresh Mexican Grill chain.

Abraxis Wins Approval for Unasyn

Drug developer Abraxis Biosciences Inc. has added to its large portfolio of generic drugs with U.S. regulatory approval of its generic version of Unasyn, a treatment for bacterial infections.

Tribune Co. Rejects Consortium Inquiry

The Tribune Co., which has put its 11 newspapers and 25 television stations up for sale, is not ready to consider bids for individual properties, the company said in an e-mail exchange with a Baltimore investor group.

Tenet Healthcare COO Stepping Down

Tenet Healthcare Corp., the nation's second-largest hospital operator, said Tuesday that its chief operating officer, Reynold J. Jennings, is stepping down and will be succeeded on Jan. 1 by the head of its California hospitals.

Semtech Avoids Delisting

Semtech Corp. said late Monday that a Nasdaq panel has postponed a decision to delist its shares because of its inability to file financial reports as the company reviews its stock option practices.

Pentadyne Receives Defense Order

Pentadyne Power Corp. said Tuesday that it received a follow-on order for 46 of its flywheel power storage systems from Beaver Aerospace & Defense Inc.

Albertsons Stores Sold Again

Albertsons grocery stores in Northern California were sold Monday for the second time in less than a year, demonstrating the turmoil that continues to grip the supermarket industry.

Hilton in Indian Joint Venture

Hilton Hotels Corp. said Tuesday that it will create a joint venture company in India with DLF Limited to develop and own 75 hotels and apartments over the next seven years.

Tribune Co. Sale Delayed

Any sale of the Tribune Co. or its major assets, including the Los Angeles Times, will not take place until next year, the Chicago media company announced Tuesday.

Primedex Changes Name, Eyes Nasdaq

Diagnostic imaging center operator Primedex Health Systems Inc. has changed it name to RadNet Inc. following completion of an acquisition and amid efforts to move to the Nasdaq.

Monday, November 27

On the Rights Track

Auditude Inc. is a tiny Los Angeles company whose founders say their software can clear up the question of copyright infringement on the Internet.

L.A. Voters Sent Signal on Urgency of Providing More Affordable Housing

The results of state and local measures show that L.A. voters have understood that affordable housing is a crucial issue in the city, according to Peter Dreier.

Java Jumps

Snowboard manufacturer Dave Lee is branching out into coffee.

Mayor Signs Living Wage Ordinance

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Monday signed a package of ordinances requiring operators of a dozen hotels near Los Angeles International Airport to pay their workers the city's living wage.

Marketing Jewish Cemetery Services Poses a Challenge

A new campaign by the Jewish-oriented Mount Sinai Memorial Parks & Mortuaries features a billboard showing a lox-covered bagel and sushi rolls

Heavy Duty

Ironclad Performance Wear Corp. is considered to have created the performance work glove category, launching a line that has grown to more than 32 models.

MannKind to Test Cancer Drug

MannKind Corp. said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared the Valencia-based drug developer to begin human testing for one of its cancer drugs.

California Science Center Getting Set for New Software

At the California Science Center in downtown L.A., exhibits on such natural curiosities as the radar-guided flying rodents will be easier to administer thanks to a donation from Microsoft Corp.

End of Silicone Ban Gives a Lift to Cosmetic Surgeons

Southern California's huge cosmetic surgery industry breathed a collective sigh of relief after the U.S. Food & Drug Administration recently lifted its ban on widespread cosmetic use of silicone breast implants.

Green Monsters

The L. A. Auto Show design challenge offers eco-friendly car concepts, from the kooky to the conceivable.

Game Developers See Lower Cost as Win for Nintendo

Nintendo Inc.'s new Wii console could, however along with its lower price make the simpler, more intuitive player every bit as popular as its rivals and even expand the audience for gaming.

Newsmakers/Kudos

Hirings, promotions and honors.

Countrywide Expands Insurance Coverage

Countrywide Financial Corp. said it will begin to offer auto insurance coverage to consumers in the state of Illinois.

The Toy Conspiracy

Charles Crumpley doesn't believe in conspiracy theories, but he does believe that marketers create the shortages of high-demand toys.

Plan for Housing, Track and Runway Is Gaining Speed

Beverly Hills-based Unlimited Speed plans a Georgia housing development featuring an auto racing track, and wants to launch a similar California project.

Camarillo Funeral Home Sold

Carriage Services Inc., a Houston-based funeral service provider, is moving into the Southern California market with its acquisition of a Camarillo funeral home.

Regional Report

Regional business news from around Los Angeles County.

He's Got a License to Kill, They've Got a License to Sue

Partners Susan Allison and Marc Marmaro represented MGM Pictures in its bid to prevent Sony Corp. from launching its own Bond film series in 1999.

Wholly Cow

Some L.A. restaurants are betting that their customers are ready for organic steak. But a number of local chefs are skeptical.

Bally's Paging Playmates for Vegas Slots Gig

Playboy Enterprises Inc. has cut a deal with Bally's Technologies Inc. to bring its Playmates to Las Vegas.

Birds of a Feather Can Make Money If They Fly Faster

A pigeon racing convention took place at a La Mirada Holiday Inn and featured an auction of surprisingly pricey birds.

The Rise Of Ron Burkle

Forbes magazines sits down with the Los Angeles-based billionaire and tries to fond out why do so many people have so much scorn for Ronald Burkle?

Council Considering a Hike in Tobacco Retailer Permit Fee

The city of Los Angeles is considering raising its tobacco retailer permit fee to fund the hiring of more inspectors to crack down on the sale of tobacco products to minors.

Downtown Condo Project Shelved

High construction costs and the housing market slowdown are forcing developers to shrink or shelve their downtown condominium projects.

