Stories for April 2008

Wednesday, April 30

Tetra Tech Posts Strong Q2 Earnings

Tetra Tech International Inc. reported second quarter net income of $13.7 million (23 cents per share) up 31 percent from $10.4 million (18 cents) for the same period a year earlier.

Actors, Studios Still Far From a Deal

After more than two weeks of negotiations, studios and the Screen Actors Guild appear to have made little headway toward a new contract.

Molina Shares Gain Despite Tepid Outlook

Shares in Molina Healthcare Inc. surged early Wednesday after the company reported strong first quarter earnings. However, the company cut its 2008 outlook due to declining interest rates and the anticipation of higher taxes.

Big 5 Struggles Amid Slowing Economy

Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp. said Wednesday that its first-quarter profit fell 46 percent due to sluggish sales.

Delinquency Rate Growing Slower

The subprime-mortgage market is getting worse each month, but there are indications that the problem may be moderating.

Analysts: Health Net's Outlook Expected

Shares of Health Net Inc. managed to gain ground Wednesday as analysts said the health insurer's revised outlook was mostly to be expected and highlighted the company's takeover possibilities.

Loan Losses Sting FirstFed Earnings

FirstFed Financial Corp. posted a first-quarter net loss because of steep losses from home mortgages.

Afternoon Briefs

Parsons names CFO.

Tribune Buys Chandler Properties

Tribune Co. said that it had completed the $175-million purchase of newspaper facilities owned by the Chandler family.

LAX Chief Denies Alleged Cronyism

The head of LAX denied allegations that she influenced the recent selection of a developer to oversee more than $5 billion worth of airport upgrades.

United Online to Buy FTD

United Online Inc. said Wednesday that it agreed to acquire flower- delivery service FTD Group Inc. for $800 million in cash, stock and debt.

Televisa, Univision Trial Delayed

Grupo Televisa's trail that claims it has been cheated out of more than $100 million in royalties by its partner, Univision Communications Inc., was delayed until July 1.

True Religion Posts Big Gains in Q4

True Religion Apparel Inc. said late Tuesday that its fourth-quarter profit more than doubled thanks to a boost in sales.

Tuesday, April 29

X-Prize: $100 Million for Clean Fuels

Santa Monica's X Prize Foundation now is targeting one of the most-crowded contests in technology: the race to discover clean alternatives to fossil fuels.

HCP Shares Drop As Profits Slide

Shares in HCP Inc. dropped Tuesday after the health care REIT said that net income plunged, even as the key metric of funds from operations improved on fewer charges.

Public Contracting Bill Defeated

Business groups in L.A. and around the state reacted with dismay to news that a legislative committee on Tuesday had defeated the governor's proposal to enable more private investment and greater use of private contractors in public infrastructure project

CBRE Shares Fall Ahead of Earnings

Shares in the world's largest commercial real estate broker, CB Richard Ellis Group Inc., tumbled 6 percent Tuesday after the company was downgraded ahead of its first quarter earnings.

LAX Bid to be Further Scrutinized

Gina Marie Lindsey, executive director of Los Angeles International Airport, will meet with Councilwoman Janice Hahn to explain allegations of cronyism tied to at least one airport contract.

DaVita Posts Strong Earnings

Dialysis provider DaVita Inc. on Tuesday reported a rise in quarterly profit, saying new facilities and boosted revenue per-patient helped push profit up.

First Regional Reports Windfall

Shares in First Regional Bancorp were up more than 7 percent Tuesday after the banking company said it reaped a windfall as a result of Visa International's initial public offering.

Countrywide, GMAC Highlight Slump

Countrywide Financial Corp. and GMAC LLC, two of the nation's biggest home lenders, lost a combined $1.5 billion in the first quarter, adding to evidence that the housing slump has deepened.

CBRE Misses Profit Estimates

First quarter profit climbed 71 percent at CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. thanks to gains in international business, but the earnings missed Wall Street estimates sending shares downward.

Gemstar Shareholders OK Sale

Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. said Tuesday afternoon that its shareholders approved the company's sale to Macrovision Corp.

Fed Criticized on Countrywide Deal

The Federal Reserve held an unusual hearing Monday in L.A. on Bank of America Corp.'s proposed $4-billion takeover of Countrywide Financial Corp.

K-Swiss Trims Outlook as Earnings Fall

K-Swiss Inc. reported sharply lower profits Tuesday as growth in its international business couldn't offset rising costs and sagging domestic sales.

'Shrek,' 'Bee Movie' Boost DreamWorks

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. said first-quarter profits rose 69 percent mostly due to the sales of new "Shrek the Third" and "Bee Movie" DVDs.

Calpers Chief To Step Down

The chief executive officer of the California Public Employees' Retirement System is resigning, marking the second top official at the nation's largest pension fund in under a week to announce plans to quit.

Countrywide Loss Widens on Delinquencies

Countrywide Financial Corp. posted a first-quarter loss Tuesday due to $3 billion in credit-related charges and rising mortgage delinquencies.

Monday, April 28

Serving Community

Restaurateur Marilyn Lewis, who founded Hamburger Hamlet and Kate Mantilini, dishes on her L.A. legacy.

Ducommun Reports Strong Earnings

Shares in Ducommun Inc. gained more than 5 percent Monday after the L.A. aerospace company reported strong first-quarter results.

Picture Looking Dark for Los Angeles Arts Channel

The city's only education and arts cable network, LA36, looks like it'll be a victim of the city's $406 million budget deficit. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is recommending eliminating the channel's operating funds of $555,000.

Ihop Eats Applebee's Expenses

Shares in Ihop Corp. retreated Monday as expenses associated with the company's purchase of Applebee's last year cut into rising sales during the first quarter.

Los Angeles Takes Big Step Toward Sustainable Living

The City Council has taken an important step in promoting sustainable living with a new green ordinance, according to Kevin L. Ratner.

Iran Calls Barbie 'Destructive'

A top Iranian judiciary official warned Monday against the "destructive" cultural and social consequences of importing Barbie dolls and other Western toys.

Funding Heats Up for Maker of Solar Energy Plants

Solar thermal company eSolar has raised a jaw-dropping $130 million in funding from Idealab and Google.org.

Los Angeles Port Officials Make a Move on Mouse

As Disney Cruise Line prepares to replace its two original ships in the lucrative Florida market, local officials are working to lure the vessels to Southern California.

Newsmakers

Hirirngs, promotions and kudos.

Cable Package From Time Warner Accents Spanish

Time Warner Cable is targeting the Latino market with TV, Internet and telephone package Paquetazo

Broad: Prices May Drop Another 20%

Eli Broad, a philanthropist and co- founder of KB Home, the fifth-largest U.S. homebuilder by revenue, said he expects home prices to drop another 20 percent.

Pizzeria Mozza Delivers Surprising Slice of Success

Pizzeria Mozza was supposed to be the opening act for the adjacent osteria, but the hard-to-get-a-seat eatery has become a star in its own right.

Law Firms Thin Student Staffing as Business Slows

A slow economy has L.A. law firms cutting back on student staffing this summer.

Higher Prices on Menu at Cheesecake Factory's New Sister Eatery

Cheesecake Factory dishes up its new chain of RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen restaurants.

Pull Plug on Homebuilder Bailouts

Terence M. O'Sullivan believes the government should not be bailing out homebuilders from the crisis they helped create.

Mattel Wins Round in Bratz Case

Mattel Inc. won a judge's permission to move forward with copyright- infringement claims against MGA Entertainment Inc. and Carter Bryant, the designer of MGA's popular Bratz dolls.

Making a Book More Manageable

Claremont professor Joseph Maciariello may be the most tireless devotee of late management guru Peter Drucker.

IDENTITY CRISIS

Recent raids on area businesses by immigration officials have underlined the precarious position of employers in documenting workers.

Big Investments for Big Savings

Increasing costs are fueling a multimillion-dollar investment drive by local companies to improve efficiency.

