Stories for August 2009

Monday, August 31

Real Estate Loans Squeezing Community Banks

Problems in commercial real estate are finally catching up to local banks.

Profile: Chauncey Swalwell - Legal

Veteran real estate attorney Chauncey Swalwell at Stroock & Stroock has managed to stay active during the downturn, handling more than $500 million in loan workouts and restructurings.

Refusing to Run for Cover In a Stormy Market

A look at the local brokers and other dealmakers in commercial real estate still making a go of it despite the down market.

Shareholders Anticipate Tuneup in Radio Sector

Investors have dialed into radio stocks to the benefit of some local operators.

A Swinging Virtual Golf Club

Pebble Beach on 6th's virtual game connects golfers with their inner Tiger.

BreitBurn Postpones Annual Meeting

BreitBurn Energy Partners L.P. said it will postpone its annual shareholder meeting until sometime next year, due to delays in settling corporate governance-related litigation.

Disney to Buy Marvel

Walt Disney Co. said that it plans to buy Marvel Entertainment Inc. for $4 billion in a deal that would give the Mouse House control over Spider-Man, Iron Man and many other comic book icons.

Profile: Jeff Weller - Investors

Jeff Weller co-founded Lion with Mory Barak after leaving CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. in Los Angeles, where he served as a vice president.

Profile: Fred Sands - Investors

Many real estate moguls with a first act on the level of Fred Sands' would not be inclined to give it another go, especially in the current recession.

Some Fans Take a Pass on USC's Home Schedule

Perennial college football powerhouse USC has won two national championships and held a top five ranking at the end of the last seven seasons.

Dry Run

Landscaper ValleyCrest's water saving systems have buoyed business.

Losing Lunch

Charles Crumpley backs the food trucks in their street fight with restaurants and police.

Profile: Bob Safai - Brokers

Earlier this month, veteran commercial real estate broker Bob Safai took his first long vacation in 17 years. Unlike some other brokers in town, he actually needed a break.

Pssst Wanna Buy the Hollywood Sign?

A hotly anticipated venture capital conference coming to Marina del Rey in October might not have come together if not for the Hollywood sign?

LAX Looks to Land Some Appetizing Additions

Los Angeles International Airport isn't known for a diverse and yummy assortment of restaurants and retail shops, but that could be changing soon.

Profile: Kevin Shannon - Brokers

Veteran real estate broker Kevin Shannon has spent the better part of three decades in the business, with a focus on investment sales.

For Neighbors, Where There's Smoke There's Fire

L.A. officials and many older medical marijuana businesses hope to snuff out pot dispensaries launched by a permit loophole.

Clothing Maker Refashioned as Private Company

The swooning shares of an apparel business spurred the founders to take the company private.

Wi-Fi Takes Wing

Row 44's airborne Wi-Fi is set to take off after a recent deal with Southwest Airlines.

Profile: Mory Barak - Investors

Mory Barak is among the most active of the younger generation of real estate professionals.

Law Firm Finally Puts Move on Desired Location

A large lease deal has been completed at One California Plaza, a 42-story downtown L.A. high-rise that is up for sale by owners Maguire Properties Inc. and Macquarie Office Trust.

Profile: Mark Zytko - Finance

Mark Zytko, co-founder of Mesa West Capital with partner Jeff Friedman, has more than two decades of experience in real estate,

Udvar-Hazy Makes Pitch for ILFC

The head of American International Group Inc.'s giant aircraft-leasing business in Los Angeles is in talks to buy a piece of the unit amid growing frustration at AIG's delay in selling the company.

Chase in Hunt for Local Execs

Chase is expanding its middle-market presence in Los Angeles by hiring away local executives.

Dispensaries Draw Diverse Operators

L.A. officials and many older medical marijuana businesses hope to snuff out pot dispensaries launched by a permit loophole.

L.A. Suffering by Degrees

High-quality preschool gets future employees off on the right track, according to Gary Mangiofico.

Profile: Jeff Friedman - Finance

Since Jeff Friedman co-founded Mesa West Capital in 2004, almost everything has changed for the West L.A. commercial real estate lender from its business model to its competition.

Business Groups Boo Tax Boosts

Business groups are banding together to battle a state panel's tax proposals.

NEWS OF THE WEEK

State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner announced he will file a lawsuit to block the sale of $1 billion worth of assets of the State Compensation Insurance Fund to help close a mammoth budget deficit.

Profile: Steven Lurie - Legal

Transactional real estate attorney Steven Lurie has handled $1 billion in deals over the last year. The big number surprised even him.

Aerospace Sector Soars With Deal for Parts Maker

The local M & A; market got a lift from a big deal to buy a Paramount aerospace engine parts maker.

Landing GM

The federal government turned to ex-Northrop CEO Kent Kresa to steer GM through bankruptcy.

Lack of Access Stymies State's Inspector General

The state inspector general post is pointless without any enforcement powers, writes Carl Olson.

Profile: Steve Soboroff - Development

An adviser to Richard Riordan during his term as mayor of Los Angeles, Steve Soboroff joined the Playa Vista development team in 2001 after his own unsuccessful run for mayor.

Hookups Pay Off for Non-Profits

A local broker helps merge non-profits struggling in the down economy.

Is Angelo Mozilo a Villain or Just Vilified?

The former Countrywide Financial chief executive is awaiting verdicts in the courtroom and history.

Profile: Lewis Feldman - Legal

A partner in the law firm's business law department, specializing in real estate capital, Lewis Feldman keeps active on both sides of the market:

Easing Sting Of Layoffs

Pillsbury Winthrop has paid to place its laid-off staff at local non-profits.

CALENDAR & EVENTS

Events of interest of interest of Los Angeles' business community.

Profile: John Long - Investors

John Long founded Highridge in 1978 and the company has built a portfolio worth more than $7 billion.

Profile: Carl Muhlstein - Brokers

Veteran real estate broker Carl Muhlstein has completed several notable leases in the past year.

Growing Like a ...

L.A. officials and many older medical marijuana businesses hope to snuff out pot dispensaries launched by a permit loophole.

Aecom Buys Engineering Company

Aecom Technology Corp. said that it acquired privately held Lake Forest engineering firm LAN Engineering Corp. of California.

Newsmakers and Kudos

The Los Angeles Daily News, a Woodland Hills-based newspaper focused on the San Fernando Valley, has named Jack Klunder publisher.

OC Register Parent Expected to File for Bankruptcy

Freedom Communications is expected to file for bankruptcy this week under a plan that will hand the owner of the Orange County Register and 30 other newspapers around the country to its lenders.

Billionaires' Airport Feud Touches Down in Court

Billionaires Robert Maguire and David Murdock are in a dogfight over a Van Nuys aviation business.

Friday, August 28

Poizner Seeks to Block State Fund Sale

State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner said he will file a lawsuit to block the sale of $1 billion worth of assets of State Compensation Insurance Fund designed to help close a mammoth budget deficit.

Northrop Settles EPA Case

Northrop Grumman Corp. has reached an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to spend $21 million to build a groundwater cleanup system to cleanse a major contamination site in the San Gabriel Valley.