Smart & Final Stock Rises as Majority Owner Considers Sale

Smart & Final shares are rising over speculation that the majority owner could sell it while Gelson's star is rising on the strength of upscale supermarkets.

Their Space

Gorilla Nation Media has become a dominant player in sales of online advertising.

Investment Group Scoops Up Deal With Yogurt Flavor

The Pinkberry yogurt craze is now influencing real estate deals.

Warner, Disney Sign Deal

Warner Music Group Corp. said it has signed an agreement with Walt Disney Music Publishing to gain the rights for some songs written for Disney movies for distribution in Europe and South America.

Vote Notes

Democratic control of the House and the Senate might not bring significant impacts to the business community, but it does mean that the party will have to govern from the center, writes Susan Estrich.

Times Could Get A Kick in the Ads

Several major advertisers are looking for rate cuts on display advertising in the Los Angeles Times because of the swoon in daily readership.

Gift List

Entertainment Earth has issued its list of the year's coolest holiday presents. Do you like Marvin the Martian?

Movies Outdraw '05 Box Office

Big crowds for "Happy Feet," "Casino Royale" and the new Denzel Washington thriller "Deja Vu" propelled Hollywood to a solid holiday weekend, helping the industry maintain its box-office upswing from 2005.

Korn/Ferry Survives With Hire Education

Korn/Ferry International has not only recovered from the post 9/11 slump, but it's taken steps to broaden its business model.

Wednesday, November 22

Former K2 CEO Forester Dies at 78

Bernard "Bif" Forester, former chief executive of sporting goods manufacturer K2 Inc., died Sunday after battling prostate cancer. He was 78.

Grappling with the 'Mel factor'

Even before Mel Gibson's drunken, anti-Semitic tirade this summer, his upcoming film "Apocalypto" was a tough sell.

Northrop Wins Army Contract

Northrop Grumman Corp. said that one of its subsidiaries was awarded a U.S. Army contract worth $23.6 million.

THQ Gets Delisting Notice

THQ Inc. said Wednesday that it has received a delisting notice from the Nasdaq.

Kerkorian Seeks to Boosts MGM Stake

Billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian said he plans to offer $55 a share in cash for up to 15 million shares of MGM Mirage.

Tuesday, November 21

Mattel Recalls Dolls

Mattel Inc. is recalling 2.4 million Polly Pocket dolls and accessories because tiny magnets inside the toys can be swallowed by young children, the Consumer Produce Safety Commission said Tuesday.

Traffic at Ports Reaches Record Pace

Imports at the Port of Los Angeles in October were just below September's levels, but by two other measures exports and total container volume the port set records for the month.

Sam Zell: A Question of Timing

The real estate billionaire is selling Equity Office Properties Trust to Blackstone Group for $36 billion. But is he cashing out too early?

Disney, Comcast Reach Programming Deal

Walt Disney Co. and Comcast Corp are reportedly close to an agreement that would place Disney programming on Comcast's video-on-demand cable service.

Bank of America Ruling Overturned

A California appeals court overturned Tuesday a $1.6 billion judgment against Bank of America Corp. that had ordered the bank to pay back overdraft fees taken from the accounts of senior citizens.

Mattel Alleges Bratz Design Stolen

Mattel Inc. is accusing MGA Entertainment Inc. of stealing plans for the wildly popular Bratz line of dolls from the 60-year old toymaker.

Disney Inks Deal With Payless

Walt Disney Co. said Tuesday that it has signed an agreement for exclusive branded children's footwear to be made and sold by Payless ShoeSource Inc.

Comcast Nears Pact With Disney

Cable giant Comcast Corp. is about to land a deal with Walt Disney Co. for such shows as "Desperate Housewives" and "World News with Charles Gibson," people familiar with the matter say.

Monday, November 20

4. Kern Organization Inc.

After getting a chance to work with Microsoft, this 25-year old direct marketing and response advertising agency took off.

9. Eforcity Corp.

Integrated e-commerce Web site retailer of accessories for electronic devices.

Disney's Tough Hong Kong Ride

The Hong Kong experience has raised questions about Disneyland's ability to operate effectively in the Chinese culture.

13. Amigo's Flooring Monster

Flooring and carpet retail warehouses.

KB Urban Project Draws Attention After CEO's Exit

Could plans for L.A.'s convention center hotel be upended by the sudden departure of KB Home's Chief Executive Bruce Karatz?

He Specializes in Financing Affordable Housing in L.A.

Scott Shea

Companies Taking Buyouts Drop Off List in Search of Greener Pastures

Each year the Business Journal identifies 100 of the fastest growing privately held companies in the region. Fifty-six companies managed to make the list again this year while just 27 companies have made the list for three consecutive years.

Liquefied Natural Gas Will Help Meet California's Energy Needs

Liquefied natural gas can help Southern California meet its fuel needs, according to Hank Lacayo, Jaime Rojas and Jim Conran.

Businesses Planning Referendum to Block Living Wage

Caught off guard by the push to extend L.A.'s living wage ordinance to airport hotels, business interests are gearing up for a ballot box showdown.

Hansen in Danger of Delisting

Hansen Natural Corp. said Monday that it received a letter from Nasdaq saying the company is in danger of having its stock delisted because it had yet to file its quarterly report for the quarter ending Sept. 30.

Blue Holding Executive Says Company Can Turn Around

Blue Holdings Inc. investors had to be feeling a little blue in the wake of the $400,000 third-quarter loss the company posted last week.

Deck the Malls

A sluggish housing market and rising interest rates shouldn't dampen local retailers' holiday cheer.

6. Odesus Inc.

Information technology staffing and consulting firm.

14. Fraser Communications

Communication and advertising agency.