Eminent Domain Foes Overreach

An attempt to phase out rent control probably has doomed a proposition to rein in eminent domain abuses, writes Charles Crumpley.

Gemstar Shares Plunge on Deal Rumors

Shares in Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. plunged nearly 20 percent Monday after an analyst speculated that Macrovision Corp.'s acquisition of the company may be jeopardy.

Deal or No Deal for Guild?

Leaders of the Screen Actors Guild will have to decide this week if they want to make a deal -- or keep Hollywood on edge about whether actors will strike this summer.

Strategic Partnerships Give Teeth to Content Service

Discovery of some old promotional videos three years ago while Brentwood dentist Jay Grossman was cleaning out an office closet lead to an "aha" moment and a fast-growing side business.

Tracinda Building Stake in Ford

Kirk Kerkorian, the billionaire investor who has a long history with Detroit's auto makers, has stepped back into the fray with the purchase of shares in Ford Motor Co.

Communications Executive in Game Since Day One

Jeff Salmon has more than 20 years of experience in directing promotional productions for some of the world's premiere companies.

Taking Wing

Studio City-based Jaguar Distribution specializes in booking independent films on airline flights.

Weak IPO Market Picking at Investors' Pockets

The vanishing IPO market is having an unexpected effect on L.A. venture capitalists they're having to dig deeper in their wallets.

L.A. Live Hotel Fills Up on Convention Business

The L.A. Live Convention Center hotel has already booked a full slate of conventions two years before it opens fulfilling its role of bringing action to the city's starving convention business.

Church of Scientology Snaps Up Industrial Space

Bridge Publications Inc., the publishing arm of the Church of Scientology, has signed a $15 million lease for industrial space in Commerce at the Telacu Industrial Park.

Grand Avenue Project Delayed Again

Construction will not begin until February, delaying completion of the first phase until 2012. The developer notes the tight credit markets played a role.

A Zoo by Any Other Name?

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has pitched a plan to sell the naming rights to city-owned facilities like the L.A. Zoo and Greek Theater.

SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

EXECUTIVE HEALTH 2008

Maguire's Board Nixes Founder's Offer

Shares in Maguire Properties Inc. dropped nearly 5 percent Monday after an independent directors' committee refused to consider Chairman Robert Maguire's bid to pay $745 million for a portion of the company.

In Case of Emergency

Hurricane Katrina and earthquakes prompted PortBlue to tailor its emergency preparedness software to the health care industry.

Developers Turn Condos Into Rental Property

Property owners are taking advantage of a surge in the rental market by offering condo units as apartments.

Say '21' and Get Film Showtimes

Online movie-ticketing business Fandango has raised the curtain on a voice recognition service for mobile phones.

State Voters Leery on Health Care

Just a few months after the governor's state health-reform proposal collapsed, it appears California voters liked his idea by a landslide. And now they're feeling more insecure and pessimistic than ever about the future of medical coverage.

Dolled Up

Beverly Hills jewelers Alan and Layna Friedman have launched the Barbie Rocks line, pricey pieces that incorporate images of the iconic doll.

Friday, April 25

Stadium Makeover Announced

Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has unveiled plans for a historic makeover of the 275-acre Dodger Stadium site that is designed to transform the ballpark into a year-round destination for dining, shopping and recreation.

Mozilo Banked $132 Million in 2007

Even as Countrywide Financial Corp. teetered on the brink of bankruptcy, chairman and chief executive Angelo Mozilo took home more than $100 million.

Big Movers

The Dow Jones industrial average only gained a fraction of percent this week, but the Los Angeles Business Journal's index of the 200 largest public companies was boosted by a slew of positive earnings reports. The local index gained 2.6 percent, with 120

Strong Yen Weighs on Honda

The strong yen and rising raw-materials costs took their toll on Honda Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. in the quarter ended March, and while Mazda Motor Corp. put in a strong performance.

FirstFed Raises Loan Loss Provisions

FirstFed Financial Corp.reported Friday it will have an operating loss in the first quarter after it was hit hard mortgage defaults, prompting it to raise its loan loss provisions.

Herbalife Executive Admits MBA Lie

Herbalife Ltd. said late Thursday that its president and chief operating officer, Gregory Probert, has confirmed he didn't complete his MBA degree as stated in his biography.

Northrop Upgraded by Investment Firms

Major contract awards prompted two investment firms Friday to upgrade Northrop Grumman Corp., sending shares of the Los Angeles defense contractor upward.

Thursday, April 24

Daily Briefs

Motorcar Parts buys Automotive Importing Manufacturing.

Dodgers to Unveil Stadium Revamp

The Dodgers today plan to unveil their most extensive stadium renovation yet, a project that would transform the area behind the outfield to an entrance promenade featuring restaurants, shops, club offices and a Dodgers museum and add two parking garages

Safeco Buyout Makes Mercury a Target

Liberty Mutual Group Inc.'s $6.2 billion acquisition of Safeco Corp., announced yesterday, may signal the start of a wave of insurance-industry deals.

Digital Domain IPO 'Day to Day'

Hollywood special-effects studio Digital Domain Inc., which had wanted to go to market with a $78 million initial public offering this week, was having trouble closing the deal.

Amgen Posts Profit Gain Despite Sales Slip

Amgen Inc. on Thursday said that its profits climbed in the first-quarter because staff reductions and other cost-cutting measures helped offset sales declines of its anemia drugs.

Teledyne, Honeywell Settle Dispute

A day after shares in Teledyne Technologies Inc. surged 19 percent thanks to stellar earnings, the aerospace company said Thursday that it settled a patent-infringement lawsuit with Honeywell International Inc.

Despite Charge, Northrop Posts Strong Q1

Northrop Grumman Corp. reported Thursday that first-quarter profit dropped but beat expectations. It warned that full-year profits will be lower than expected due to charges and delays associated with its amphibious assault ship.

Calpers Chief Russell Read Resigns

Russell Read quit as chief investment officer at the California Public Employees' Retirement System, ending a two-year stint overseeing the largest U.S. public pension fund's $244 billion holdings.

Cheesecake Factory Reports Tepid Q1

Cheesecake Factory Inc. reported a dip in first quarter profit Thursday due to less customer traffic and a weak economy.

Oxy Posts Record Profit as Oil Soars

Occidental Petroleum Corp. said Thursday that its first-quarter profit hit a record thanks to higher crude prices and increased production.

Wednesday, April 23

Afternoon Briefs

Stamps.com Posts Strong Q1 Earnings.

Labor Pact Gets Go-Ahead

The L.A. City Council on Wednesday approved a landmark policy authorizing the city's redevelopment agency to negotiate a project labor agreement with local building trade unions.

Skechers Posts Big Gains in Q1

Skechers USA Inc. posted a 37 percent increase in first-quarter profit, thanks in part to a weak dollar and strong international demand.

California Foreclosures Hit Record

Sinking home values and the collapse of flimsy mortgages fueled a record number of foreclosures in California in the first three months of this year, dimming prospects for any quick recovery in the housing market.

Teledyne Surges on Earnings, Outlook

Shares in Teledyne Technologies Inc. shot up nearly 17 percent early Wednesday after the Thousand Oaks-based sonar systems maker reported strong first quarter earnings and added that profit in 2008 may be higher than predicted.

Ryland Posts Loss, Shares Suffer

In no surprise, Ryland Group Inc. on Wednesday reported a first-quarter loss due to slumping home sales and a growing inventory of unsold homes.

SAG, Studios Extend Negotiations

Though big gaps remain between SAG and the majors, negotiators have made enough progress toward a feature-primetime deal to keep negotiations going for an extra week until May 2.

Herbalife Responds to Spanish Alert

Dietary supplement retailer Herbalife Ltd. on Wednesday responded to an alert issued by Spain's Ministry of Health that warns consumers of possible liver problems associated with Herbalife's products.

Is Beckham's Deal Worth $250 Million?

When the Los Angeles Galaxy signed David Beckham to a five-year deal in January 2007, a huge financial figure was instrumental in garnering headlines for the news.