Marciano Hit With Another Judgment

A Los Angeles judge has ruled that Guess Inc. co-founder Georges Marciano must pay $55 million in damages for trying to ruin the reputation of an accountant hired to investigate five former employees who later successfully sued him.

Farmers To Gut Workforce at 21st Century Unit

California's largest auto insurer, Farmers Insurance Group, said it planned to slash jobs at the offices of its newly acquired 21st Century Insurance unit in Woodland Hills.

This Week's Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal's index of the 200 largest local public companies eked out a slight gain for the week ended Aug. 28, boosted by a series of positive economic indicators, including a rise in consumer spending.

Marciano Hit With Another Judgment

A Los Angeles judge has ruled that Guess Inc. co-founder Georges Marciano must pay $55 million in damages for trying to ruin the reputation of an accountant hired to investigate five former employees who later successfully sued him.

Thursday, August 27

OSI Systems Sees Lower Quarterly Profit

Imaging devices maker OSI Systems Inc. said that its fiscal fourth quarter earnings fell 23 percent, largely due to weaker sales at its health care segment.

Northrop Wins Two Large Military Contracts

Northrop Grumman Corp. has received multi-year contracts from the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy totaling nearly $12 billion.

Disney Consolidates Cable Network Ownership

A&E Television Networks will take over management of Lifetime Entertainment Services in a merger announced by Walt Disney Co., Hearst Corp. and NBC Universal.

Coconut Water Bubbles

As the once-hot bottled water business loses steam, drink makers are starting to pour money into marketing campaigns for what they hope will be the next sector to come to a boil: coconut water.

OSI Systems Sees Lower Quarterly Profit

Imaging devices maker OSI Systems Inc. said Thursday that its fiscal fourth quarter earnings fell 23 percent, largely due to weaker sales at its health care segment.

Oprah Winfrey Network Slow to Get Off the Ground

More than 20 months after the announcement that she was teaming up with Discovery Communications to create a new cable channel, not much has happened -- except for a revolving door of executives.

Northrop Wins Two Large Military Contracts

Northrop Grumman Corp. has received multi-year contracts from the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy totaling nearly $12 billion.

Northrop Settles EPA Case

Northrop Grumman Corp. has reached an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to spend $21 million to build a groundwater cleanup system to cleanse a major contamination site in the San Gabriel Valley.

Poizner Seeks to Block State Fund Sale

State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner said he will file a lawsuit to block the sale of $1 billion worth of assets of State Compensation Insurance Fund designed to help close a mammoth budget deficit.

Tribune Bondholders Want Probe

A group of Tribune Co. bondholders have sought approval from a U.S. judge to investigate billionaire Sam Zell's $8.3 billion buyout of the Los Angeles Times' parent, which they say drove it to bankruptcy.

Disney Consolidates Cable Network Ownership

A & E; Television Networks will take over management of Lifetime Entertainment Services in a merger announced by Walt Disney Co., Hearst Corp. and NBC Universal.

Wednesday, August 26

Higher Expenses Drain Southwest Water

Southwest Water Co. said Wednesday that despite higher operating revenues, the water utility saw a wider net loss in its first quarter due to expenses related to an earlier restatement of earnings.

Overseas Sales Boost Guess’ Profit

Apparel maker Guess Inc. said its second quarter net income rose 11 percent on higher European revenue and lower expenses, beating Wall Street expectations.

Higher Expenses Drain Southwest Water

Southwest Water Co. said that despite higher operating revenues, the water utility saw a wider net loss in its first quarter due to expenses related to an earlier restatement of earnings.

Overseas Sales Boost Guess' Profit

Apparel maker Guess Inc. said its second quarter net income rose 11 percent on higher European revenue and lower expenses, beating Wall Street expectations.

Port Urged to Stop Lobbying Over Clean-Trucks Program

Several of the nation's biggest trade associations have fired a warning shot across the bow of the Port of Los Angeles, urging it to cease lobbying efforts to change a federal law that could greatly affect the way cargo is hauled into and out of the natio

Tuesday, August 25

CB Richard Ellis Restructures Debt

CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. said that its lenders had agreed to modify $994 million in debt by extending maturity dates, swapping rounds of debt and taking other measures.

WPT Gets Better Offer

WPT Enterprises Inc. said that a British company will buy its assets, including the World Poker Tour franchise, for more than $12 million in cash plus a share of future revenue.

International Rectifier Shows Profit

International Rectifier Corp. said Tuesday that it swung to a profit in its fiscal fourth quarter, helped by proceeds from the sale of one of its business units.

Employers Direct Signs Deal with Encino Company

Employers Direct Insurance Company, which earlier announced that it was backing out of the California workers’ compensation insurance business, said Tuesday that it was selling the renewal rights of certain existing policies to another company.

WPT Gets Better Offer

WPT Enterprises Inc. said that a British company will buy its assets, including the World Poker Tour franchise, for more than $12 million in cash plus a share of future revenue.

CB Richard Ellis Restructures Debt

CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. said that its lenders had agreed to modify $994 million in debt by extending maturity dates, swapping rounds of debt and taking other measures.

Employers Direct Signs Deal with Encino Company

Employers Direct Insurance Company, which earlier announced that it was backing out of the California workers' compensation insurance business, said it was selling the renewal rights of certain existing policies to another company.

Study Could Mitigate Amgen Drug's Health Risks

Amgen Inc.'s anemia drug Aranesp neither helped nor hurt the heart health of patients with chronic kidney disease, a company-sponsored trial found.

Updated: Coroner Rules Jackson's Death Homicide

The Los Angeles County coroner's finding that the death of Michael Jackson was a homicide could mean criminal charges for his doctor, who told investigators that he administered a mix of powerful drugs to treat the pop star's insomnia hours before his dea

International Rectifier Shows Profit

International Rectifier Corp. said that it swung to a profit in its fiscal fourth quarter, helped by proceeds from the sale of one of its business units.

Small Business Development Centers Scramble for Funding

Last-minute cuts in the California budget are threatening programs that have been instrumental in helping entrepreneurs beat back the recession's perils.

Countrywide Gets Approval to Settle Shareholder Lawsuit

Countrywide Financial Corp. won a Delaware judge's permission to settle a 2008 lawsuit filed by shareholders over Bank of America Corp.'s $2.5 billion takeover of the Calabasas mortgage lender.

Monday, August 24

Lawmakers Get Second Opinion From Business

HEALTH CARE: Bearing cost of reform plan a hot topic at local meetings.

Local business leaders have a lot to say to lawmakers about health reform.

Monrovia Solar Panel Maker Heats Up Production

EXPANSION: Soliant looks to double its staff with the opening of local plant.

After four years of raising capital and developing prototypes, Monrovia-based Soliant Energy is opening its pilot solar-panel manufacturing facility this week.

Air Board Puts Brakes on Vernon Cycle Vendor

AUTOMOTIVE: Viva closes after $268,000 fine for bikes failing to meet standards.

Vernon motorcycle importer Viva Motorsports Inc. shut its doors within weeks of receiving a $268,000 fine from the California Air Resources Board for allegedly selling motorcycles that did not meet standards.

