Stories for January 2009

Friday, January 30

Recession Rocks Hollywood's Showbiz Papers

For more than 75 years, Daily Variety and The Hollywood Reporter have battled to be the movie industry's top newspaper, but recent layoffs due to the recession and competition from Internet blogs has Hollywood wondering if it will soon become a one paper

L.A. Times Kills Local News Section; More Layoffs Announced

Los Angeles Times Publisher Eddy Hartenstein has ordered the California section killed, leaving the Times without a separate local news front for the first time since the paper's early decades. The paper also is cutting 300 positions, 70 of them from the

American Apparel Names General Counsel

American Apparel Inc. said Friday it named Glenn A. Weinman as senior vice president, general counsel and secretary. He succeeds Joyce Crucillo, who will become the company's chief litigation counsel.

The Week's Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal's index of the 200 largest local public companies closed up for the week ended Jan. 30 as investors reacted to mixed earnings reports.

Another Arrest Made in Skid Row Scheme

The former co-owner of City of Angels Medical Center has been arrested for allegedly paying homeless people for unnecessary medical treatment in a scheme to bilk government health programs of millions of dollars.

Nara's Losses Widen in Quarter

Nara Bancorp Inc. said its net losses had nearly doubled in the fourth quarter, compared with the third quarter, as the company took steps to shore up its balance sheet.

Image Says Merger Agreement Has Been Breached

Image Entertainment Inc. said Nyx Acquisitions Inc. is in breach of a merger agreement between the two companies because it failed to make a required payment by its deadline.

Thursday, January 29

Stimulus to Bring Relief to California

As the $819-billion economic recovery bill approved by the House makes its way through Congress, California officials have their eyes on a Santa Monica Pier upgrade and other projects that have been awaiting funding.

Hanmi's Quarter and Outlook Disappoints

Hanmi Financial Corp. shares fell 18 percent as the bank holding company reported a smaller fourth quarter loss but gave a somber outlook for the coming year.

Dole Raising $130 Million Through Asset Sales

Dole Food Company Inc. said it had completed the sale of most of its flower division and certain Latin American banana properties, the first phase of an asset sale program designed to raise $130 million to pay down debt.

Report: Disney to Eliminate 400 TV Positions

Walt Disney Co. is firing 200 employees at ABC television and cable channels such as SoapNet, including 40 people in news, according to an internal memo sent to employees. The Burbank entertainment giant also is eliminating 200 positions that haven't been

Update: OSI's Quarter Beats Expectations

Shares of OSI Systems Inc. were upgraded by an analyst a day after after the maker of security and health care screening devices reported second quarter earnings that exceeded Wall Street expectations.

Actors, Studios Plan New Contract Talks

The Screen Actors Guild and Hollywood's major studios will restart labor contract talks on Feb. 3, both groups said in statements signaling a thaw in their chilly relations.

'Save the Queen' Loses Control of Historic Ship

A New York investment firm took full control of the Queen Mary after no bidders emerged to buy the stake of Save the Queen LLC, the financially troubled leaseholder of the Long Beach tourist attraction.

Zenith Profit Falls 79 percent

Zenith National Insurance Corp. said its fourth-quarter net income dropped 79 percent as net premiums fell and the value of its investment portfolio declined.

Wednesday, January 28

Bank Shots Click for DreamWorks

Newly independent studio DreamWorks has won firm lender commitments for at least $150 million on the first phase of a $325 million bank syndication needed to secure a matching contribution by partner Reliance Big Entertainment.

L.A. Firm Buys Half of NorCal Subdivision

Strategic Investment Partners has jumped into a macro version of buying a bank repo, buying half of a repossessed subdivision south of Sacramento.

Fire Inspectors Order Supergraphics Removal

Los Angeles fire inspectors said they have ordered the owners of nearly 20 buildings to remove supergraphics from the exterior of their properties.

East West Reports Profit in Quarter

East West Bancorp Inc. said it turned to a profit in the fourth quarter even as the bank holding company increased its provision for loan losses and took an impairment write-down on its investment portfolio.

American Apparel Says It Was Not Contacted by SEC

American Apparel said it has not been contacted by federal regulators, despite a media report that it was under investigation because some emails had been stolen.

Chamber to Oppose Beverly Hills Tax Measure

The Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce has voted to oppose a March ballot measure that would increase taxes on many businesses in the city.