Jakks Profit Hurt by Soaring Costs

Jakks Pacific Inc. shares took a hit Wednesday after the toymaker reported its first-quarter profit plunged because of increased legal, product testing and restructuring costs.

Bank To Shore Up Capital Base

Shares in East West Bancorp Inc. shot up 15 percent Thursday after the bank said it plans to offer $150 million in preferred stock to improve liquidity and strengthen its capital base.

Northrop's Drone to be Sold Overseas?

Northrop Grumman Corp., winner of a $3.74 billion contest to build unmanned spy-planes for the U.S. Navy, may find the order leads to more sales overseas.

BofA's CEO: Countrywide Buy Still On

Beleaguered Bank of America Corp. shareholders pleaded Wednesday with the bank's chief executive not to proceed with a $4 billion acquisition of distressed subprime mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp.

Tuesday, April 22

Analysts Cut '08 Estimates for B of A

Several analysts cut their 2008 earnings estimates on Bank of America Corp on fears of higher credit costs and loan loss provisions.

International Rectifier Founder to Retire

International Rectifier Corp. said Tuesday that its founder and chairman, Eric Lidow, will retire effective on May 1.

Changes Proposed for Auto, Home Rates

California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner proposed emergency changes Monday to regulations that help determine rates for auto and homeowner policies.

Avery Profit Slides, Outlook Lowered

Avery Dennison Corp. said Tuesday that its first-quarter earnings slipped 14 percent due to higher costs and weak U.S. retail demand.

Woes Can Benefit First-Time Buyers

Even though every nook and cranny of the housing market is draped in doom and gloom, it may be a good time for potential buyers to take a contrarian look.

Nara Reports Drop in Earnings

Nara Bancorp Inc. reported Tuesday that the faltering economy cut into first quarter lending and income, adding to the list of local banks that have performed poorly this earnings season.

House of Taylor to be Delisted

House of Taylor Jewelry Inc. on Monday said it had received a notice from the Nasdaq Stock Market that trading of its shares will be suspended because the company had not paid its listing fees.

Zenith Drops on Poor Earnings

Shares in Zenith National Insurance Corp. closed down 5 percent Tuesday and continued to slide Wednesday after the insurance provider reported a big fall in profit and revenue.

Northrop Wins $3.7 Billion Drone Contract

Northrop Grumman Corp. defeated Boeing Corp. for another big-dollar defense contract, winning a $3.74 billion unmanned Navy spy-plane contract, the Department of Defense said Tuesday.

Monday, April 21

DOWNTOWN: Legal Firms Buoy Rents and Keep Vacancy Rate Healthy

Major events in commercial and industrial real estate across the L.A. region.

Former TV Executive Takes Talent Search to Web

Sandy Grushow, a former Fox Television Entertainment Group chairman who oversaw the development of hit TV series such as "American Idol," "The Simpsons" and "24," wants to use the Internet to find and develop talent around the world.

WESTSIDE: Interest From East Coast Investors Places Space at Premium

The new year started off with a bang on the Westside, with average asking rates for top-tier space up nearly a third from a year ago, and vacancies holding steady at around 8 percent.

SOUTH BAY: Declining Port Traffic Prompts Rise in Industrial Vacancies

The vacancy rate in the South Bay's port-dependent industrial market rose two-tenths of a point in the first quarter to 1.7 percent, mirroring a slowing in import traffic at the ports.

Special Report: Real Estate Quarterly

After languishing for decades, San Pedro has drawn the attention of developers looking to capitalize on its seaside location.

Condo Developer Buoys Outlook of Port Town

Developer Raffi Cohen's 16-story condo project has lifted spirits and stoked hopes in the port town.

INLAND EMPIRE: Space Added To Market Amid Waning Demand

The Inland Empire felt the effects of its industrial building boom last quarter when more than 26 million square feet of warehouse and distribution space planned long before the current economic downturn came on line.

Poor Planning Torpedoed 1960s Revitalization Push

A revitalization effort in the late '60s resulted only in an eyesore office tower that became a symbol of stagnation.

Iger, Other Execs To Speak at L.A. Commencements

Disney Chief Executive Robert A. Iger is among the speakers scheduled to address graduates at area commencement ceremonies.

WILSHIRE CORRIDOR: Rising Rents Force Some Tenants to Exit Area

It was the same old song and dance up and down the Wilshire Corridor at the start of 2008, as leasing and occupancy rates remained strong despite slowing elsewhere.

SANTA CLARITA: Commercial Vacancy Rates Double Year to Year

Commuters stuck in rush-hour traffic on the Golden State (5) Freeway leaving Santa Clarita for the San Fernando Valley may likely ask: "What mortgage crisis?"

Poker Site Ad Campaign Draws On Famed Filmmaker

Agency Wongdoody brought in filmmaker Errol Morris to promote FullTiltPoker.com

Semiconductor Maker Lines Up Temporary CFO

As it works to shut the door on a major financial scandal that has dogged the company for more than a year, International Rectifier Corp. announced a key change to the management team last week.

MID-CITIES: Area Bucks Trend as Sales and Lease Action Accelerates

The Mid-Cities market, with its swath of aging industrial buildings, emerged as an unlikely hero in the first quarter.

Studios to Start Pay Channel

Pay-TV channels HBO, Showtime and Starz are about to get a new competitor in their lucrative and insular world.

States Stepping Up Production Raids

New York and Michigan are among states looking to poach Hollywood productions through big new incentives.

Agency Bottles Green Message for Vodka Brand

File this one under "green spirits."

Break on Through

Santa Monica Place mall has launched a renovation to exploit its proximity to the ocean and Third Street Promenade.

Newsmakers

Kudos, hirinrg and promotions.

Area Engineering Firms Soaking Up Water Infrastructure Projects

As water becomes increasingly scarce, engineering firms such as Tetra Tech Inc. and Aecom Technology Corp. are seeing infrastructure orders roll in.

Cutbacks Loom on New Budgets

Faced with the most severe economic conditions in nearly two decades, Los Angeles city and county officials today will unveil budgets that are expected to call for wide-ranging service reductions while also asking residents to pay more to finance governme

Added Dimension

Real D has taken a starring role in making traditional movie theaters capable of showing 3-D films.

Diverging Truck Routes

Geraldine Knatz, the executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, explains why her port took a different road to implement the clean trucks program.

Firm Launches Platform That Navigates Web Ads

Frank Addante, co-founder and chief executive of the Rubicon Project, likens his startup to a Nasdaq for online advertising.

Panel May Shift Flights at Burbank

It's taken eight years and $6 million for Burbank airport officials to come up with a proposed solution to ease sleep-depriving aircraft noise that has frustrated nearby residents for decades: Shift some overnight operations to Van Nuys Airport.

DirecTV Wins Appeal, Discloses CEO Pay

A federal court of appeals on Friday sent a patent-infringement suit against DirecTV Group Inc. to a lower court, vacating decisions that called for DirecTV to pay more than $100 million.

B of A's Profit Drops 77 Percent

Bank of America Corp. said Monday its profit fell 77 percent in the first quarter, hurt by trading losses and a $3.3 billion increase in reserves for problem loans.

County Sideswipes Taco Trucks

Charles Crumpley believes that county supervisors have more pressing concerns than driving taco trucks out of business.

Mattel Shares Drop on Poor Q1 Earnings

Shares in toymaker Mattel Inc. dropped nearly 8 percent early Monday after the company reported its first quarterly loss in almost three years.

Ports O' Call Pins Hopes On Redevelopment Wave

A redevelopment project for Ports O' Call Village will link the waterfront to new residences and downtown.

State Will Let Some Businesses Slide on Cyanide

Jewelry and other manufacturers who use cyanide in their facilities and discharge that chemical in wastewater are poised to get a break from the state.

No Dogging It

Exercise time will get ruff for some pudgy L.A. pets, as a new company named Pooch Pacers takes clients' dogs on runs, not walks.