3-D Printing Company’s Future Fails to Take Shape

STARTUP: High costs of product contribute to fall of Desktop Factory.

Desktop Factory Inc. is about to disappear.

Some L.A. Companies Get Warm Public Reception

INVESTMENT: Food giant Dole’s IPO embraced by thawing capital market.

Some L.A. companies are among those capitalizing in a more welcoming market for IPOs.

Former Vitamin Exec Sees Healthy Pickup Target

BUYOUT OFFER: Board of Nutraceutical spurns bid by ex-Country Life CEO.

After selling his family’s vitamin company to Japanese soy sauce giant Kikkoman Corp. two years ago, Ryan Drexler took a break before deciding whether to jump back into the business.

Encino Firm Hopes to Rev Up With ‘Hybrid’ Model

MEDIA: KSL to combine direct-response and branding for clients.

KSL Media Inc., an Encino-based media buying agency, has reorganized its operations to focus on what Chief Executive Hank Cohen calls “hybrid buying.”

Station Pulls Plug on Staff as It Turns to Talk Format

RADIO: KFWB ditches costly all-news model for conservative programs.

KFWB has pulled the plug on some of its staff as the news station prepares to change over to a talk format.

REGIONAL REPORT

Variety, a trade publication for the show business industry, has announced the opening of a German office in Munich.

Tuned-Up Assets

Equity firm PROFILE: Transom puts its money where the music is, such as a mic company and a merchandise business.

Equity firm Transom is humming along with investment in music industry businesses.

Odd Path

Former slow-growth City Councilman Paul Little now a champion for businesses as Pasadena Chamber of Commerce CEO.

Former slow-growth City Councilman Paul Little now pumps up Pasadena business as head of the Chamber of Commerce there.

U.S. Immigration Office Expands Borders in L.A.

LEASE: Federal agency signs $14.4 million deal for bigger downtown digs.

The axiom that business with the federal government is a safe haven during recessions is ringing true this go-around.

Competition Swamps L.A. Port

Charles Crumpley fears union-boosting activity will torpedo business at the Port of Los Angeles.

One More Proposition ...

California needs to reform its initiative process to curb single-issue groups’ hold on public policy.

Clive Hoffman would like to see California raise the bar before initiatives can get on the ballot.

Pumping Up the Plea to Make L.A. More Bike-Friendly

Richard Risemberg touts the health and societal benefits of riding bikes.

Zumbox Closes Series A Funding

Zumbox said it has raised $8 million for a national rollout of its system for sending electronic mail to postal addresses later this year.

Northrop Grumman Gets Cybersecurity Contract

Northrop Grumman Corp. said that its cybersecurity team won a five-year U.S. Army contract potentially worth $430 million to continue providing information and network operations services.

Competition Swamps L.A. Port

Charles Crumpley fears union-boosting activity will torpedo business at the Port of Los Angeles.

Internet Execs Failed to Click

Friction among management has helped ground formerly high-flying Internet ad firm Hydra.

Zumbox Closes Series A Funding

Zumbox said it has raised $8 million for a national rollout of its system for sending electronic mail to postal addresses later this year.

Monrovia Solar Panel Maker Heats Up Production

After four years of raising capital and developing prototypes, Monrovia-based Soliant Energy is opening its pilot solar-panel manufacturing facility this week.

Investors Turning REITs Into Hot Properties

Investors have been homing in on real estate investment trusts despite the down market.

Sweetening The Deal

Nestle has unwrapped the term "funterns" for interns handling a candy promotion.

Northrop Grumman Gets Cybersecurity Contract

Northrop Grumman Corp. said that its cybersecurity team won a five-year U.S. Army contract potentially worth $430 million to continue providing information and network operations services.

3-D Printing Company's Future Fails to Take Shape

Desktop Factory Inc. is about to disappear.

Opening New Front

Developer THQ had to change its sales tactics to get a World War II title into China.

Northrop Reviews Subs After Defects

Northrop Grumman Corp. and General Dynamics Corp., the U.S. Navy's two largest shipbuilders, are reviewing their work on Virginia-class nuclear submarines after defects were found on weapons-handling systems of four vessels.

Investors Fill Up Tank of Synthetic Fuel Company

Synthetic fuel maker Rentech's stock has shot up despite concerns about profitability.

Advertising Heads Down New Road

AdScope's Ad Rover vehicle is taking clients' messages to the streets.

NEWS OF THE WEEK

Southern California Edison signed an agreement with First Solar Inc. to build two photovoltaic solar power projects in the Inland Empire, each with a capacity of 550 megawatts.

Tuned-Up Assets

Equity firm Transom is humming along with investment in music industry businesses.

U.S. Immigration Office Expands Borders in L.A.

The axiom that business with the federal government is a safe haven during recessions is ringing true this go-around.

Some L.A. Companies Get Warm Public Reception

Some L.A. companies are among those capitalizing in a more welcoming market for IPOs.

Matrimony Done by the Numbers

99 Cents Only Stores is offering matrimony on the cheap with an in-store wedding event.

REGIONAL REPORT

Variety, a trade publication for the show business industry, has announced the opening of a German office in Munich.

Charging Ahead

Monrovia's AeroVironment is charged up about its plan to build fuel stations for electric cars.

U.S. Immigration Office Expands Borders in L.A.

LEASE: Federal agency signs $14.4 million deal for bigger downtown digs.

The axiom that business with the federal government is a safe haven during recessions is ringing true this go-around.

Competition Swamps L.A. Port

Comment

Charles Crumpley fears union-boosting activity will torpedo business at the Port of Los Angeles.

Encino Firm Hopes to Rev Up With 'Hybrid' Model

KSL Media Inc., an Encino-based media buying agency, has reorganized its operations to focus on what Chief Executive Hank Cohen calls "hybrid buying."

Station Pulls Plug on Staff as It Turns to Talk Format

KFWB has pulled the plug on some of its staff as the news station prepares to change over to a talk format.

Pumping Up the Plea to Make L.A. More Bike-Friendly

Richard Risemberg touts the health and societal benefits of riding bikes.

Technicolor Deams of Bight Digital Fture

The company that brought color to the big screen in such classics as "Gone With the Wind" and "The Wizard of Oz." has invested more than $200 million in its production facilities to reinvent itself yet again.

Lawmakers Get Second Opinion From Business

Local business leaders have a lot to say to lawmakers about health reform.

CALENDAR & EVENTS

Events of interest to Los Angeles business community.

Calendar Girls for a Good Cause

Lisa Ramelow has always admired the style of the 1940s. And the 51-year-old restaurateur has long loved kitschy calendars.

MySpace Cues Music Service

MySpace is hoping to do what Ticketmaster could not: profit by hooking up with music service iLike.

Air Board Puts Brakes on Vernon Cycle Vendor

Vernon motorcycle importer Viva Motorsports Inc. shut its doors within weeks of receiving a $268,000 fine from the California Air Resources Board for allegedly selling motorcycles that did not meet standards.

Saturday, August 22

A Cul-de-Sac of Lost Dreams, and New Ones

The housing bust has fundamentally changed a street with eight houses in Moreno Valley, four of which have been in foreclosure in the last two years.