K-Fed Net Income More Soars in Quarter

K-Fed Bancorp said its second quarter net income was 129 percent higher than the year-ago quarter, when profits were dampened by costs related to a canceled stock offering.

Ryland Narrows Quarterly Loss

Ryland Group Inc. said it narrowed its loss in the fourth quarter even as it suffered its eighth consecutive loss since the nation's housing market began to slump.

Tuesday, January 27

L.A. Chamber Endorses Council Candidate

The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce announced Tuesday it was endorsing Adeena Bleich to replace L.A. City Councilman Jack Weiss, who is vacating his Westside district seat to run for City Attorney.

Judge Issues Restraining Order Against Anthem

An L.A. judge issued a temporary restraining order against Anthem Blue Cross, barring the insurer from sending a notice to former customers offering them $1,000 to drop all legal claims against the health insurer.

Preferred Bank Turns From Profit to Loss

Preferred Bank, which targets the Chinese-American community, reported a fourth-quarter net loss, due to charges to cover loan losses.

Jacobs Beats Profit Expectations, Trims Outlook

Growth in its field-services unit helped Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. report a higher fiscal first quarter profit Tuesday, beating Wall Street expectations. But the construction services provider lowered the upper end of its 2009 earnings outlook, citing

Wilshire Bank Parent Reports Lower Quarter

Wilshire Bancorp Inc. reported lower profit in its fourth quarter, as the bank holding company increased its credit loss provision to cover anticipated problem loans and defaults.

Kilroy Realty Profits Plunge in Quarter

Office real estate investment trust Kilroy Realty Corp. reported sharply lower fourth quarter earnings compared to the year-ago quarter, which was bolstered by profits from property sales.

Higher Costs Hurt Avery Dennison's Quarter

Avery Dennison Corp. said its profit fell 46 percent in the fourth quarter, as the label maker carried out a restructuring program to cope with higher materials costs amid a weaker economy.

Lenders Cut Ryland's Credit Line

Ryland Group Inc. said its lenders reduced its unsecured revolving credit line from $550 million to $200 million. They also raised the interest rates they were charging the Calabasas-based homebuilder in exchange for easier terms.

Monday, January 26

Beverly Hills Voters Mull Bigger Bite of Business

A March ballot measure could hit Beverly Hills businesses in the wallet.

State Efficiency Standards Draw Waves of Protest

It's called the Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance, and the proposed guidelines from the California Department of Water Resources have building owners, developers and landscapers more upset by the minute.

Regulators Warn FirstFed Financial

FirstFed Financial Corp., struggling under the weight of a large option adjustable-rate loan portfolio, said regulators want it to submit a plan for how it intends to remain well-capitalized. The thrift also said it will lay off 62 employees.

SUBMARKET: Investors, Tenants Wait Out Uncertainty

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

Joe Cerrell: In the Running

Joe Cerrell worked on campaigns for John F. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey as a "political consultant" before it was even a job title.

Tease photo

Big Picture

Partners in a special-effects firm launched a viral video to oppose a possible actors' strike.

SUBMARKET: Construction Boom Was Inked Before Downturn

The South Bay industrial market closed out 2008 in somewhat better shape than other Los Angeles County markets.

Street Smart

NavigateHollywood.com is designed to help visitors and residents get around Tinseltown.

Online-Leads Firm Plugs Into Refinancing Scene

Given the flood of owners scrambling to refinance their home loans, L.A.-based Internet leads firm LeadPoint Inc. figured there was a buck to be made.

Economist's Housing Forecast Still on the Money?

Local economist Chris Thornberg expects home prices to continue to fall through the end of 2009.

Airing Out the Inauguration

Unlike most of the estimated 3,000 Angelenos who packed L.A. Live's Nokia Plaza last week to watch President Obama's inauguration on the JumboTron, Richard Yates is a plaza regular.

SUBMARKET: Rents Fall in Desirable Market as Vacancy Rates Rise

Even on the desirable Westside the good times are over.

Doug Allen Steps Down From SAG

Doug Allen, the lightning rod at the center of the Screen Actors Guild's bitter polarization, has been fired as national exec director and chief negotiator.

That Empty Feeling

Local house builders KB Home and Ryland have cut staff and new projects to boost cash flows.