Architect Has Urban Designs Personally, Professionally

When Karin Liljegren was just a young girl in Wayne, N.J., she used to tell her mom that she was going to the mall. But instead, she would take the bus into Manhattan and explore the city's landmarks and cultural institutions.

Gemstar Settles Patent Dispute

Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. entered into an agreement with Digeo Inc. that helps settle a pending patent-infringement lawsuit between the two companies.

Guitar Vendor's Petty Deal

Tom Petty's April 12 appearance at the Malibu Performing Arts Center was done for charity but it was also done for a rare guitar.

HOLLYWOOD: Office Market Soars as Rents Near Highs in Beverly Hills

Major events in commercial and industrial real estate across the L.A. region.

Is Roski Near Goal Line for L.A. Football Team?

Developer Ed Roski Jr. is making a play for pro football by unveiling his plan for a City of Industry stadium.

L.A. COUNTY: Office Market Softens as Credit Crunch Slows Dealmaking

Fallout from the subprime meltdown has finally put the brakes on Los Angeles County's once torrid office market. First quarter rent increases slowed to a crawl and tenants gave back more space than they leased for the second quarter in a row.

Leap of Faith

Scott Turicchi, previously an analytical banker, had some doubts that he was outgoing enough to lead tech startup J2 Global Communications.

East Hollywood Deal Hints at Area's Possibility

A Hollywood apartment building east of the 101 Freeway changed hands rapidly this month in another sign of the health of the apartment market and perhaps signaling changing views of the traditionally less desirable area.

TRI-CITIES: Glendale Filling Up As Pasadena, Burbank Space Opens

Tri-City tenant brokers wondered if the first quarter of 2008 was the yin to 2007's first quarter yang.

Disney Starts Nature Documentary Studio

Walt Disney Co. plans to start a film division dedicated to making feature-length documentaries about nature, the company said Monday.

SAN FERNANDO VALLEY: REIT Snaps Up Sites Despite Downturn

Does Douglas Emmett Inc. know something the rest of the San Fernando Valley office market does not?

Trial Ordered in Cadiz Suit

The Metropolitan Water District will have to face a jury in a case that could cost it hundreds of millions of dollars unless it can reach a settlement by the end of the month.

SAN GABRIEL VALLEY: Industrial Vacancies Tied for County's Lowest

The San Gabriel Valley's tight industrial market chugged along last quarter as vacancies remained low, rents rose again and users continued to grab space in the centrally located market.

Turbulent Skies for Northrop

Northrop Grumman's debacle with a Navy ship-building contract offers hope to opponents of its recent contract to build Air Force tankers.

Firms Make Case for Legal Loans

Amicus Capital Services makes legal bets by extending loans to trial lawyers to fund contingency-fee litigation.

San Pedro and the Port: Uneasy Symbiosis

After languishing for decades, San Pedro has drawn the attention of developers looking to capitalize on its seaside location.

Local Banks Bleeding After Rate Cuts

Rate cuts by the Fed have rocked the bottom line of many local banks, dropping shares to 52-week lows.

Friday, April 18

City National Q1 Profit Sinks

City National Corp. reported first quarter profit that missed Wall Street estimates.

Clive Davis' Ousted as BMG Chief

Until this week, the rules of the music industry didn't apply to Clive Davis. At 76, Davis held the top job at SonyBMG's BMG Music Group, playing Svengali to teen idols like Kelly Clarkson and Alicia Keys.

Firm Ups Countrywide Stake

Shares in Countrywide Financial Corp. surged nearly 7 percent early Friday after SRM Global Fund said it had raised its stake in Countrywide to 8.1 percent.

DirecTV Buys Installation Firm

DirecTV Group Inc. said Friday that it agreed to purchase 180 Connect Inc. to add installation service operations.

Tribune May Sell More Assets

Although Tribune Co. is facing revenue trends that are "worse than we expected" Sam Zell told creditors that "it doesn't appear that we will have trouble meeting our commitments going forward."

L.A. Jobless Rate Climbs Sharply

L.A.'s jobless rate took a big jump in March even as more jobs than expected were added to the local economy as Hollywood kicked into full gear.

Toyota to Close Long Beach Plant

Toyota will shutter its Hino commercial truck assembly line in North Long Beach this summer, bringing an end to nearly 70 years of automobile production in Southern California.

Cathay Shares Jump on Q1 Earnings

Shares in Cathay General Bancorp shot up early Friday after the bank company reported first quarter earnings that beat Wall Street's expectations.

Sports Stars Say Advisor Gouged Them

NBA legend Jerry West, Dodgers third-baseman Nomar Garciaparra and a bevy of other major sports figures have accused their prominent Los Angeles investment advisor of gouging them out of more than $3 million in excessive commissions on bond trades.

Ryland to Exit Cincinnati Market

Ryland Group Inc. said Friday that it will exit the Cincinnati market in 2009 due to the sluggish housing market.

Big Movers

In a week where the Dow Jones industrial average gained more than 300 points or more than 2 percent, the Los Angeles Business Journal's index of the 200 largest public companies added a paltry 0.11 percent. The companies were nearly split down the middle

Thursday, April 17

Culver City Approves Office Complex

A 12-story office complex planned near Centinela Avenue and Sepulveda Boulevard won approval this week despite strong opposition from Westchester residents and neighboring community groups.

Reliance Beats Estimates, Trims Outlook

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. reported strong first quarter earnings and sales Thursday thanks to strong pricing that boosted margins. But it lowered guidance for the second quarter.

Mandatory Sick Days for Small Firms?

Hundreds of small businesses in California say they can't afford to offer paid sick days to employees, but Assemblywoman Fiona Ma believes businesses actually could save money by doing so.

NFL in L.A. Gets New Blueprint

Convinced he can succeed where so many before him have failed, billionaire developer Ed Roski today will unveil plans for a proposed NFL stadium in the City of Industry, aimed at luring the league back to the Los Angeles area.

Cherokee Posts Drops in Q4 Profit, Sales

Shares in Cherokee Inc. continued to edge down early Thursday after losing 2.4 percent Wednesday when the company reported that its fourth quarter profit and sales dropped about 80 percent each.

SAG Signs Interim Pact

After two days of contract negotiations with the majors, the Screen Actors Guild is looking to put some pressure on the studios by signing interim deals with indie feature producers that would allow actors to continue working on select projects even if a

Roski Unveils Football Stadium Plans

Edward P. Roski, Jr., the developer behind the Staples Center, announced plans Thursday to build a state-of-the-art NFL stadium in the City of Industry.

CVB Gets Boost on Q1 Earnings

Shares in CVB Financial Corp. added more than 6 percent Friday after the parent company of Citizens Business Bank reported strong first quarter earnings.

Daily Briefs

MannKind Names CFO, Hedge Fund Ups Ryland Stake.

Wednesday, April 16

Builders, Lenders Gain on Good News

A double shot of good news fueled shares in local homebuilders and lenders Wednesday.

SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

CORPORATE EXPANSION & RELOCATION 2008

East West Shares Drop on Q1 Earnings

Shares in East West Bancorp Inc. dropped as much as 16 percent Wednesday after the bank reported a plunge in profits and did not provide guidance for 2008 due to a shaky economy, according to the bank.

Magic's Fund Hits Pay Dirt

At a time when many sources of financing for real estate projects are drying up, a fund co-founded by former Lakers guard Earvin "Magic" Johnson has banked $1 billion for commercial developments in urban neighborhoods.

Group Says Edisoin Rate Hike Extreme

Southern California Edison deserves a 3.6% rate increase in 2009 instead of the 20% hike that the utility has requested, according to the consumer advocacy arm of the state Public Utilities Commission.

SAG, Studios Begin Negotiations

Opting for a low-key approach amid the town's fears of a strike, the Screen Actors Guild and the majors have launched feature-primetime negotiations with a minimum of fanfare -- in sharp contrast to last year's incendiary WGA talks.