Friday, August 21

Motorcar Parts of America Makes Acquisition

Motorcar Parts of America Inc., which rebuilds vehicle alternators and starters for cars and light trucks, said that it bought certain assets of a privately held competitor.

Rentech Announces Fuel Sale to Military

Capping a wild week for the company's stock, Rentech Inc. shares rose nearly 17 percent Friday after the company announced it has sold its synthetic diesel fuel for use in a special military vehicle.

Tarrant Apparel Shareholders Approve Merger

Shareholders have approved a plan by the founders of Tarrant Apparel Group to take the company private in a deal valued at $15.2 million.

L.A. County Unemployment Hits Record High

In a sign that the recession still has Los Angeles in its grip, the county’s unemployment rate shot up to a modern record of 11.9 percent in July from a revised 11.2 percent in June thanks to steep cuts in public education payrolls.

Radio Station Plans Layoffs

Executives at KFWB-AM have given pinks slips to 14 staff members as the CBS Corp.-owned radio station prepares to switch from an all-news format to a news talk one.

L.A. County Unemployment Hits Record High

In a sign that the recession still has Los Angeles in its grip, the county's unemployment rate shot up to a modern record of 11.9 percent in July from a revised 11.2 percent in June thanks to steep cuts in public education payrolls.

The Week's Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal's index of the 200 largest local public companies eked out only a slight gain for the week ended August 21.

Rentech Announces Fuel Sale to Military

Capping a wild week for the company's stock, Rentech Inc. shares rose nearly 17 percent Friday after the company announced it has sold its synthetic diesel fuel for use in a special military vehicle.

Tarrant Apparel Shareholders Approve Merger

Shareholders have approved a plan by the founders of Tarrant Apparel Group to take the company private in a deal valued at $15.2 million.

Radio Station Plans Layoffs

Executives at KFWB-AM have given pinks slips to 14 staff members as the CBS Corp.-owned radio station prepares to switch from an all-news format to a news talk one.

Stimulus Funds in California Mostly Going to Routine Projects

When President Obama first outlined his stimulus plan to boost the economy, leaders across the country envisioned a burst of federal funding to build high-speed rail lines, modern classrooms and a new national electricity grid. Latrine repair? No one ment

Thursday, August 20

Marciano Files State Supreme Court Appeal

Georges Marciano said he has filed an appeal with the California Supreme Court of a lower court ruling ordering the Guess Inc. co-founder to pay damages to five former employees who said they were defamed and suffered emotional distress when he sued them for embezzlement.

Northrop Grumman Wins Army Contract

Northrop Grumman Corp. said it received an Army contract valued at $296 million to continue development of a system that provides ground intelligence to soldiers. In addition, a news report said the Los Angeles defense contractor is considering selling an unrelated business unit.

Hot Topic's Loss Widens

Hot Topic Inc. said its second-quarter loss significantly widened as sales of its trendy teen clothing continued to drop due to the recession.

Carl's Jr. Bad-Mouths Big Macs

In a burger battle royal, a rival to McDonald's Corp. had come out swinging, taking on the venerable Big Mac and talking smack about the Golden Arches' new Angus burger.

Northrop Grumman Wins Army Contract

Northrop Grumman Corp. said it received an Army contract valued at $296 million to continue development of a system that provides ground intelligence to soldiers. In addition, a news report said the Los Angeles defense contractor is considering selling an

BofA's Countrywide Loses Court Ruling

A federal judge has ruled that Bank of America Corp. cannot have an investor lawsuit seeking to force it to buy back Countrywide Financial mortgages heard in federal court, saying he lacks jurisdiction to decide the case.

A-List Stars Flailing at the Box Office

A-list movie stars have long been measured by their ability to fill theaters on opening weekend. But never have so many failed to deliver, resulting in some rare soul-searching at movie studios about why the old formula isn't working.

Motorcar Parts of America Makes Acquisition

Motorcar Parts of America Inc., which rebuilds vehicle alternators and starters for cars and light trucks, said that it bought certain assets of a privately held competitor.

Marciano Files State Supreme Court Appeal

Georges Marciano said he has filed an appeal with the California Supreme Court of a lower court ruling ordering the Guess Inc. co-founder to pay damages to five former employees who said they were defamed and suffered emotional distress when he sued them

Hot Topic's Loss Widens

Hot Topic Inc. said its second-quarter loss significantly widened as sales of its trendy teen clothing continued to drop due to the recession.

Wednesday, August 19

Rental Service Sues Warner Home Video

Coinstar Inc.'s Redbox Automated Retail said it filed suit against Burbank’s Warner Home Video in response the Time Warner Inc. unit’s decision to withhold its new DVDs from Redbox for four weeks.

MySpace Makes Acquisition

MySpace.com said it bought the popular music sharing Web site iLike Inc. The acquisition price was not released, but multiple industry blogs reported it was close to $20 million.

Chamber Makes Council Endorsement

The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce has endorsed Los Angeles school board member Tamar Galatzan in the Los Angeles City Council district race to replace newly elected city Controller Wendy Greuel.

Meruelo Maddux Retains Its Largest Tenant

Bankrupt commercial real estate company Meruelo Maddux Properties Inc. has reached a deal to retain its largest tenant, downtown clothing company American Apparel Inc.

Workers' Comp Fraud Crackdown Dealt a Setback

Insurers, complaining of the paperwork, squelch a provision in a state Senate bill that would require them to send notices to injured workers to verify that services billed were actually performed.

Updated: Chamber Makes Council Endorsement

The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce has endorsed Los Angeles school board member Tamar Galatzan in the Los Angeles City Council district race to replace newly elected city Controller Wendy Greuel.

Meruelo Maddux Retains Its Largest Tenant

Bankrupt commercial real estate company Meruelo Maddux Properties Inc. has reached a deal to retain its largest tenant, downtown clothing company American Apparel Inc.

MySpace Makes Acquisition

MySpace.com said it bought the popular music sharing Web site iLike Inc. The acquisition price was not released, but multiple industry blogs reported it was close to $20 million.

Rental Service Sues Warner Home Video

Coinstar Inc.'s Redbox Automated Retail said it filed suit against Burbank's Warner Home Video in response the Time Warner Inc. unit's decision to withhold its new DVDs from Redbox for four weeks.

Tuesday, August 18

Revenue Falls at CKE

Fast food chain operator CKE Restaurants Inc. said that its same-store sales fell 3.6 percent for the four weeks ended Aug. 10 compared with a year ago. Revenue declined 3 percent to $86.1 million.

SoCal Edison Plans New Solar Projects

Southern California Edison announced an agreement with First Solar Inc. to build two photovoltaic solar power projects in the Inland Empire, each with a capacity of 550 megawatts.

MLK Hospital to Reopen Under County-UC Partnership

OTHER NEWS

Los Angeles County supervisors have voted unanimously to ask the University of California to enter into a partnership to reopen inpatient services at Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital by 2012.

Rentech Gets Fuels Contract at LAX

Rentech Inc. said it signed a multiyear contract to supply its renewable synthetic diesel for ground service equipment at Los Angeles International Airport.