SUBMARKET: Vacancy Rate Climbs to Double of Year Ago

When developers sketched out plans to build big-box industrial facilities during the Inland Empire's red-hot market a few years ago, most surely considered the possibility that things might slow down. But few could have imagined just how much.

SAG Travels Dangerous Road

Charles Crumpley feels actors agitating for a strike are reading from an outdated play book.

SUBMARKET: Recession, Unemployment Taking Toll

Recession, soaring unemployment rates and tight credit markets have rained down on San Fernando Valley's office sales and leasing.

TWO VIEWS: Supergraphics Good Signs for Traffic-Snarled Car Culture

Jeffrey C. Briggs has no problem with the use of supergraphic ads that cover the exterior of buildings.

D.A. Investigates Temple City Allegations

The L.A. County district attorney's office is investigating allegations that the Temple City mayor and two City Council members solicited tens of thousands of dollars in bribes and a condominium from a developer in exchange for their support of a $75-mill

SUBMARKET: Two Shuttered Law Firms Put Space Back in Play

It was another rough quarter for the downtown submarket, and about one-third of the damage can be chalked up to two shuttered law firms.

Rewriting the Script

Machinima.com has brought in TV writers to craft stories for its shorts made with video game imagery.

Distressed Subdivisions Offer Buying Opportunities

The down economy has spurred some real estate investors to snap up distressed assets.

TWO VIEWS Billboard Ban Too Broad for L.A.'s Evolving Urban Scene

Scott Johnson sees the citywide billboard ban as unwieldy.

Downturn In Economy Pushes Up Sales at Discount Chain

The low prices and diverse offerings have boosted sales at 99 Cents Only Stores.

City National Gives Ares Capital $15 Million Boost

Ares Capital Corp. said its revolving credit agreement received a new $15 million commitment from City National Bank, bringing the specialty finance company's total credit facility to $525 million.

Northrop Gets Interior Department Contract

Northrop Grumman Corp. said the U.S. Department of the Interior awarded it a contract worth up to $56 million to maintain and support the information technology infrastructure for the Bureau of Land Management.

NEWS OF THE WEEK

Hilton Hotels Corp. said it will move its headquarters from Beverly Hills to the Washington, D.C., area later this year.

Retail Centers Languish From Lack of Neighbors

Shopping centers languish as adjacent residential neighborhoods fail to fill up.

Booming Bank's Parent Prepares For Public Debut

Wedbush Morgan Securities has been on an acquisition spree as the small bank's parent considers going public.

Importers Dread Enforcement by the Numbers

Importers will have to abide by more regulations this week in order to get their cargo into the United States.

Lower Costs Boosts Amgen's Quarter

Amgen Inc. said its fourth quarter profit rose 15 percent despite flat sales as the company reduced its expenses.

SUBMARKET: Camarillo Vacancy Rate Climbs to 31 Percent

Office vacancies in Ventura County hit 19.3 percent at year's end, up from 16.8 percent in the third quarter and 11.7 percent in 2007, according to CB Richard Ellis Group Inc.

Lithium Battery Builders Juiced Up

CFX hopes consumer interest in electric and hybrid cars will drive its lithium battery business.

Long Beach Chamber Endorses Garcia

The Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce has endorsed Robert Garcia, a Long Beach City College administrator, in the April special election for City Council.

SUBMARKET: 'Out-Migration' From Valley Comes to a Halt

The Santa Clarita office market finished 2008 with the second-highest vacancy rate in L.A. County, 24.1 percent, up nearly two percentage points from the previous quarter.

SUBMARKET: Lower Rents Help Keep Vacancy Rates From Rising

The Mid-Cities area saw its industrial vacancy rate fall two-tenths of a point to 2.3 percent in the four quarter.

SUBMARKET: Net Absorption Climbs to Positive Numbers

The San Gabriel Valley industrial market was a bright spot in Southern California's real estate world last quarter.

Cancer Drug Developer Decides It's Time to Split

Growing a cancer drug franchise and developing cutting-edge, genetic therapies requires somewhat different mind-sets, believes Abraxis BioScience Inc. Chief Executive Patrick Soon-Shiong.

Free Wheeling

Outcry from cyclists and bike shop owners helped put the brakes on L.A.'s bicycle license program.

Still Building, Believe It or Not

Local house builders KB Home and Ryland have cut new projects and staff to boost cash flows.