City Attorney Sues Blue Cross

Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo on Wednesday filed a civil suit against Anthem Blue Cross and its parent company over the health insurer's practices in processing claims and canceling policies.

Tuesday, April 15

Last of Disney 'Old Men' Animators Dies

Walt Disney Co. animator Ollie Johnston, whose credits include "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," "Pinocchio," "Fantasia," "Cinderella," and "Alice in Wonderland," has died. He was 95.

MySpace Launches in Korea

MySpace's chief executive said Tuesday the U.S. networking Web site is poised to thrive in the South Korean market because it pays more attention to local culture than its competitors.

Northrop to Take $360 Million Charge

Northrop Grumman Corp. said Tuesday that it plans to take a charge of up to $360 million on its first-quarter earnings because delivery of an amphibious assault ship will be delayed.

Daily Briefs

IndyMac Chief Foregoes Options; American Apparel Tumbles After Journal Article.

EADS: Probe Won't Hurt Tanker Deal

European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. Chief Executive Officer Louis Gallois said a probe into alleged insider trading shouldn't harm a contract to build air-to-air refueling tankers for the U.S. Air Force.

SAG Starts Talks Without AFTRA

With Hollywood thoroughly unnerved by the prospect of a summer strike, the Screen Actors Guild and the majors begin negotiations today on the feature-primetime contract -- but without AFTRA after a last-ditch peacemaking effort by SAG fell flat.

Northrop Falls Most Since '02 on Charge

Northrop Grumman Corp., the third- largest U.S. defense company, dropped the most since 2002 in New York trading after saying it will take a first-quarter charge of as much as $360 million because of delays on a new ship.

Fremont Shares Plunge After Delisting

Shares in Fremont General Corp. lost half of their value Tuesday after the company said the New York Stock Exchange is delisting the company. Its shares will trade on the Pink Sheets beginning Thursday.

Aecom Buys Canadian Firm

Aecom Technology Corp. said late Monday afternoon that it has acquired Canadian engineering firm Totten Sims Hubicki Associates. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed.

Skechers Wins Ruling

Skechers USA Inc. of Manhattan Beach on Monday won a ruling from the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that affirmed the dismissal of the shareholder class-action lawsuit filed against the company in 2003.

Monday, April 14

Business Must Take the Lead in Immigration Debate

Business needs to take the reins from politicians in guiding immigration reform, writes Jerry Sullivan.

Fiesta en Fuego

Organizers of Fiesta Broadway, an annual downtown street fair, see the event expanding beyond its Latino base.

Accent on Work

Lexicon Marketing has added vocational training to its Spanish-language correspondence courses.

Containers Down at Port of L.A.

The number of shipping containers coming into the Port of Los Angeles continues to decline, while the number of exports keeps rising, the port said Monday.

Hi-Shear Dips on Q1 Earnings

Shares in Hi-Shear Technology Corp. dropped 8 percent early Tuesday after the Torrance-based aerospace company said increased expenses cut profit for the first quarter.

Apparel Maker Grooves on Toons

Apparel maker Jerry Leigh has tuned up its pop culture connections by inking deals with singers Avril Lavigne and Gwen Stefani.

American Pilots Plan Demonstration

American Airlines pilots are planning to demonstrate at several airports as well as at corporate headquarters of some of the airlines' largest customers and shareholders on Tuesday.

Subprime Losses Hitting Job Market

The Sub-prime home-loan rush is history. But its impact on the state's work force is just beginning to play out as tens of thousands of real estate, finance and construction workers are left looking for work after a number of heady years.

Student Housing Adjacent To USC 'Recession Proof'

The real estate market may be turning sour, but investors looking for a safe haven could find a surprising one south of downtown Los Angeles.

Soaring Fuel Costs Fail to Ground Virgin America

A spate of airline shutdowns caused by soaring fuel prices has mired the air travel industry in its worst stretch since 9/11, but not all airlines are looking to cut back.

Eatery Web Cam Creating Distaste

TMZ.com's Web cam trained on a local eatery is leaving a bad taste in the mouths of stars and restaurant management.

State Missing Big Picture(s)

California fails to see the big picture when it comes to retaining Hollywood productions, warns Charles Crumpley.

It's Employers' Duty to Stand by War Veterans

Employers should familiarize themselves with the rules in dealing with returning war veterans, according to Jeffrey Schieberl and Charles P. Leo.

'Lightning' Name Strikes Twice

Hollywood producer Mark Harwell had an easy time finding a name for his new International Basketball League team. He named the Los Angeles Lightning after himself.

Horse Racing Site On Wobbly Legs

Risk is on the rise at Youbet.com in the wake of bad acquisitions and a management shuffle, among other issues.

Moments in the Sun

Concern for environmental issues has guided Bonnie Reiss' career, from show business to advising Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to equity investment.

USC to Buy Tenet Hospitals

The University of Southern California on Monday said it had signed a letter of intent for the university to buy USC University Hospital and USC Norris Cancer Hospital from Tenet Healthcare Corp.

UWink Takes High-Tech Act to Hollywood

UWink restaurant will be serving up its mix of food and high-tech games at the Hollywood & Highland shopping center, taking a spot vacated by a Wolfgang Puck eatery.

Public Statement

Non-profit legal aid organization Public Counsel makes its case with young hires by promising social impact, not big salaries.

Special Effects Firm Pursues Splashy Debut

Oscar-winning special effects firm Digital Domain is hoping to become a Wall Street star when it goes public soon.

Fremont to Sell Banking Business

Fremont General Corp. agreed to sell its retail bank assets to CapitalSource Inc. of Chevy Chase, Md., although Fremont may have to file Chapter 11 protection to complete the transaction.

American Apparel Bares All

The chief executive of American Apparel Inc. has long been known as something of an exhibitionist. Dov Charney is beyond frank when discussing his sex life and sometimes wanders around his factory in his underpants.

Parent of Local Hospital Lines Up Partnership Deal

The parent of four Providence hospitals in Los Angeles County has made a multimillion-dollar investment in one of the county's largest physician practice management companies.

Inhaled-Insulin Maker Feels Pain of Rival Product's Flop

Inhaled-insulin developer MannKind's market cap was cut in half after negative reports on rival Pfizer's product.

SAG Spurns Proposal to Limit Voting

In a move that muddies the outlook for looming actor negotiations, leaders of the Screen Actors Guild have offered AFTRA the opportunity to rejoin SAG at the bargaining table.

Sony Hopes Little Laughs Lead to Big Payday Online

Episodic online entertainment or Webisodes are becoming more common at Hollywood's major studios, even though none of these pioneering endeavors has yet to generate any significant revenue.

Out-of-State CPAs Hung Up on Registering Online

The accounting industry is promoting legislation to make it easier for out-of-state accountants to provide temporary services to California clients.

Fast Track

Honda's Santa Clarita outpost is revving up as the sole source of engines for an expanded Indy racing league.

Hoops Franchise Hopes Lightning Strikes in L.A.

There's new action on the local hoops scene. The Los Angeles Lightning will debut in the International Basketball League on April 18. They will play home games at the 1,500-seat Gilbert Sports Arena on the campus of Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oak

Simulations Plus Shares Hit by Q2 Report

Simulations Plus Inc. shares were hit Tuesday after the software company reported dips in profit and sales for its second quarter.

Newsmakers

Kudos, promotions and hirings.

ValueClick Takes a Licking but Keeps On Growing

Analysts say the coast is finally clearing for ValueClick after the online ad company weathered several storms.

Family Business a Good Fit for Fashion Designers

Second-generation Korean-Americans with dreams of working in high fashion are finding their family business a better fit.

Chemical Catalyst Company Heats Up in Spotlight

The technology behind Pasadena-based Materia remained relatively low profile for the first seven years after its birth in a Caltech lab.

'Thriller' Video Inspired Talent Director's Music Career

Shane Shuhart found his calling while watching the MTV premiere of Michael Jackson's music video-cum-horror film spoof "Thriller" in the early '80s.