MGM Replaces CEO with Executive Team

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., which is struggling with a roughly $3.7 billion debt load, said it has replaced chief executive Harry Sloan with a team of senior executives and a well-known restructuring adviser.

MLK Hospital to Reopen Under County-UC Partnership

Los Angeles County supervisors have voted unanimously to ask the University of California to enter into a partnership to reopen inpatient services at Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital by 2012.

MGM Replaces CEO with Executive Team

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., which is struggling with a roughly $3.7 billion debt load, said it has replaced chief executive Harry Sloan with a team of senior executives and a well-known restructuring adviser.

Rentech Gets Fuels Contract at LAX

Rentech Inc. said it signed a multiyear contract to supply its renewable synthetic diesel for ground service equipment at Los Angeles International Airport.

Airport Commission Hires Lobbying Firm

As Los Angeles International Airport moves ahead with its $5 billion renovation project, the airport commission hired a high-profile lobbying firm to solicit changes in federal law that would require airline passengers to foot a larger portion of the bill

Spielburg's New DreamWorks Finalizes Financing

The latest incarnation of DreamWorks has launched as principal partners Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider and India's Reliance Big Pictures announced completion of the first phase of funding for DreamWorks 3.0.

Revenue Falls at CKE

Fast food chain operator CKE Restaurants Inc. said that its same-store sales fell 3.6 percent for the four weeks ended Aug. 10 compared with a year ago. Revenue declined 3 percent to $86.1 million.

SoCal Edison Plans New Solar Projects

Southern California Edison announced an agreement with First Solar Inc. to build two photovoltaic solar power projects in the Inland Empire, each with a capacity of 550 megawatts.

Monday, August 17

Innovative Card Technologies’ Loss Widens

Smart card developer Innovative Card Technologies Inc. said its second quarter loss grew 63 percent despite higher revenue and lower operating expenses.

Public Storage Drops on Analyst Downgrade

Shares of Public Storage Inc. fell Monday after an analyst downgraded the stock, noting the self storage industry’s performance will lag the economic recovery.

Girlz Line Up Close to Bratz

RETAIL: MGA hopes new dolls have similar shelf life.

Do MGA’s new Moxie Girlz dolls look like the Bratz dolls just lost to rival Mattel?

Driver's Seat

His experience as a bus driver helps MTA Chief Executive Art Leahy get a line on the job.

Malibu Stuck In Septic Muck

Sewage issues are backing up in Malibu as the regional water board moves to ban septic tanks in the city.

NEWSMAKERS

Greenberg Glusker, a Century City law firm specializing in real estate and entertainment law, has named Bob Baradaran chairman of the firm's real estate group. Previously, Baradaran was a partner in the group.

Orange County Newspaper Hands Delivery to Times

The Orange County Register has hired a new paperboy: the Los Angeles Times.

Public Storage Drops on Analyst Downgrade

Shares of Public Storage Inc. fell Monday after an analyst downgraded the stock, noting the self storage industry's performance will lag the economic recovery.

Moving to Los Angeles a Blessed Event for Publisher

Hofite Huddleston said she learned the power of media, marketing and events at an early age.

Business Hangs in the Balance

Cutting basic city services will only make L.A. more business unfriendly, warns Harold L. Katz.

Fiddler in the Law Firm

Instead of sending her kids to camp this summer, downtown L.A. attorney Nancy Smith sent herself to fiddle camp.

Capital Markets Loosen Up for Century City Firm

Who says companies can't raise any money these days?

Music Producer's Digs Can't Be Had for a Song

Listings and sales of L.A.'s elite executive homes.

Dire Streets

Homeboy Industries is hitting the streets to find funding for its gang-intervention program.

REGIONAL REPORT

PS Business Parks Inc., a Glendale-based real estate services firm, has announced a public offering of 3 million shares from which it hopes to net $133 million

Internet Holds Silver Lining for L.A.

Jeffrey F. Rayport has sky-high hopes for the future of L.A.'s information technology services.

NEWS OF THE WEEK

The Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau, an industry actuarial body, is recommending that workers' compensation insurance rates in California increase 23 percent next year.

L.A. Cargo Handler Anticipates Wave of Growth

Container traffic may be down, but that's not holding back American President Lines Ltd. from expanding its presence at the Port of Los Angeles.

Loss Leader?

Marketing consultant Harry Dubin used retail-style price slashing to sell condos in Koreatown.

L.A. Port Trucking in Lobbyist to Help Unions

The Port of L.A. is pushing to revise a federal act so as to help unions organize there.

Dodgers Hit The Road

The L.A. Dodgers' new truck provides fans with curbside ticket service.

Nevada Just Doesn't Add Up

Nevada fails to charm Charles Crumpley as a place to set up business.

One Size Fits All Won't Work in Emission Reduction Plans

Holly Schroeder believes local authorities are better positioned to deal with emission issues.

Web Video Makers Hope Software Finds Audience

The creative duo behind popular online videos has branched out into Internet software.

Soccer Channel's Goal Is Net Gain in Viewership

Soccer fans who want to watch the biggest European tournament of the year will be tuning in to Fox Soccer Channel this week.

White-Collar Career Takes Off for Ex-Navy Pilot

As a Navy officer, Thomas O'Brien spent much of his career flying F-14 Tomcats. In the U.S. Attorney's Office, he indicted high-profile criminals and supervised their prosecution.

New Age for Medical Treatment?

A Beverly Hills doctor to the stars has opened a clinic to push nontraditional treatments.

Bail Decision Delayed in Tax Case

A federal district court judge on Monday delayed ruling whether the former longtime tax attorney of Haim Saban will be released on bail.

CALENDAR & EVENTS

Events of interest to Los Angeles' business community.

Commercial Appeal for Directors

A Venice commercial-making company rolls with Hollywood directors.

L.A. Port Trucking in Lobbyist to Help Unions

SHIPPING: Facility hires Gephardt to revise federal law.

The Port of L.A. is pushing to revise a federal act so as to help unions organize there.

Sex Doesn't Sell

Lingerie maker Frederick's of Hollywood plans to launch a toned-down line of women's wear for mass retailers.

Girlz Line Up Close to Bratz

Do MGA's new Moxie Girlz dolls look like the Bratz dolls just lost to rival Mattel?

Lobbyists Say They Don't Need No Stinkin' Badges

Lobbyists feel they're being singled out by a proposed Beverly Hills ID program.

Innovative Card Technologies' Loss Widens

Smart card developer Innovative Card Technologies Inc. said its second quarter loss grew 63 percent despite higher revenue and lower operating expenses.

Grim Forecast for L.A. and Long Beach Ports

The busiest U.S. seaport complex won't fully recover from the economic downturn until 2013, a new report says. Imports at both facilities fell in July from a year earlier.

New Koreatown Mall Holds a Little Bit of Seoul

A new Koreatown mall was built with an eye toward South Korean design details.

Video Game Developer's Price Hike Pounded in U.K.

U.K. gamers are blasting Activision's price increase for its upcoming war title.

Saturday, August 15

Barneys New York Brings Warehouse Sale to Downtown

The warehouse event, which was held for the last 14 years in a hangar at the Santa Monica Airport, moves to downtown Los Angeles.