Newsmakers

Melissa Rudman has been promoted to vice president of scheduling, acquisitions and network operations for Fox Reality Channel, a subsidiary of Beverly Hills-based Fox Cable Networks

Kick Start

Torrance-based Knowledge Adventure crafts online virtual worlds to click with kids as young as 3.

Oxy to Give Shareholders 'Say on Pay'

Activist shareholders backed off submitting reform proposals at Occidental Petroleum Corp.'s annual meeting after the oil company board said it would give shareholders a non-binding vote on executive compensation starting in 2010.

SUBMARKET: Resilience Fades as Vacancies Rise Four Points

The Hollywood-area office market's resilience faded during the fourth quarter as vacancies rose more than four points to 10.6 percent.

Update: SAG Board Members Attempt to Remove Allen

A moderate majority of the Screen Actors Guild's national board has delivered signatures to SAG headquarters to remove national exec director Doug Allen and replace him with former general counsel David White.

Offices Empty Out, Setting Q4 Record

A record of a little more than 1 million square feet of office space was put back on the county market in the fourth quarter.

Welcome Mats Go Unused at Palmdale Project

Residents of Palmdale development Calico Terrace have lots of open space and few neighbors.

Saturday, January 24

First California Assumes Deposits of NorCal Bank

The California Department of Financial Institutions closed Redlands-based 1st Centennial Bank late Friday, saying its six branches will reopen Monday as part of Westlake Village-based First California Bank.

DirecTV Raises Its Sights for a Channel

The satellite television service DirecTV, mostly known as a place to see a lot of N.F.L. football, has a secret dream: it wants to be HBO.

Friday, January 23

L.A. Measure Would Ban New Digital Billboards

Los Angeles would outlaw new digital billboards and slash the size of all new commercial signs under a proposed ordinance intended to end proliferation of outdoor advertising that critics say have overwhelmed neighborhoods and L.A.'s busy roadways.

The Week's Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal's index of the 200 largest local public companies closed down for the week ended Jan. 23 as investors reacted to mixed earnings reports.

Update: L.A Jobless Rate Hits 9.9 Percent

Los Angeles County's unemployment rate shot up to 9.9 percent in December from 8.9 percent in November, reaching its highest level in 15 years. The entertainment industry, manufacturing and construction all sustained heavy job losses.

Tetra Tech to Participate in $200 Million Contract

Tetra Tech Inc. said it was part of a group that shares a contract to provide National Environmental Policy Act support services for the U.S. Department of Energy.

KB Home Amends 'Poison Pills'

KB Home said its board approved changes to the company's stockholder rights and successor rights plans aimed at reducing future tax liability and restricting future ownership changes at the Los Angeles homebuilder.

Tax Overhaul Panel Faces Daunting Task

Can a dozen people from disparate backgrounds and ideologies quickly absorb the complexities of California's multifaceted tax system in, and then write an overhaul to bring more revenue stability that could survive the political chopping block of the Legi

Thursday, January 22

City National Bank Parent Reports Profit Decline

City National Corp. reported an 86 percent drop in fourth quarter earnings due to increasing bank loan charge-offs and falling net interest income.

Northrop Expects 2008 Loss Due to Charge

Wall Street reacted calmly as Northrop Grumman warned it will report losses for the fourth quarter and full year of 2008 due to a charge of $3 billion to $3.4 billion related to acquisitions.

Beverly Hills Bancorp to Drop Stock Listing

Beverly Hills Bancorp Inc., the Calabasas-based parent of First Bank of Beverly Hills, said it will terminate its common stock listing from the Nasdaq Global Select Market exchange.

Update: SAG Strike Vote Still Up in the Air

The Screen Actors Guild Thursday evening refuted wire service reports that it has suspended plans for a strike authorization vote. National Executive Director Doug Allen has proposed that the planned vote be suspended and management's offer be put to the

Fights Erupts Over Supergraphics on L.A. High-Rises

A company that installs the oversized advertisements known as supergraphics has gone to court to demand that Los Angeles let it keep images on as many as 118 multistory buildings while federal judges review challenges to city billboard regulations.

ABC Entertainment, Studios Merging

ABC Entertainment and ABC Studios are merging into a single unit to be headed by Steve McPherson, said Disney-ABC Television Group President Anne Sweeney.