Friday, April 11

Ixia Shares Drop After Guidance Lowered

Ixia Inc. cut its first-quarter outlook late Thursday on lower-than-expected sales, sending shares tumbling nearly 13 percent early Friday.

Beverly Hills OKs Condo Project

If you hate to sit in traffic at the intersection of Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards, prepare to discover your inner reserves of patience.

IndyMac Funds Less But Quality Improves

IndyMac Bancorp Inc. said Friday that it made $3.3 billion in loans in March, a 63 percent decline from a year earlier. For February, IndyMac had reported $3.5 billion in mortgages, which was off 58 percent from a year earlier.

Report: Ecuador Pays Oxy $100 Million

Ecuador paid Occidental Petroleum Corp. $100 million Friday to partially settle a tax dispute, a spokesman for the country said.

MySpace Aim Its Content Overseas

Positioning the social network as a breeding ground for television series, MySpace has signed a deal with a British-based production firm, ShineReveille International, to distribute its video content overseas.

Big Movers

A week after adding more than 2 percent, the Los Angeles Business Journal's index of the 200 largest public companies took a hit this week, dropping 3.1 percent.

Oil Firm, Foes Strike Major Deal

A Houston oil company has agreed to shut down its offshore oil production off Santa Barbara County decades early in exchange for approval this year to drill into untapped undersea reserves and cash in on the nation's record oil prices.

Ihop Same Store Sales Increase

Ihop Corp. said late Thursday that its first-quarter same-store sales grew at both its namesake restaurant chains as well as its newly acquired Applebee's units.

Thursday, April 10

L.A. Apartment Rents to Rise Modestly

Apartment rents in Southern California are projected to increase slowly in 2008 as a result of the credit crunch, according to a report released Thursday by the USC Lusk Center Casden Forecast.

American Apparel Posts Strong Q1 Sales

American Apparel, Inc., the downtown L.A.-based clothing company, is bucking the trend of the recession.

Rethinking Port Expansion

It's been four years, a 20 percent increase in cargo and nearly a dozen major air pollution studies since any significant improvements were made to Port of Long Beach waterfront properties.

99 Cents Only Posts Sales Gains

99 Cents Only Stores said late Wednesday that its sales rose nearly 5 percent during the fourth quarter, sending shares up more than 5 percent early Thursday.

Rallying for Wages, Benefits at LAX

After 20 years of working as a skycap at Los Angeles International Airport, Henry Watts still smiles as he greets people passing through Terminal Two.

American Apparel Reports Strong Sales

American Apparel Inc. said late Wednesday that its same-store sales climbed 29 percent in the month of March.

SEC Blocks Ex-Gemstar CEO's Pay

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said it had stopped a $29.5-million severance package from being paid to Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc.'s former chief executive, who was charged with securities fraud.

House of Taylor CEO Resigns

House of Taylor Jewelry Inc. on Thursday said its chief executive, Jack Abramov, and his brother Monty, resigned for personal reasons. Stock in the company dropped more than 7 percent in trading early Thursday

Chevron: Profit Should Top Q4 Levels

Chevron Corp. should post higher first-quarter earnings than the previous quarter, the second-largest U.S. oil company Wednesday.

Moody's Ups VCA's Rating

Moody's Investors Services raised the outlook on the ratings of VCA Antech Inc. to positive from stable, saying the veterinary hospital operator's profitability and credit metrics will improve in 2008.

MannKind Halts Inhalable Insulin Talks

MannKind Corp. said Thursday that it has suspended attempts to find a partner for its inhalable insulin product "given the current market sentiment."

L.A. Living Wage Law Upheld

Airport area-hotels have lost their bid to overturn L.A.'s living wage law as the state Supreme Court on Thursday announced it has denied a review of the hotels' appeal of the ordinance.

Wednesday, April 9

IndyMac Sells Bonds for $2 Million Loss

IndyMac Bancorp Inc. said late Tuesday that it sold $335 million of mortgage loans on April 1 in a private securitization, resulting in a $2 million pretax loss.

MannKind Plunges on Pfizer News

Shares of inhaled insulin drug developer MannKind Corp. lost more than half of their value Wednesday after Pfizer warned of increased instances of lung cancer among users of its competing drug Exubera.

Cruise Ship Bill Sails Through Committee

A bill that would require peace officers aboard cruise ships sailing from California ports cleared its first hurdle Tuesday as the state Senate's public safety committee voted to move it forward in the legislative process.

Bank Founder Leonard Weil Dies at 85

Leonard Weil, founder of Manufacturers Bank, has died. He was 85.

DTS Completes Imaging Division Sale

DTS Inc. said Tuesday that it has completed the sale of its digital image business to India-based Reliance Big Entertainment Ltd. for $7.5 million in cash.

American Nixes 1,000 Flights

American Airlines canceled more than 1,000 flights, or nearly 45 percent of its daily schedule, on Wednesday, stranding thousands of passengers and creating chaos at the busiest U.S. airports as it conducted safety inspections of its MD-80 aircraft.

Hot Topic Wavers on March Sales Data

Shares in Hot Topic Inc. closed down 5.6 percent Wednesday, then bounced back in after-market trading when the retailer said its March same-store sales fell less than expected.

CPK Expects to Beat Q1 Estimates

Shares in California Pizza Kitchen Inc. gained more than 5 percent Wednesday after the company said that it may report higher-than-expected earnings and beat its initial guidance for same-store sales for the first quarter.

Disney Releases Cartoon Lineup

Walt Disney Co. said late Tuesday that it plans to make 10 animated films by 2012 plus four straight-to-DVD films that are part of the "Fairy" franchise.

Tuesday, April 8

Studios Pressure SAG With Letter

In a move designed to pressure the Screen Actors Guild into making a deal, the majors have told the performers union to forget about asking for sweeter terms than those secured by the WGA and DGA.

Delay Seen for Amgen Drug

Amgen Inc. said U.S. regulators plan to delay by three months a decision on whether to approve the company's experimental blood clotting drug

Northrop May Win Spy Plane Deal

Northrop Grumman Corp., fresh off a victory over Boeing Co. for an aerial refueling tanker contract, is favored to score a second decision over its larger competitor in a $2 billion Navy unmanned spy-plane contest.

Iger: Theme Parks, Ad Revenue Strong

Walt Disney Co.-owned theme parks in Paris and Hong Kong are doing "extremely well" compared with a year ago, thanks in part to the weaker U.S. dollar, Disney's Chief Executive Robert Iger said at a press event in New York.

Homebuilders Tumble on Home Sales Data

Shares in local homebuilders tumbled early Tuesday after the National Association of Realtors said pending U.S. home sales in February fell to the lowest reading on record.

California Investment Annuity Acquired

National Investment Managers Inc. said Tuesday that it has agreed to acquire California Investment Annuity Sales Inc. for about $2.43 million of which $1.43 million is cash.

Image Sues Relativity Media

Home video distributor Image Entertainment on Monday accused Relativity Media, a leading independent film production company, of reneging on a 2006 agreement to provide Image with dozens of films for the DVD market.

Internet Brands Buys Five Sites

Internet Brands Inc. said Tuesday that it has acquired five leisure activity Web sites for its consumer Internet division. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

MySpace Latino Set to Launch

MySpace.com said Tuesday that it is expanding its offerings for Latinos, adding eight communities focused on such bilingual-centric pop culture subjects such as bands, celebrities and soccer.

Lean Times for Restaurants

Americans love to eat out, but the weak economy could be testing their appetite for restaurant food.

Monday, April 7

20 in their 20s: Ashley and Courtney Peldon

Sisters Ashley and Courtney Peldon, professional actresses since they were 3, launched their line of eco-friendly perfumes shortly after graduating from college two years ago.

Employers in the Middle on Immigration

A U.S. Department of Homeland Security proposal on verifying Social Security numbers will put business owners in a no-win situation, writes Allen Erenbaum.