Friday, August 14

Dole Announces IPO

Dole Food Co., which majority owner David Murdock took private several years ago, said Friday that it is planning an initial public offering that could raise as much as $500 million.

Malibu Man to Plead Guilty in Bank Secrets Case

A Malibu man accused of trying to avoid paying taxes has agreed to plead guilty to failing to report more than $1 million he transferred to a Swiss bank account, according to court documents.

Ticketmaster Earnings Slump on Poor Sales

Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc.'s second-quarter profit plunged 70 percent, hurt by lower ticketing revenue particularly in its concert business.

This Week's Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal's index of the 200 largest local public companies closed flat for the week ended Aug. 14 as gains in industrial stocks offset losses in the finance and consumer sectors.

American Apparel Profit Falls

American Apparel Inc.'s second-quarter profit dropped 34 percent as the tough economy hurt sales, but the earnings surpassed Wall Street expectations.

Creditors May Force Zell Out at Tribune

Tribune Co. creditors are moving to force out billionaire Sam Zell as chairman of the troubled Chicago media company that owns the Los Angeles Times and KTLA Channel 5, according to a media report.

Hello Filmmakers: Hollywood Misses You

After a decade of watching film production slowly abandon Hollywood, lured away by financial incentives first in Canada, then other U.S. states, California hopes to woo the movies back home.

Thursday, August 13

Tarrant Apparel Reports Profit

A week before shareholders decide whether to take the company private, Tarrant Apparel Group said it had eked out a small profit in its second quarter as the recession continues to batter the retail sector.

FDA Panel Backs Limited Use of Amgen Bone Drug

A federal health panel said a highly anticipated bone drug from Amgen Inc. benefits patients with osteoporosis, but should not be used to prevent the disease because of long-term safety questions.

Wednesday, August 12

Kaiser to Cut California Workforce

Managed care giant Kaiser Permanente, said it would eliminate more than 1,800 positions statewide as it struggles with drooping membership, uncertain healthcare reform and shriveling Medicare reimbursement rates.

Workers' Comp Rate Hike Recommended

Workers' compensation insurance rates in California should increase 23 percent next year, according to recommendation from the governing board of the Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau, an industry actuarial body.

KIIS-FM Retains Top Ratings Slot

The top six stations in Los Angeles remained relatively unchanged in the July radio ratings, released Wednesday by tracking firm Arbitron Inc.

Meet Michael Jackson's Conservative Benefactor

In the business world there's secretive and then there's Philip Anschutz. Lately Anschutz, whose properties include Los Angeles' AEG Inc., has been heavily invested in rehabbing the distressed career of Michael Jackson , even after the singer's death.

Arrowhead Regains Nasdaq Compliance

Arrowhead Research Corp. said it received notification that the company has regained the minimum stockholders' equity requirement to remain listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market.

Delgadillo Joins Law Firm

Former Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo announced Wednesday that he is joining Goodwin Procter LLP as counsel.

San Diego Newspaper Trims Payroll, Announces Ad Program

Platinum Equity-owned San Diego Union Tribune announced a series of changes that include eliminating jobs, ramping up a new advertising program and streamlining its printing process to save money.

Media Companies Sign Distribution Deals

Image Entertainment Inc. and Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. have signed separate distribution deals to make their entertainment content available on nontraditional platforms.

Port Traffic Downturn Continues

The total number of cargo containers passing through the Port of Long Beach in July was down 23 percent compared with a year ago, according to port officials

SouthWest Water Makes Governance Changes

SouthWest Water Co. said it will separate the role of chairman and chief executive, and adopt other corporate governance changes at a shareholders meeting next month.

Lower Quarter for Gelsons' Parent

Arden Group Inc., owner of the Gelsons Markets chain, said Wednesday that its second-quarter earnings fell 29 percent due to lower same-store sales.

Tuesday, August 11

Guilty Verdits in Westside Mortgage Fraud Case

A Beverly Hills real estate agent to the stars and an appraiser were convicte on federal charges of conspiracy and bank fraud for their roles in a multimillion-dollar Westside real estate fraud ring.

Report: Autry Museum Drops Expansion Plans

The Autry Museum of Western Heritage has withdrawn its $175 million expansion plans, according to news reports.

Lions Gate Sees Higher Quarter

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. reported a strong jump in its fiscal first quarter profit boosted by strong revenues at its Mandate Pictures unit and the addition of its new TV Guide properties.

PS Business Parks Plans Stock Offering

PS Business Parks Inc. said that it expects to net more than $133 million from an offering of 3 million shares of common stock.

DTS Posts Higher Profit, Ups Outlook

DTS Inc. reported a 157 percent higher second quarter profit thanks to sales of its sound enhancement technology for Blu-ray media products. The company also raised its full-year outlook, but shares fell Tuesday on an analyst's downgrade.

Monday, August 10

Tough Times in the Porn Industry

The San Fernando Valley's adult entertainment business has weathered several recessions since it took off with the advent of home video in the 1980s. The industry now is dealing with more than just a weakened economy.

Auto Marketing Partners Driven to Obtain Back Pay

Almost six years after shutting down his business, Bill Magarity can wait a few more months to get a final check for $5.6 million.

Rogue Rage

Licensed operators are looking to put the brakes on "bandit" cabbies.

Maguire Properties Plans Default on Several Office Buildings

Maguire Properties Inc. reported a wider second quarter loss and intends to default on loans for seven office properties in Los Angeles and Orange counties, either selling the properties or letting the banks take them over.

Insurance Service Firm Grows Presence in Valley

Despite the region's trained work force, employers with extensive call center operations have increasingly fled for the South and Midwest where business costs are lower.

REGIONAL REPORT

Real estate investment company Decron Properties Corp. has completed a $10 million renovation adapting Victory-Tampa Medical Square, at 19231 Victory Blvd. in Reseda, into a medical-retail complex.

That's a Lot Of Change

Visitors to the Standard hotel are diving into swimsuits dispensed from a vending machine.

L.A.'s Costly Grocery Bill

Angelenos foot the bill for the labor-beholden City Council's grocery worker retention measure, writes Charles Crumpley.

L.A. Native All Business When It Comes to United Way

For Caroline Nahas, helping others is something that was "instilled in me from the beginning."

Shoe Sales With Soul

Sole sisters say philanthropy has boosted their shoe company's sales.

Stuck on Web

Internet CEO Jason McCabe Calacanis began his sales career with duplicated VHS tapes of "The Empire Strikes Back."

Business-Poaching Commercials Turn Off Local Television Station

A local TV station has turned down ads from Las Vegas encouraging L.A. businesses to relocate.

MannKind Holds Secondary Offering

MannKind Corp. said it had netting $59.7 million from a secondary offering of almost 8.4 million shares of common stock.

CALENDAR & EVENTS

Events of interest to Los Angeles' business community,

Workers' Comp Rates May Climb on Back of Budget Plan

Workers' comp rates could climb for some firms if California sells off parts of the State Compensation Insurance Fund.

Just Desserts For Student

A local college student has made a name for herself with a Cheesecake Factory contest-winning dessert.