Car Sales Off in 2006

Car sales in the state of California are expected to drop in 2006 for the first time since 2003, according to a recent report.

Success Can Be An Elusive Thing.

Hollywood is making an unprecedented effort to reach America's faith-based audience.

IHOP to Pay Back Taxes

IHOP Corp. said last week that it has settled a dispute with the Internal Revenue Service over its federal income taxes spanning 2000 to 2003, agreeing to pay $11 million in taxes and interest.

Qubo Wants Some Ad Dollars Now That It Has Kiddie Crowd

In the mature broadcast TV industry, Qubo Ventures ranks as kid's stuff. But there's nothing small about the children network's recent ratings numbers.

Regional Report

Fox, TV Guide in Deal

Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. said Monday that TV Guide Online signed an agreement to syndicate its program listings grids to a handful of Fox Interactive Media Web sites and channels, as well as 25 local Fox affiliates.

Amgen Looks to Asia for Testing Opportunities, Partners

Amgen Inc., already considered the world's largest biotech, is now deepening its footprint in Asia.

3. Oversee.net

High-tech media company that provides search engine optimization, advertiser-sponsored consumer portals and data-driven Web site optimization.

Feel for Deals

Banking veteran Lloyd Greif helps companies go public by giving them advice they don't want to hear.

5. SCI Real Estate Investments LLC

Commercial real estate investment and acquisition specializing in tenant-in-common and 1031 (tax deferred) deals.

A Bounty of The Successful

When Charles Crumpley looks at the Business Journal's list of fastest growing private companies, he sees L.A.'s economic bounty.

Re-Jigged Gig

The Gig, a popular Melrose Avenue rock venue, has a promotional partnership with radio station Indie 103.1.

Karatz Resigns from Edison Board

Former KB Home Chairman and Chief Executive Bruce Karatz quit his position as a director on the board of Edison International, the Rosemead utility company said Monday.

Condo Limits Won't Dent Pricey Rents

L.A. apartment rents are already high, but experts say they may go higher.

2. Strix Systems

Manufacturer of modular wireless Internet mesh networks, which compete against cable-based systems.

Newsmakers

Hirings, promotions and honors.

Cornerstone Plaza Sale Shows Strength of Westside Market

Despite losing tenants to Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles, the Westside market remains strong at least by the measure of a recent building sale.

L.A. Shouldn't Become a Haven for Low-Road Employers

L.A. shouldn't become a haven for low-wage employers, writes Vivian Rothstein of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy.

Boom Spelled Big Bucks for Downtown Property Experts

Real estate firm Major Properties has hit downtown pay dirt.

15. Caden Concepts

Descriptions of the challenges faced by successful L.A. companies and the opportunities they seized.

It's One Thing to Grow Fast, It's Another to Keep It Going

Five examples of businesses that have sustained high growth over the years.

TV Phone Home

The Democrats won Congress and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger earned a second term, but they weren't the only ones celebrating big wins in the recent elections.

8. Exaktime Inc.

Provides battery-powered time clocks to construction sites.

10. Kurtzman Carson Consultants

Administrative-support services and technology solutions for corporate restructurings, mergers & acquisitions, litigation matters and class action proceedings.

Study: Online Job Demand Soars

Online job demand in Los Angeles rose to its highest level in seven months in October, driven by construction and building maintenance jobs, according to Monster Worldwide's monthly index.

Private Equity's Leading Role

The faces are familiar, and the names are too -- but the money to fund some films in Hollywood is coming from a new place: private equity firms.

12. DLC Inc.

Project-focused finance and accounting consulting firm.

7. Athena Engineering Inc.

A general contractor that specializes in construction management, building automation systems and mechanical HVAC systems.

PST's Shares Surge on Deal

Shares of safety surgical products maker Patient Safety Technologies Inc. more than doubled Monday on news that medical supply giant Cardinal Health Inc. had signed a three-year national distribution agreement for its patented Safety Sponge System.

11. Zorbit Resources

Design, branding and packaging for the beauty and cosmetic industry.

Frustrated Sterling Could Abandon

Donald Sterling is considering killing the homeless center he wants to build in Skid Row.

Hospitals Hope D.A. Hasn't Derailed Dumping Solution

Those who are trying to keep homeless patients from being dumped on Skid Row are still hoping for a private sector solution to the problem.

Blackstone to Buy Equity Office

Private-equity firm Blackstone Group agreed to buy Equity Office Properties Trust, the nation's largest publicly traded office-building owner and manager, for about $19 billion.

L.A. Health Costs Still Outpacing Inflation

L.A. businesses won't get any relief in 2007 when it comes to the costs of employee health care.

Van Nuys Airport Plays Lead Role

Van Nuys Airport will transform its newly renovated Syncro Hangar into a 1,000-seat theater and aviation museum on Dec. 2 for a special screening of "One Six Right," a documentary about the airport.

SEIU's Strategy Clears Way for L.A. Guards to Unionize

The Service Employee International Union's strategy of targeting an industry, rather than a company, has proven successful in Los Angeles.

Success Stories

It requires agility, foresight and luck. Executives explain how they hit the sweet spot.

Hollywood Reclaims Its Audience

The movie business climbed its way out of a dismal pattern of declining audience to more solid footing in 2006.

Cheesecake Probe to Cost $5 Million

Cheesecake Factory Inc. said Monday in a statement that the stock options probe it is conducting will cost the company $5.5 million after taxes.

Business Web Site Taking On Some Additional Work.com

Santa Monica-based Internet company Business.com has launched Work.com, a Web designed to help the nation's more than 25 million small business owners run their operations.

Friday, November 17

Edison Signs Power Deal

Southern California Edison said Thursday that it has entered into an agreement to buy power for use during peak summer hours.