CalAmp Settles Patent Dispute

CalAmp Corp. said Monday that it has settled all matters related to its patent infringement action against Montreal-based iMetrik Solutions Inc. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

Disney Buys Game Co., Inks Russian Deal

Walt Disney Co. said Monday that its Interactive Studios division acquired a Chinese game developer while its international licensing division inked a deal with one of Russia's largest independent broadcasters.

Direct Line

Vantage Media works like a marketing company but gets paid only for each lead generated for clients.

Blowing Hot Air

Charles Crumpley believes California lawmakers should create a cap and trade plan for greenhouse gases.

Small Businesses Click With California Projects

Small businesses have traditionally had a more difficult time getting government contracts than their bigger brethren, both nationally and in California.

Campaign for Lotion Applicator a Bit of a Reach

In this age of high-tech, it's comforting to know there are still low-tech solutions to some problems.

Sam Zell: Tough Guy in a Mean Business

Since taking control of the Tribune Company in December, Sam Zell has drawn a lot of attention in journalism circles for speeches laced with profanity, political incorrectness, insults and self-deprecating humor.

March Home Sales Slow, Median Price Drops

Home sales continued to slow in L.A. County, while the median home price hit a three-year low of $465,000.

Eatery Chips In To L.A. History

El Cholo, the venerable Mexican restaurant on Western Avenue, is celebrating its 85th anniversary this year with a slate of menu options that recognize the history of the eatery.

SPECIAL REPORT: 20 in their 20s

Some people just can't wait to be entrepreneurs. Take Michael Schneider, whose high school hobby of designing Web sites for friends evolved into a business.

Working the Register

Attitude Positive's software lets small businesses replace cash registers with computers, speeding up checkout while tracking data.

Construction Management Suits Retired Army Colonel

For more than 25 years, Kenneth F. Fisher Jr. went to work every day in a U.S. Army uniform, most recently as a deputy director of the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Baghdad, Iraq.

20 in their 20s: Jason Reuben & Matt Lauzon

With Paragon Lake Inc., Jason Reuben and co-founder Matt Lauzon are meshing technology and custom jewelry design in hopes of helping retailers' bottom line.

Dutch Company Dips Into Scene in United States

International media companies are beginning to pony up big bucks for a piece of the television action stateside and producers all over Hollywood are abuzz with takeover rumors. One of those rumors came true last week.

Michigan Luring Hollywood Filming

Michigan is adopting what it bills as the most generous film incentives program in the country, offering a 40 percent rebate on production spending to filmmakers, as well as tax credits for companies that invest in new studios.

Gotta Fight for Right to Property

Supporters of Propositions 98 and 99 are taking different approaches to capping cities' and California's eminent domain powers.

Government Should Stay Out of Mortgage Mess

Local and state politicians who call for quick fixes to the economy are just impeding necessary corrections,

New Owner Sees Retail Stores Buoying Marina

The leasehold to the Redondo Beach Marina has been sold for $9.87 million to Decron Properties Corp.

Management Buys Control of Metal Tubing Maker

After nine years under Japanese ownership, Vernon metal tubing manufacturer Hannibal Industries Inc. has been acquired by its management.

20 in their 20s: Dee Murthy & Andres Izquieta

As students in the entrepreneur program at USC, Dee Murthy and Andres Izquieta couldn't wait to start their men's clothing company. Before the semester even began, they silk-screened 20 sweatshirts as a promotional gimmick for their nonexistent company.

20 in their 20s: Christina Scarbo

Even though Heidi Klum and Michael Kors told Christina Scarbo her fashions were "out" on the hit TV show "Project Runway," it might have given her the "in" she needed in the world of fashion.

20 in their 20s: Nathan Amar

For 28-year-old Nathan Amar, the idea of wearing his favorite vintage reggae album covers has been with him ever since he was a kid.

L.A. County Business Expansions Down

Major business expansions in L.A. County fell sharply in 2007 as the region's economy deteriorated, according to a report issued Monday.

Pomegranate Juice Feud Spills Into Court

A feud between rival pomegranate juice makers Purely Juice and POM Wonderful has spilled over into court.

L.A. Attitude

Michael Govan, LACMA chief executive, believes that the time has come for L.A. institutions to impact the art world.

20 in their 20s: Michael Schneider

At age 17, Michael Schneider established himself as an entrepreneur.

Disney Store Sale Price Confirmed

Children's Place Retail Stores Inc. said Monday that it agreed to sell its Disney Stores to Walt Disney Co. for $50 million to $55 million, less than earlier indicated.

Hawaiian Cruises Could Sail Away

A proposed U.S. rule change would sink business for Hawaii-bound cruises departing from West Coast ports.

Fashion Week Rival Reveals Plan for Downtown Event

Reveal Los Angeles will step out in downtown next year as a competitor to Culver City-based Fashion Week.

Public Storage's Sell-Off in Europe Feeds U.S. Focus

Public Storage's sell-off of a majority stake in its European properties will allow it to focus on domestic operations

Luxury Do-Overs

A lack of space for hotels in West L.A. has hoteliers upgrading existing properties instead of building new.

20 in their 20s: Paige Mycoskie

When Paige Mycoskie attended a sports retail trade show in San Diego two years ago wearing T-shirts she had designed herself, she said she was taken aback when strangers kept asking where they could get the shirts. She decided that day to start her own li

Westwood Heads in New Direction

Some recently launched building projects have raised hopes of reviving Westwood Village as a popular retail destination.

20 in their 20s: Rodrigo Veloso

Rodrigo Veloso, a fifth-generation coffee grower from Brazil, knew what business to start when he attended school in Sweden: a coffee business. He imported the beans, launched his own brand and eventually started a small chain of shops.

20 in their 20s: Jason Nazar

As a consultant for startups, Jason Nazar spent much of his workday looking for documents online, from business plans to licensing agreements.

20 in their 20s: Sudhin Shahani & Vikramaditya Jain

Sudhin Shahani and his partner Vikramaditya Jain set out three years ago to create a digital media business called myMPO, designed to put an artists' spin on music downloading.

Electro Rent Reports Increased Q3 Sales

Electro Rent Corp. reported third quarter net income of $4.8 million (19 cents per share) a 7.6 percent dip from $ 5.2 million (20 cents) from the same period a year earlier. However, the company said that last year's profits were bolstered by $1.6 millio

CPK Signs Deal With Dubai Franchisee

California Pizza Kitchen Inc. said late Friday that it signed a deal with Gourmet Gulf Co. to become a franchise partner. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Clash of Titans Leads to Delay of Ticketmaster Sale

Cable magnate John Malone's concern for his shares of IAC/Interactive will likely keep Ticketmaster off the block until 2009.

20 in their 20s: Stacy Stubblefield

Six months ago, Stacy Stubblefield was talking about her beagle, Samantha, with a friend who also owned a beagle. They were comparing stories about how smart their dogs are.

20 in their 20s: Lucas Morea

Watching the Internet bloom in the late 1990s, Lucas Morea saw the potential for online business.

20 in their 20s: Allen Vartazarian & Anthony Zanontian

There's an old Hollywood saw that it takes as much luck as talent for an entertainer to get a big break in show business. Allen Vartazarian and Anthony Zanontian have launched a networking online site that aims to improve the odds on the talent side.

DirecTV Subsidizes 'Friday Night Lights'

For television networks, it is a common quandary: what do you do about a show that critics adore, that has a passionate base of fans, but that consistently gets mediocre ratings? NBC, for one, thinks it has a creative solution.

Newsmakers

Kudos, hirings and promotions.

20 in their 20s: Tyler Barnett & Jason Ellman

While youth might be a deficit to some in the business world, it is a benefit to Tyler Barnett and Jason Ellman co-founders of Beverly Hills-based public relations firm Barnett Ellman LLC.

Tech Company Anticipates Falling Short on Visas

Sanjay Kucheria, president of a Glendale information technology company, learned his lesson last year.

Friday, April 4

Tribune Co Faces Default in 2009

Tribune Co is at risk of defaulting on its debt in as little as 18 months if the newspaper business deteriorates further, and it fails to unload more properties.