Plan for Battery Plant Zapped by Funding Loss

The future of a planned $220 million battery manufacturing plant in Palmdale has been thrown into doubt after the federal government last week rejected funding for the project.

Museum Feeling Bonds That Bind

LACMA is suing a bond insurer that lost its AAA rating and drove up the institution's interest rates.

Investing in Early Education Is Just Good Business

Greg Jones warns that the achievement gap among minority students in public schools undermines the economy.

Lack of Low-Priced Homes Slow Sales in July

Sales dipped in July after a busy June as the pool of low-priced properties dried up.

Coalition Says State Missing Big Picture on TVs

A new business coalition formed last week to fight an impending California Energy Commission regulation restricting the sale of big-screen TVs.

Alternative Power Firms Losing Juice

Funding for alternative energy companies has fallen along with the prices for oil and natural gas.

Lions Gate Signs Deal With Jim Henson Co.

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. and the Jim Henson Co. said they signed a distribution deal for more than 350 hours of content, including family classics "Fraggle Rock: The Complete Final Season."

Rentech Reports First Profitable Quarter

Rentech Inc. shares soared after the synthetic fuels developer reported its first-ever profitable quarter, with earnings far exceeding Wall Street expectations.

KFWB Switches to Talk

News station KFWB AM (980) is changing formats again. The CBS Corp.-owned station will flip from an all news format to a news talk one on Sept. 8.

NEWSMAKERS

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group has promoted Jeff Junge to senior vice president of business management.

Spaced Out

The recession has left a downtown L.A. marketing showroom with lots of room to show prospective tenants.

Peddling a Bike-Friendly L.A.

Ted Lux thinks local cities need to get in gear and add more bike paths.

NEWS OF THE WEEK

The Los Angeles City Council approved a $30 million loan to L.A. developer CIM Group to partially fund renovation of the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood for a 10-year Cirque du Soleil show due to open in summer 2011.

Sales In the Bag for Eateries

Some local eateries hope discount sack lunches are a handy solution to boost business.

Dialed Into Twitter

TV personality and new businesswoman Brooke Burke may have more than 1 million people "following" her on Twitter, the popular blogging service, but Burke, co-chief executive of online startup ModernMom.com, admitted that she didn't even want to join Twitt

L.A. Peers Get the Chills as Dot-Com Heads North

At a recent tech conference in Los Angeles, organizers scheduled a panel discussion on the advantages the L.A. tech community has over Silicon Valley.

Sunday, August 9

Perez Hilton: Tastemaker and Troublemaker

The entertainment industry blogger's popularity and power grow as he adds a music imprint and another website, but is the empire sustainable?

Hollywood Studios Bring Films to Web

EpixHD.com is a dash of Hulu and a sprinkle of YouTube, features a crystal clear picture, can rewind or fast-forward at lightning speed, and doesn't require a download of any special software. But what about its content?

Friday, August 7

Senators Cleared of Ethics Complaints

The Senate Select Committee on Ethics has cleared two senior Democrats of receiving improper discounts on mortgages from the former Countrywide Financial.

Broad Museum May Not Land in Beverly Hills

Eli Broad's effort to build a new museum on the corner of Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards in Beverly Hills is looking all but dead, according to a news report.

Council OKs Ban on Ads

The Los Angeles City Council passed an emergency ordinance Friday banning new digital billboards, supergraphics and other outdoor advertising signs from most areas of the city.

Public Storage Has Improved Quarter

Storage facility landlord Public Storage said that despite a revenue decline, it saw higher second quarter net income. Funds from operations increased due to lower expenses and foreign currency exchange gains.

This Week's Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal's index of the 200 largest local public companies closed up for the week ended Aug. 7 as the overall markets responded positively to promising economic reports.

Las Encinas Hospital Sued by Ex-Eorkers

Former employees of Aurora Las Encinas Hospital, a private psychiatric facility in Pasadena, filed a class-action lawsuit against the owner alleging that chronic understaffing has compromised patient care.

Report: Platinum Bidding for Boston Globe

Platinum Equity, which recently purchased the San Diego Union-Tribune, has made a more than $35 million offer to acquire the Boston Globe, according a Globe report.

Edison Reports Loss on Charges

Southern California Edison parent Edison International said that charges related to a tax settlement created a net loss in its second quarter.

Superior Industries' Loss Widens

Superior Industries International Inc. reported a wider-than-expected second quarter loss, hurt by lower prices and reduced shipments of its aluminum automobile wheels.

Thursday, August 6

United Online Lowers Outlook

United Online Inc. shares fell 16 percent Thursday, a day after the Internet services company reported higher second quarter profit but forecast third-quarter revenues lower than Wall Street expected.

Live Nation's Loss Widens

Live Nation Inc. said that its net loss grew larger in the second quarter, due both to lower concert revenue and higher costs related to its pending merger with TicketMaster Entertainment Inc.

Update: Former LAT President Named Daily News Publisher

Jack Klunder, a former president of the Los Angeles Times, has been named publisher of the Los Angeles Daily News. In the South Bay, Linda Lindus has been recruited from Washington state to become publisher of the Daily Breeze and Long Beach Press-Telegra

California Pizza Kitchen Sees Profit Decline

California Pizza Kitchen Inc. reported only slightly lower second quarter earnings, as the casual dining chain continued to cut costs in addition to launching promotions aimed at recession-weary customers.

Northrop To Vie for Missile Defense Deal

Northrop Grumman Corp and Lockheed Martin Corp said they would seek to unseat Boeing Co from running the core U.S. missile defense system, a potential $200 million a year deal.

Tattoo Removal Firm Aims for IPO

Dr. Tattoff, which has three Southern California locations, says it's seeing record high volume and revenue. An investment expert says the company should get bigger before issuing stock to the public.

DirectTV Reports Lower Profit

DirectTV Group Inc. said that its second quarter earnings fell 11 percent due to debt costs, but revenue was up because of satellite TV subscriber growth.

K-Swiss Sees Wider Quarterly Loss

K-Swiss Inc. reported a wider-than-expected quarterly loss, as the athletic and casual shoemaker saw its overseas revenue fall by half. The company narrowed its outlook for the full year.

Wednesday, August 5

True Religion Apparel Profits Rise

True Religion Apparel Inc. said its second quarter earnings rose 18 percent as the Vernon apparel maker expanded distribution of its premium denim and made efforts to solidify its brand amid the recession.

Updated: Activision Profit Beats Expectations

Despite a sluggishness video game market, Activision Blizzard Inc.'s second-quarter net income slightly surpassed analyst expectations, helped by its "World of Warcraft" franchise and the new "Prototype".

Michael Jackson Film Deal Outlined

Columbia Pictures and concert promoter AEG Live have struck a deal to make a Michael Jackson movie using video of his "This Is It" concert rehearsals taken days before the King of Pop died in June, according to court documents.

HCP Plans Secondary Offering

Real estate investment trust HCP Inc. said that it has priced an offering of 15.5 million new shares at $24.75 each, which is expected to produce net proceeds of $384 million.

L.A. Police Chief Bill Bratton to Step Down

William J. Bratton abruptly announced his plan to resign as chief of the Los Angeles Police Department to take over as head of a private security firm.