Wage Bill Hurts Business, Leaders Warn

Los Angeles' business image, already battered by high costs and other problems, will suffer further because of the City Council's plan to require airport hotels to pay a "living wage," business leaders and some economists said.

L.A. Investment Firm Buys David's Bridal

Federated Department Stores Inc. said Friday it will sell its Bridal Group division in two separate transactions, totaling $850 million.

Target, Disney Locked in Fight

Target Corp. took action against Walt Disney Co. Friday to try and pressure the entertainment company to lower prices for DVD movies, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Universal Sues to Shut Down MySpace

Universal Music Group has filed a lawsuit against MySpace.com of Santa Monica asking that the popular site be shut down for allegedly encouraging users to violate copyrights.

An Awful October for Housing Starts

The U.S. housing slump appears to be deepening based on a government report released Nov. 17.

Nielsen to Offer On-Demand Service

Nielsen Media Research said Thursday it will begin measuring on-demand videos to give programmers a way to gauge the shows' performance.

L.A. Job Figures Strong

Seasonal teacher hiring and robust job growth in the professional and business services sector had the L.A. County economy roaring in October.

MySpace Developing Copyright Protection

MySpace.com said Friday that it is launching a tool that promises to protect copyright holders on the popular social networking site.

Blog Entrepreneur Leaves AOL

Jason Calacanis, the outspoken blogger and entrepreneur who ran AOL's Netscape division, resigned on Thursday in the wake of the firing of AOL's chief executive, Jonathan Miller.

MySpace Exec Out At Fox

The executive who arranged the purchase of MySpace for News Corp. has updated his profile.

Thursday, November 16

Who Will Tune In Tribune's TV?

What do Jennifer Aniston, Sarah Jessica Parker and Ray Romano have in common with the Tribune company? Many, many dollars.

Tetra Tech Posts Record Profit

Tetra Tech Inc. posted a record profit for the fourth quarter thanks to increased government spending and an 80 percent jump in revenue from Asia.

Hot Topic Profit, Sales Up for 3Q

Despite a sharp decline in same store sales for the quarter, Hot Topic Inc. reported strong third quarter numbers bolstered by solid performance from the company's newest stores.

California Unfriendly to Entrepreneurs

South Dakota, Nevada, and Wyoming are the most entrepreneur-friendly states while California ranked No. 49 out of 50 in a new survey by the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

Northrop Wins Coast Guard Contract

Northrop Grumman Corp. said Thursday that it won a contract to develop a detection and warning system for the U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center.

Clear Channel Agrees to $18.7B Buyout

Clear Channel Communications Inc., the nation's biggest radio station owner, said Thursday it has agreed to be acquired for about $18.7 billion by an investment group.

Workers' Comp Fund Directors Quit

Two directors of the State Compensation Insurance Fund have resigned amid concerns about possible conflicts of interest, the board chairwoman said Wednesday.

Murdoch, Malone Stock Swap Nears

The billion-dollar swap between media moguls is close to taking place, News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch told investors.

Wednesday, November 15

Image Posts Wider Losses

Image Entertainment Inc. reported a second quarter net loss of $3.8 million (-18 cents per share) a big increase over a loss of $613,000) (-3 cents) for the same period a year earlier.

Times Debate Rages in Chandler Family

Lackluster bidding for the Tribune Co., parent of the Los Angeles Times, has sparked a debate among family members of the newspaper's former owner about whether to launch their own bid for the company, the paper reported Tuesday.

Blue Holdings Posts Loss

Blue Holdings Inc. reported a third quarter net loss of $400,000 (-2 cents per share), a drastic decrease from a profit of $2.4 million (9 cents) for the same period a year earlier.

First Consulting President Resigns

First Consulting Group Inc. said Tuesday that its President and board member Steven Heck resigned effective immediately.

Comcast Readies for E! Purchase

Comcast Corp. sold $1.5 billion of bonds to refinance its debt, leading to speculation that the nation's largest cable provider may buy out the Walt Disney Co.'s stake in its E! Entertainment Television subsidiary.

Herbalife to Move Downtown

Herbalife Ltd. is moving to downtown Los Angeles in a boost to the L.A. Live development next to the Staples Center.

Icahn Buys 4 million Hilton Shares

Billionaire Carl Icahn acquired a 1 percent stake in Hilton Hotels Corp. Tuesday, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Tribune Shareholders Raise Stake

Some of the largest shareholders in Tribune Co. bought more stock in the third quarter, betting on a higher share price, as speculation swirls about the future of the media giant, the Los Angeles Times reports.

FDA Approves High-Dose Treatment

Radiation therapy products developer North American Scientific Inc. said Tuesday that the U.S Food and Drug Administration has approved a high-dose radiation version of its ClearPath breast cancer treatment.

Bell Industries Buys Telecom, Posts Loss

Verizon Communications Inc. will sell most of the assets of SkyTel Corp. to Bell Industries Inc. for $23 million, Bell Industries said in a release

Ralphs Grocery Chain Put on Probation

Ralphs Grocery Co. was formally sentenced Tuesday after paying $70 million to hundreds of workers it llegedly hired under fake names during a 2003-2004 grocery strike and lockout.

Dream Works Partnership to Dissolve

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. said in a filing Wednesday that investors, including Paul Allen and Viacom Inc., will sell $330 million of shares in an offering that will dilute the controlling partnership of the movie studio.

Chad Therapeutics Posts Loss

Chad Therapeutics Inc. on Tuesday said pricing pressure from competitors of its line of oxygen conservers and related therapeutic devices for pulmonary patients contributed to a drop in revenue and a larger net loss in its second quarter.

SEIU Reaches Security Guard Pact

Downtown building owners reach an agreement with the Service Employees International Union allowing security guards to unionize without interference.