Nonprofit Hospitals Strike It Rich

Nonprofit hospitals, originally set up to serve the poor, have transformed themselves into profit machines. And as the money rolls in, the large tax breaks they receive are drawing fire.

Fox Interactive Media Reorganizes

News Corp.'s Fox Interactive Media Internet division could fall short of its fiscal 2008 revenue target of $1 billion, as it reorganizes its divisions to better exploit the online advertising market.

Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal's index of the 200 largest public companies saw its biggest gain since October adding 2.8 percent for the week with 132 of the companies either posting weekly gains or remaining unchanged.

THQ Sees Buying Opportunities

THQ Inc. is looking at buying other video game developers, but the publisher of games like "Cars" and "Saints Row" can grow without making acquisitions, Chief Executive Brian Farrell said late Thursday.

IPC Hospitalist Lands on Russell Index

Shares in IPC The Hospitalist Co. gained nearly 8 percent Friday after the company said it was added to the Russell 2000 Index.

Sports Chalet Falls on Guidance

Shares of the La Canada Flintridge-based sporting goods retailer fell 20 percent Friday after the company projected a sharper-than-expected fourth quarter loss due to a slowdown in consumer spending.

Emerson to Move to Hollywood

Emerson College, seeking to upgrade its film and television training center, is relocating the program to Hollywood from Burbank.

Countrywide's Bank Downgraded

Moody's Investors Service late Thursday cut the rating on the bank owned by Countrywide Financial Corp. to "D," or default, because the bank has substantial liquidity issues.

Diodes Acquires British Chipmaker

Diodes Inc. said Friday that it will purchase Great Britain-based chipmaker Zetex plc for about $176 million in cash.

Boeing Gripes Anew About Tanker Deal

Boeing Co. said Friday that the aircraft fuselage proposed by Northrop Grumman Corp. in the competition between the aerospace rivals for a coveted aerial refueling tanker contract should have received lower scores from the contest's evaluators.

Biz Fed Endorses Parks

The newly-formed Los Angeles County Business Federation on Friday endorsed Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard Parks for a seat on the County Board of Supervisors.

Thursday, April 3

Napster Surges on Fourth Quarter Sales

Shares in Napster Inc. shot up nearly 18 percent early Thursday after the company reported that preliminary fourth-quarter sales numbers met the higher end of its forecast.

Liberty Ups DirecTV Stake to 48 Percent

Liberty Media Corp. bought 78.3 million additional shares in DirecTV Group Inc. to increase its stake in the satellite-television provider to 48 percent, the media company said Thursday.

Northrop Fined for Illegal Exports

Northrop Grumman Corp. was fined $15 million by the U.S. State Department for the illegal export of aircraft navigation software.

KB Shareholders Reject Pay Measure

Shareholders in KB Home rejected a proposal at their annual meeting Thursday morning that would have tied executive pay to performance. But they did approve a measure to limit severance payments, even though managers recommended they vote against it.

Audit Criticizes Construction Management

The Los Angeles City Controller issued a highly critical audit Thursday of the city's management of contracts for the construction of the new L.A.P.D. headquarters building.

MySpace Launches Music Service

MySpace.com is starting a joint venture with a handful of record companies to sell music and concert tickets via the popular social networking site. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

American Apparel Plans China Stores

A local clothing maker is putting a new spin on a sore subject: American Apparel Inc. is opening stores in China this spring, and stocking them with T-shirts, shorts and hoodies made in downtown L.A.

Live Nation Close to Deal With Jay Z

In what may be the richest in a string of recent deals with superstar musicians, Live Nation Inc. is close to a $150 million, 10-year deal with Jay-Z that would give the concert promoter a financial position in virtually every aspect of the rapper and ent

Federal Judge OKs Countrywide Probe

A federal judge has authorized an in-depth probe of Countrywide Financial Corp.'s mortgage processing systems by bankruptcy investigators hunting for evidence that the lender systematically abuses borrowers.

Wednesday, April 2

SAG Sets Start Date for Talks

The Screen Actors Guild announced Tuesday night that it would begin negotiations with the major studios April 15.

Capstone Gets Large Order

Shares in Capstone Turbine Corp. rose more than 6 percent early Wednesday after the company said it received a $5 million order for its microturbines to be used in hybrid electric buses.

WGA: Disney Kept Writers During Strike

The Writers Guild of America filed arbitration claims against Walt Disney Co.'s ABC, alleging two daytime soap operas kept replacement writers hired during the union's 100-day strike.

A Tale of iStar's Fremont Bet

When iStar Financial Inc. announced its plan to snap up the commercial real-estate lending business from Fremont General Corp. last spring, the deal was applauded, but instead, the deal has proved toxic.

Port Reaches Trapac Agreement

An agreement is expected to be announced Thursday between the Port of Los Angeles and a coalition of opponents, allowing construction of the port's first terminal expansion in five years.

Avery Buys Taiwanese Label Maker

Avery Dennison Corp. said late Tuesday that it has acquired label maker DM Label Group for an undisclosed sum.

MySpace Music to Launch in Days

News Corp's (NWSa.N: Quote, Profile, Research) MySpace, the largest online social networking site, will unveil a music joint venture with at least three major music companies within 5 days, sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Pelican Names General as Chairman

Pelican Products Inc., the Torrance-based maker of advanced lighting systems, has appointed retired Marine Corps General Peter Pace as its chairman.

Daily Brief

Reliance Buys Conn.-based firm

Hedge Fund Announces Maguire Stake

Hedge fund Third Point LLC said late Tuesday that it currently holds more than 7 percent of the stock of Maguire Properties Inc. and wants to take an active role in the real estate investment trust.

Tuesday, April 1

Northrop "Grounds" Work On Tanker

Northrop Grumman updated analysts with a conference call on the KC-45 tanker program--the $35 billion contract Northrop and EADS beat out Boeing to win.

Harold Greene, Ann Martin Depart CBS

Sources at Los Angeles television stations KCBS-TV (Channel 2) and KCAL-TV (Channel 9) confirmed that their stations have fallen victim to the same series of newsroom cuts that have affected other CBS owned-and-operated affiliates throughout the country.

Woody Allen Sues American Apparel

Woody Allen asked a federal court on Monday to strip a clothing company known for its racy ads featuring scantily clad models of at least $10 million for using his image on billboards and on the Internet.

International Traffic at LAX on the Rise

More travelers from around the world are descending on Los Angeles International Airport than ever before, even though domestic service remains challenged by record fuel costs and the declining value of the dollar.

LeFraks Buy Building for Record Price

LeFrak Organization Inc., a New York-based real estate company that is accumulating trophy property in Los Angeles, on Tuesday bought a Beverly Hills medical office building for what is believed to be a record per-foot price in that city.

Health Net to Develop System for Dubai

Health Net Inc. said Tuesday that it has been hired by Dubai's government to help develop a new health-care funding system for the country. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed.

SAG Sees Leverage Lost

With SAG suddenly in a hurry to get to the bargaining table, the majors are in the driver's seat in upcoming negotiations with the actors unions.

Northrop

Northrop Grumman updated analysts with a conference call on the KC-45 tanker program--the $35 billion contract Northrop and EADS beat out Boeing to win.

Amgen's CEO Made $20 Million in 2007

Amgen Inc.'s chief executive, Kevin Sharer, took home $19.9 million last year, marking a 17 percent dip in the executive's pay.

Abraxis Posts Loss But Sales Impress

Abraxis BioScience Inc. said early Tuesday that its fourth-quarter loss widened as costs offset surging drug sales.

Hansen Gains on Upgrade

Shares in beverage maker Hansen Natural Corp. jumped nearly 8 percent early Tuesday after shares in the company were added to Goldman Sachs & Co.'s buy list.

Public Storage Announces Details of Sale

Public Storage Inc. sold 51 percent of Shurgard Europe to a U.S. retirement fund after scrapping initial plans for a public offering of shares late last year.