ValueClick Falls on Outlook, Downgrade

ValueClick Inc. reported better-than-expected second quarter earnings and revenue. But shares fell 15 percent Wednesday morning on the online advertising company's poor outlook and an analyst's downgrade.

Tuesday, August 4

WPT Enterprises Cashes Out

The Los Angeles operator of the World Poker Tour announced Tuesday that it is selling essentially all of its assets to private equity group Gamynia Ltd., which will move the company into online gaming.

Amgen's Arthritis Drug to Carry Cancer Warning

Anti-inflammatory drugs that includes Amgen Inc.'s Enbrel must start carrying stronger warnings about the increased risk of sometimes fatal cancer in children and adolescents, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.

City Council Approves $30 Million Cirque Loan

The Los Angeles City Council approved a $30 million loan Tuesday to partially fund renovation of the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood for a 10-year Cirque du Soleil show.

Hotel Bel Air to Close Till 2011

The renovation will include an updating of all 91 rooms, and the construction of a vast new spa and 12 new villas on the property.

HealthNet Second Quarter Profits Fall on Charge

Health Net Inc. said Tuesday its second quarter profits were nearly cut in half as it took a one-time $17.6 million charge related to the sale of its Northeast U.S. health plans.

Monday, August 3

Herbalife's Profit Falls

Herbalife Ltd. said its second quarter net income fell 28 percent due to slower sales of its nutritional supplements, higher taxes and unfavorable currency fluctuations.

Special Report: Plugged In, Charging Up

L.A.'s tech community has taken root and blossomed, leading Silicon Valley in total jobs.

Journalist Tuned In Early to Reporting on Television

Although he has been covering the TV industry for almost two decades, television wasn't always in journalist Josef Adalian's big picture.

Ports Get Early Jump-Start on Emission Program

More than half the cargo passing through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is moving on less polluting "clean trucks," according to port data released last week.

NEWSMAKERS

Occidental Petroleum Corp., an oil company headquartered in Westwood, has named Carlos M. Gutierrez to its board.

What's In Store?

Shuttering shops have taken some shine off Glendale mall Americana at Brand.

Join the Club

Private social clubs have turned to a variety of promotions to boost and retain membership.

Local Firm's Public Debut Boosts IPO Optimism

After more than a year of inactivity, the IPO market in Los Angeles has finally shown signs of life.

REGIONAL REPORT

Santa Monica-based Wi-Fi services provider Boingo Wireless Inc., has renewed its Platform Services agreement with Verizon Communications Inc., extending the deal for an additional four years.

Stock Offerings Lift L.A. Banks

Area banks are capitalizing on a growing interest in their common stock offerings.

These Firms Keep Things Interesting

Charles Crumpley salutes local businesses that manage to keep things interesting.

CALENDAR & EVENTS

Events of interest to Los Angeles' business community.

Not Shooting Blanks

Photographer scores a hit with shot of Lakers guard in Dodgers ad campaign.

Speedo Says It Won't Get Soaked by Swimsuit Ban

A ruling by the group that controls international swimming competition will force Speedo USA to change plans for some technical innovations, but it won't stop the L.A. company's Aqualab from building faster swimsuits.

Canyon Capital Puts Tahoe Resort on Market

The historic Cal Neva Resort hotel and casino in Lake Tahoe, until recently owned by bankrupt businessman Ezri Namvar, has been put up for sale by its new Century City owner.

Cities Pumping Car Lot Breaks

Some local cities have switched into high gear with programs to keep car dealerships open.

Patchwork Expansion

A downturn in Hollywood production has spurred embroidery business Sichel to target new customers.

Sporting Their Resumes

Ex-athletes launch a networking group to help other former jocks fit in the business world.

Former Studio Attorney to Give Direction at USC

The USC Gould School of Law has snagged John Schulman, former Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. general counsel, to head its new entertainment law program.

Outside Venture Firms Fill Local Funding Holes

Outside investors have come through to get local startups off the ground.

Welcoming Labor to Hospitality

Hospitality workers need to be paid for their contribution to L.A.'s tourism industry, writes Peter Dreier.

MannKind Narrows Loss

MannKind Corp. reported a smaller second quarter loss as the company awaits U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of its first product, an inhaled insulin device.

Staying Patient

Dr. Benjamin Chu's history as a patient influences his decisions as a hospital administrator.

Business Relieved by Villaraigosa's Talk of Tax Cuts

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's call to trim L.A.'s business tax rates is greeted with applause.

Mercury's Quarter Beats Expectations

Mercury General Corp. said its second quarter earnings jumped 62 percent, aided by investment gains and lower claims.

TV Producer Gets Emotional About Entrepreneurs

The host of a show on minority entrepreneurs will channel lessons learned into the new Making It Institute.

Upcoming Graduates a Class Unto Themselves

Daniel J.B. Mitchell says the students he encounters at UCLA are anxious to improve California.

LandSource Emerges from Bankruptcy

Newhall Ranch developer LandSource Communities Development LLC said that it has emerged from Chapter 11 reorganization as Newhall Land Development LLC.

Ex-Billionaire Sheds Another Office Property

Lexington Commercial Holdings, the investment company of former billionaire Louis Gonda, has sold off its second property in recent months.

Ducommun's Quarter Disappoints

Ducommun Inc reported lower-than-expected second quarterly results, hurt by higher interest expenses and lower sales to its military and commercial aerospace customers.

Matchmaker, Matchmaker Make Me a Joint Venture

Stella Debibi, whose new Century City company, Debibi Strategic Partners, focuses on business development and marketing, has a background in creating synergies that will come in handy at her new firm.

Keeping Each Other Company

A local couple funnels entrepreneurial passion into new products pitched on the Internet.

Energy Drink Magnate Swallows Steep Price Cut

Listings and sales of L.A.'s elite executive homes.

Jeff Gaspin in Spotlight at NBC Universal

Jeff Gaspin, the new chairman of NBC Universal Television Entertainment started out tracking local ads for the network's stations in 1984. He's held plenty of supporting roles along the way.

Content, Cost Push Los Angeles Past Silicon Valley

Cheaper startup costs and a focus on content creation have boosted L.A.'s technology industry.

Koreatown Project May Feel Pain of State Cuts

State budget cuts could undermine a plan to develop a mixed-use project in Koreatown.

NEWS OF THE WEEK

Platinum Equity LLC lost in its bid to acquire bankrupt auto parts supplier Delphi Corp., which instead will go to a creditors group.

SPAC Acquires Great American Group

Great American Group Inc. said that its acquisition by a special-purpose acquisition company had closed, which will enable the Woodland Hills liquidation firm to be publically traded.

Saturday, August 1

'Cash For Clunkers' Keeps Dealers Busy

Would-be buyers race into Los Angeles auto dealers as reports surfaced that the federal rebate program was running out of money.

TV Contestants: Tired, Tipsy and Pushed to Brink

Grueling conditions are largely the rule for reality shows like "Project Runway" and "Hell's Kitchen." With no union representation, participants on reality series are not covered by Hollywood workplace rules.