Tarrant Profit, Sales Dip

Tarrant Apparel Group reported third quarter net loss of $25.4 million (83 cents per share), a big decrease from a $1.7 million profit (6 cents) from the same period a year earlier.

City Approves Living Wage Measure

The Los Angeles City Council gave initial approval Wednesday to a package of ordinances requiring hotels along the Century Corridor near Los Angeles International Airport to pay their workers a living wage.

Tuesday, November 14

Mayor Announces Housing Deal

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will announce Tuesday morning a public-private partnership to create middle-income housing developments in the Los Angeles area, the Mayor's office said in a release Monday night.

Skechers Signs Brand Deal with Avirex

Skechers USA Inc. said Tuesday that it has entered into a licensing agreement to design, develop and market Avirex Ltd.-branded footwear in the United States and international markets.

CSC Signs Deal with Mining Co.

Computer Sciences Corp. said Tuesday that it has signed a seven-year deal with New York-based Newmont Mining Corp. to provided information technology management services to the mining giant.

California Joins Push for Energy Savings

California and 13 states announced an agreement with the federal government that will require tougher energy-saving standards on household appliances sold nationwide.

Napster Sings Cell Deal in Portugal

Napster Inc. has signed a deal to provide mobile content for cellular phones to Portuguese cellular operator TMN.

Economy to Slow in '07

The state's economy will slow in 2007, with booming trade and looming real estate woes pulling at each other, according to the latest forecast.

San Francisco Bows Out of Olympics Bid

Los Angeles and Chicago are now the only remaining U.S. candidates to host the 2016 Summer Olympics after San Francisco abandoned its bid Monday.

Jacobs to Build Windtunnel for NASCAR

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. said Tuesday that it has received a contract from Wind Shear Inc. to design and construct a motor-sports wind tunnel to test full-scale NASCAR race cars.

Monday, November 13

Get Down, Dogg

Rapper Snoop Dogg has teamed with Malibu-based toy manufacturer Jakks Pacific Inc. to launch the Snoop Dogg Pet Products line featuring dog toys, apparel and accessories inspired by the iconic Doggfather.

Live Nation Sells Another Sports Business

Live Nation said Monday that it has sold its European SFX Sports Group to Wasserman Media Group. In a deal that officially closed Nov. 9, the Los Angeles-based company said.

Big Media Throws Hat in for Tribune

The Tribune Co. has received offers from a handful of big media bidders for all or part of the company, according to reports Monday.

Karatz, Others Out Due to Options

KB Home announced late Sunday that Chairman and Chief Executive Bruce Karatz is retiring after an internal investigation uncovered errors in the company's accounting of stock option grants.

Bids Are Expected for Radio Giant

Two consortiums of private equity firms are expected to submit final bids today for Clear Channel Communications, the nation's largest radio company, worth about $18 billion, according to people involved in the auction.

Executives Struggle to Keep Up As Technology Keeps Moving

Feel like you're having a tough time figuring out what all the new technological developments like Blu-Ray DVDs, streaming cell phone content and satellite video-on-demand really mean to you as a consumer?

Booze, Fights? It's Holiday Party Time

Increasingly concerned about combining staff members with alcohol, dancing and mistletoe, litigation-wary companies are toning down their annual bashes.

Crown Prince

Bill Dorfman, a regular on the ABC series "Extreme Makeover" as well as a best-selling author, may be the closest thing the dental industry has to a sex symbol. He's also founder of a local company that may go public next year.

Affordable Housing Bond's Narrow Loss Curbs L.A. Euphoria

Last week's voting results left California's business community beaming, but some Los Angeles County setbacks reined in the euphoria.

KB's Karatz Exits Over Stock Options

KB Home Chairman and Chief Executive Bruce Karatz is retiring after an internal investigation uncovered errors in the company's accounting of stock option grants.

Clothes Made Abroad Create L.A. Jobs

Barry Forman is using the apparel industry's dependency on foreign labor to build a successful business in Los Angeles.

Jean Guru's Design Secrets Won't Come Out in Wash

Adriano Goldschmied, who developed several top brands of jeans, has spent $1.2 million to build a laundry to keep his designs out of sight of his competitors.

Starz to Open L.A. Studio

Starz LLC said Monday that it is starting a movie studio that will make eight to 12 feature-length films a year.

Boeing C17s Spread Wings

The first of at least 12 C-17 cargo planes on order by international customers made its first flights last week at Boeing Co. production facilities in Long Beach.

Capital Research Dumping GM Stock

General Motors Corp.'s second-largest stockholder has sold 13.4 million of the company's shares since the end of June.

Friday, November 10

Lion's Gate Reviewing Image Options

After another quarter of sub-par earnings, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. said it is evaluating what to do with its stake in Image Entertainment Inc.

Disney's Profit Doubles for 4Q

Bolstered by a big year at the box office and a solid performance from all of its other units, Walt Disney Co. sees fourth quarter profit more than double.

Countrywide to Become Thrift Bank

Countrywide Financial Corp. said Friday that it has notified regulators of its plans to apply for a federal savings bank charter, essentially making the company a savings and loan.

Clash of Cultures Highlight Times' Woes

L.A. and Chicago newspapers are riven by a big debate over process and purpose.

Revver in Cable Partnership

Revver, Inc. said Friday that it will provide videos to United Kindom TV channel Fame TV, a YouTube-like cable channel that shows only user-generated content.

Thursday, November 9

Northrop Buys Intelligence Co.

Northrop Grumman Corp. has agreed to buy Columbia, Md.-based intelligence company Essex Corp. for about $551.5 million.

CPK Posts Higher Sales but Shares Dip

California Pizza Kitchen Inc. reported increased profit but cut back its fourth quarter outlook causing its shares to lose more than 4 percent.

Lions Gate Profit Down, Revenue Up

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. released third quarter earnings that saw profits dip despite an increase in revenues, but shares in the company still took a hit.

Napster Narrows Loss

Napster Inc. narrowed its loss Thursday thanks to a bump in subscribers and Web traffic, but shares slumped despite beating Wall Street estimates.

Trio-Tech Profit Up

Strong sales helped profits quadruple for Trio-Tech International.

Crown Names New CFO

Crown Media Holdings Inc. said Thursday that Brian Stewart was appointed the company's new chief financial officer effective immediately.

Wednesday, November 8

Entravision Maintains Earnings

Entravision Communications Corp. said Wednesday that it has completed an assessment of the accounting regarding its Dallas radio assets and will not have to restate its second quarter earrings.

Video Game Sales Boost Vivendi

French communications group Vivendi S.A. reported flat third-quarter revenue growth that missed estimates but was helped by surging sales of the company's Los Angeles-based video game division.

What the Election Means for Business

The Republican Revolution that took Capitol Hill by storm 12 years ago but suffered a stunning reversal on Tuesday. What's in store for business?

DirecTV 3Q Profit Up 290%

DirecTV Group Inc.'s third-quarter profit soared thanks to higher revenue and a lower rate of customer defection.

City Council Delays Living Wage Debate

After two hours of heated testimony and debate, the Los Angeles City Council decided to put off consideration for a week of controversial living wage and worker retention ordinances for hotels near Los Angeles International Airport.

Democrats Gain in State Races

Democrats were doing well Tueaday night, with John Garamendi, Debra Bowen, John Chiang and Bill Lockyer among the winners. Republican Steve Poizner was an eary winner in the race for insurance commissioner.

Broad, Burkle Bid For Times

Billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad and supermarket mogul Ron Burkle have teamed up to submit a surprise bid to buy out the company that owns the Los Angeles Times and KTLA Channel 5.

eHarmony Appoints CEO

The Internet dating site eHarmony said Wednesday that Gregory Waldorf has been appointed chief executive after serving on an interim basis in the position since March.

Federated Posts 3Q Loss of $3 Million

Federated Department Stores Inc., owner of the Macy's and Bloomingdale's chains, said it lost $3 million in the third quarter due mostly to costs related to its acquisition of May Department Stores.

Business Wins in Election

California's business community won a sweeping victory in Tuesday's statewide elections, with the governor's race and virtually every measure on the ballot breaking its way.

Molina Reports Strong Earnings

Managed care provider Molina Healthcare Inc. reported third-quarter net income that was nearly double over a year ago.

KB Gets Extension Approval

KB Home said Tuesday that it had received consent from a majority of its long-term bond holders to delay release until Feb. 23 of its third quarter earnings.

Tuesday, November 7

International Aluminum Post Profit

International Aluminum Corp. reported an 80 percent jump in profit and higher sales for the first quarter sending shares up Monday.

Homestore Executive Fined $2.6 Million

Peter B. Tafeen, a former top executive of Homestore.com Inc., has agreed to pay a $2.6 million fine to resolve charges that he defrauded shareholders by inflating the company's advertising revenues.

Hot Topic Faces Options Lawsuit

Some executive officers and members of the board of directors of Hot Topic Inc. were named Monday in a lawsuit over the company's option practices, a New York-based law firm announced.

MySpace to Go to Asia in Joint Venture

News Corp. and Japan's Softbank Corp. announced plans Tuesday to bring MySpace, the popular Internet social networking site, to Asia.

Sport Chalet Has Solid Quarter

Sport Chalet reported second quarter net income of $1.7 million (12 cents per share), a big improvement from the $5.1 million (-38 cents) net loss from the same period a year earlier.

L.A. Times Editor Steps Down

Los Angeles Times editor Dean Baquet will leave the paper under pressure from the newspaper's owner and disputes over cost-cutting measures.

OSI Posts Loss

OSI Systems Inc. reported first quarter net loss of $6 million (-36 cents per share) up from a $4.2 million loss (-26 cents) for the same period a year earlier.

Herbalife Reports Higher Sales

Herbalife Ltd. shares surged after the company reported higher sales.

Disney to Develop In-House Games

Walt Disney Co. said Tuesday that it is creating a video-game studio to make titles exclusively for Nintendo Co.

YouBet Posts Loss, Increased Sales

YouBet.com Inc. reported a third quarter loss of $400,000 (-1 cent per share), down from a profit of $1.8 million (5 cents) for the same period a year earlier.

Northrop Awarded Naval Contract

Northrop Grumman Corp. said Tuesday that it has been awarded a $1.45 billion contract to build and develop new San Antonio-class ships for the U.S. Navy.

Vitesse Vows to Become Profitable

Vesse Semiconductor Corp. reassured investors that the company was headed in the right direction during a conference call Monday, even though it has not made quarterly earnings reports since the beginning of the year.

Iris Files Extension for 3Q Earnings

Iris International Inc. said Monday that it will file a five-day extension with the Securities and Exchange Commission because the company needs more time to file its third quarter results.

Monday, November 6

Salem Revenue Rises

Salem Communications Corp. reported third quarter net income of $1.5 million (6 cents per share), a 58 percent drop from $3.4 million (13 cents) from the same period a year earlier. The earnings were off largely because of a $3.6 million loss the company

Drink Up

Wine shops are popping their corks all over Los Angeles as sommeliers try to pass on their passion for potables to a new generation.

Pyramid Power?

Download company BurnLounge Inc. has quickly become one of the music industry's hottest acts, ignited by an Internet version of multi-level marketing.

Cache Money

Snapse Inc., a Los Angeles media and editing exchange system with Russian roots, is attempting to carve a niche in Internet archiving.

As Spinach Fears Subside, Lawsuits Against Dole Don't

Dole Food Co. faces a battle with Nicaraguan field workers, who have filed 570 suits claiming exposure to a toxic pesticide.

Bright Spot

Ultraviolet Devices Inc. makes filters that can be installed in heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems to disinfect the air.

CBRE's Trammell Crow Deal Represents Shift in Strategy

CB Richard Ellis Group Inc.'s pending purchase of real estate management company Trammell Crow Co. has rivals talking.

Times Are Tough for Suburban Papers, Too

ot only are big newspapers suffering, but smaller newspapers comprising the Los Angeles Newspaper Group sustained an 8.2 percent average decline in circulation.

Patient Safety Technologies Considers Selling SurgiCount

Patient Safety Technologies Inc. is considering an unsolicited buyout offer for its potentially most profitable unit.

Reward Hard Work and Good Results, but Not Just for the Executive Class

Executive pay isn't necessarily linked to financial results, writes Paul Tepper and even if it were, other hardworking folks should get a bigger share of the wealth.

Lowered Expectations Make Hot Topic Stock Look Hotter

Wall Street seemed to go out of its way to see the silver lining on the dark clouds over City of Industry-based clothing manufacturer and retailer Hot Topic Inc.

Cooler Properties?

A new reality show follows sales of multi-million dollar homes to celebrities. But can the VH1 program withstand the real estate downturn?

Murdoch: MySpace in Japan a Possibility

News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch said that a joint venture with Japan's Softbank Corp. to bring the popular Internet social-networking site MySpace to Japan was "a possibility."

City National: Import-Export Strategy Shows New Direction

Rising interest rates and a softening housing sector have taken some wind out of the sails of City National Corp., the largest independent bank company in L.A.

City National Wants to Be More Than 'Bank of the Stars'

Rising interest rates and a softening housing sector have taken some wind out of the sails of City National Corp., the largest independent bank company in L.A.

How Much Is Too Much?

Chief executives get big bucks because there are few people with their talent and experience, according to Ted Balaker of the Reason Foundation.

Playing the Field

David Carter has become the leading expert on sports business in Los Angeles, with a consultancy, a professorship at USC, a private equity firm and a speaker series.

Investors Check Out Prospects of Companies With Sales to China

RedChip Cos. Inc. brought its road show to town, promoting 25 microcap stocks, most of them doing business in China.

Mercury Shares Soar

Despite slipping profits and the departure of its founder and chief executive, shares of Mercury General Corp. surged more than 7 percent on its third quarter earnings.

He's Ready to Get Down to Business

Gary Toebben, the new president of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce discusses the school district other topics of concern to the business community.

Disney Gets India Cable Channel

Walt Disney Co. said Monday that it has reached a deal with India to invest $31 million to own and operate an entertainment channel in the country.

Investors Race to Place $40 Million Bet on Spot Runner

Spot Runner Inc., the Los Angeles-based online ad agency, has secured a $40 million equity investment from a group of ad and media companies.

Teledyne Gets Extension from Boeing

Teledyne Technologies Inc. said Monday that it has been awarded a $47 million extension of its ground-based midcourse defense contract from Boeing Co.

Roller Derby Skaters Come Back in Style

Players with names such as Wanna Beatin and Tara Armoff wheel around the rink as women's roller derby makes a comeback in L.A.

$500 Million in Ad Spending Breaks the Record for Elections

Candidates and political groups have purchased more than $500 million worth of advertising in California during this election season.

Hollywood Puts the Squeeze on Talent

In a recent trip to New York City, Russell Crowe was asked by reporters why he had dropped out of negotiations to star in a new movie being directed by Baz Luhrmann and produced by 20th Century Fox.

3D to Delay Earnings

3D Systems Corp. said Monday that it will have to restate its financial statements for the first and second quarters of 2006 and postpone its third-quarter 2006 earnings release following the discovery of several accounting errors.

True Religion Footwear

True Religion Apparel Inc. said Monday that it has signed a licensing agreement that will put its brand on footwear, headwear, scarves and gloves.

Regional Report

News from around the L.A. area.

Unsentimental Education

Charles Crumpley isn't impressed with the launch of David Brewer's tenure as superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District.

No Milk Moustaches For L.A. Movie Fans, Thanks to Coca-Cola

The Coca-Cola Co. has an exclusive marketing agreement with several of the major movie theater chains.

Double Donors Lead to 'Split' at UCLA

A UCLA research facility has been split in two in order to keep clean accounts of funds from two donors.

Newsmakers/Kudos

Hirings, promotions and honors.

Record 3Q for PC Mall

Despite slightly decreased sales, PC Mall Inc. posts record profits for the third quarter.

Gemstar's Good Numbers Still Aren't Exciting Investors

Gemstar-TV Guide Inc. has a positive story line and improving numbers, but the Los Angeles company can't seem to convince investors it's a good buy.

Black and Yellow Propels a Fellow in Advertising World

After trying his hand out in a variety of fields, Dale Everett has found his place in the advertising world.

Hansen Options Probe

Hansen Natural Corp. has named a special committee and outside legal counsel to investigate stock-option grants that likely will delay the release of its third-quarter earnings.

Friday, November 3

Rapid Link President Resigns

Rapid Link Inc. said that President David Hess has submitted his resignation effective immediately on Oct. 31 but will remain on the company's board.

Titan Closes Escrow on Towers

The Titan Organization plans to build 60-story and 49-story condominium towers in downtown Los Angeles.

Tribune Co. Sells $84 Million in Assets

The Tribune Co., contemplating the sale of itself, has agreed to sell $84 million worth of assets.

CSC Delays Earnings

Computer Sciences Corp. said that profits and revenue were down due to an options probe and added that official earnings will be delayed.

Hilton Finishes, Starts Hotel Projects

Hilton Hotels Corp. said Friday that it reopened a new hotel in Atlanta and started construction on its second timeshare project on Waikoloa Beach in Hawaii.

Gemstar Profit Slips

Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. reported a slight dip in earnings but did see some reason for optimism.

Equity Firm Buys Reinhold Industries

Reinhold Industries Inc. agreed to a buyout offer from an affiliate of San Francisco-based equity firm Jordan Company LP.

Insurance Agent Arrested

The Insurance Commissioner announced the arrest of a former Northridge insurance agent who allegedly took more than three quarters of a million dollars from senior citizens.

Garamendi Wants Workers' Comp Cuts

State Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi recommended reductions in workers' compensation premiums for employer-held policies renewing next year.

Tower Seeks to Drop Founder's Contract

Tower Records is seeking to unload founder Russ Solomon's $400,000 -a-year employment contract.

WPT Shares Slip Despite Profit

The WPT Enterprises reported a profit but shares still slipped Thursday.

Gov. Extends L.A. Enterprise Zones

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Friday extended four state enterprise zones in Los Angeles County and gave conditional approval to two new zones, allowing an estimated 80,000 businesses to continue to obtain tax credits for hiring local workers.

Health Net Profit Shares up on 3Q Profit

Health Net profit slips on tax charge but shares gain despite missing Wall Street estimates.

Lawndale 405 Sign Could Be Done

Say goodbye to Homer Simpson, Geraldo Rivera and all the other Fox television personalities who have watched over the South Bay from atop an 11-story electronic billboard in Lawndale.

Edison Profit Off, But Beats Estimates

Edison International saw its profit slip slightly year over year, sending its shares downward despite beating estimates.

Univision Profit Up, Revenue Down

Univision Communications Inc. reported a jump in both profits and revenues, but was mum about the future because of the pending acquisition.

THQ Records Strong Earnings

Videogame developer THQ Inc. saw its profit and a sales jump on solid sales of its "Saints Row" videogame.

Thursday, November 2

Jacobs Caps Off Strong Year

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. announced fourth quarter net income of $58.7 million (97 cents per share), up 35 percent from $38.3 million (64 cents) for the same period a year earlier, beating analysts' projections.

Productivity Slows to a Standstill

The productivity of American workers slowed to a standstill in the summer, while wages were rising at the fastest clip in more than two decades.

Cruise Reaches Studio Deal

Tom Cruise has reached a production deal with Metro-Goldwin Mayer that will see Cruise starring in pictures produced by a resurrected United Artists, the legendary studio formed 80 years ago.

EA Extends Game Brand

Brand Sense Partners said Thursday that it has teamed up with Electronic Arts Inc. to extend EA's popular "Need for Speed" video game into a lifestyle brand.

IndyMac Post Strong 3Q Earnings

IndyMac Bancorp Inc. reported a jump in third quarter net income spurring a jump in its shares, despite missing analysts forecast.

Yahoo Launches Site Devoted to Food

With online competition for eyeballs intensifying, Yahoo Inc. is launching a new site devoted to food that will feature videos and other content from celebrity chefs.

Reliance Makes Acquisition

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. said Thursday that it has agreed to buy Carson-based Crest Steel Corp., continuing a buying spree that has seen it acquire more than 30 companies over the last decade.

Tribune Quietly Open to Sale of Assets

The Tribune Company said privately yesterday that it would open its auction to bids for its individual assets, not just for the company as a whole, according to people involved in the auction.

Wednesday, November 1

International Rectifier Sells Business

International Rectifier Corp. said Wednesday that Malvern, Penn-based Vishay Intertechnology Inc. has agreed to buy the El Segundo-based company's power control systems business for $290 million.

DaVita Earnings Surge

DaVita Inc. reported a 72 percent jump in third quarter net income and nearly doubled revenues.

Superior Reports Drop in Earnings, Sales

Superior Industries International Inc. on Wednesday reported a third quarter loss of $7.7 million (29 cents per share), compared with a year-ago loss of $133,000.

City National Bank to Make Purchase

City National Corp. of Beverly Hills said Wednesday that has agreed to purchase Business Bank Corp. of Nevada for $161 million in cash and stock.

Cingular to Team With Napster

Cingular Wireless is planning to offer a mobile music network that offers subscription access to Napster, Yahoo! Music and eMusic.

Disney Close to Cable Agreement

Walt Disney Co. is close to signing multiyear deals to keep supplying content to Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable, the two largest cable providers in the United States, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Univision Lands Mexican Record Company

Univision Communications Inc. said Wednesday that it has acquired the remaining 50 percent stake of Mexico-based Disa Records and Edimonsa Publishing.

Calpers Goes After UnitedHealth

Calpers asked a federal judge to freeze UnitedHealth Group CEO's $1.1 billion retirement package, pending a lawsuit involving the legality of his stock options.

Barbie, MAC to Team Up

Mattel Inc. said Wednesday that its Barbie business will partner with cosmetics company MAC for an "adult-targeted project" that will be unveiled next spring.

L.A.'s Employment Index Stays Steady

L.A. employee confidence remained steady in October as optimism regarding job security was offset by declining perceptions of personal finances.

Factory Activity Shows Weakness

Amid a housing slowdown, U.S. factory activity saw its weakest month of growth in over three years.

Guess Posts Record Profits

Guess posts record growth in profits and revenues, but shares dip.

Nielsen to Track Web/TV Interaction

Nielsen Media Research said Wednesday that is has partnered with NetRatings Inc. to launch a national TV/Internet database.