Univision and Televisa Settle Battle

The courtroom drama between Spanish-language broadcaster Univision Communicaitons Inc. and Mexico City-based Televisa came to a halt on when both sides announced a settlement.

Teledyne Reports Mixed Quarter, Lowers Outlook

Teledyne Technologies Inc. shares lost 19 percent after the maker of electronic components and subsystems reported fourth quarter results and sharply lowered its 2009 forecast due to the poor economy.

Wednesday, January 21

Disney Offers Buyouts

Walt Disney Co. is offering buyouts to executives at its U.S. resorts to cut costs as consumers curb spending.

Update: Both Ports to Begin Collecting Fee

The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles will begin collecting "clean trucks" fees on Feb. 18, despite numerous delays imposed by federal regulators and pending court cases that could derail plans to clean up pollution at the ports.

Long Beach Health Care Pioneer Dies

Dr. Robert Gumbiner, who founded one of the country's first HMOs and launched Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, has died at age 85.

Industry Voters OK Stadium-Related Bond Sale

Voters in Industry approved the sale of up to $500 million in bonds for infrastructure improvements in their city, including some that would support a planned $800-million NFL stadium.

Jacobs Gets $43.8 Million Navy Contract

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. said it received a support contract from the Navy worth up to $43.8 million.

Hilton to Leave Beverly Hills

Hilton Hotels Corp. said it will move its headquarters from Beverly Hills to the Washington D.C. area later this year.

Move Names CEO

Steven H. Berkowitz, who has a track record of turning around Internet businesses, was named chief executive of real estate Web site operator Move Inc.

Report: L.A. Could Lose 164,000 Jobs

Metro L.A. could lose 164,000 jobs this year as the nation's economy wallows in the deepest recession since before World War II, according to a report that provides a sobering backdrop to the start of President Barack Obama's administration.

Tuesday, January 20

FastSoft Names CEO

FastSoft Inc. said its board has named J. Edward Snyder as the Pasadena tech company's chief executive.

SAG Faction Steps Up Pressure to Oust Allen

The board majority of the Screen Actors Guild has stepped up its efforts to oust the union's executive director, taking its case directly to members.

Patricia Clarey Joins Calpers Board

California Public Employees' Retirement System said Patricia Clarey, a Health Net Inc. executive and former chief of staff for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, has joined its board.

Obama Calls for 'New Era of Responsibility'

Barack Obama took the oath of office Tuesday as the 44th president of the United States and pledged to "begin again the work of remaking America."

Cheesecake Factory names CFO

Cheesecake Factory Inc. said it named W. Douglas Benn as chief financial officer. He succeeds comptroller Cheryl Slomann, who served as interim CFO for the Calabasas-based casual dining chain after the resignation of Michael Dixon in July.

Abraxis BioScience to Spin Off Unit

Abraxis BioScience Inc. said its board approved creation of a new company, Abraxis Health Inc., which will focus on identifying genetic biomarkers for disease to create new personalized medicine therapies.

Warner Bros. to Cut 10 Percent of Staff

Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros. Entertainment plans to eliminate about 800 jobs, or 10 percent of its staff, in response to the U.S. recession and deteriorating business outlook. Many of the cuts are expected to come from the company's Burbank headquarter

Monday, January 19

Shine the Jewel, Don't Smash It

Charles Crumpley believes the Century Plaza is a jewel that should be polished, not ripped apart and sent to the landfill.

Catering and To-Go Sales Booming at Pacific Grille

When Aileen Watanabe took over ownership of downtown's Pacific Grille restaurant five years ago, she planned to boost sales with catering and to-go business.

West Coast Party Time

Restaurants, nightclubs and even a car wash have scheduled some events to celebrate this week's presidential inauguration.

Biting Back

Business groups are getting ready to fight Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposals to increase taxes on sales.

NEWS OF THE WEEK

Robert F. Maguire III said he increased his ownership in Maguire Properties Inc. to more than 19 percent and intends to become more active in the company.

LiveUniverse Loses Appeal in Antitrust Case Over MySpace Sale

The dismissal of an antitrust appeal may signal that Brad Greenspan's lawsuits over the sale of MySpace to News Corp. are running their course.

Architect Followed Blueprint Into His New Role at Firm

Even as a young boy, architect Jorge Carlos de la Cal couldn't stop his hands from drawing and creating things.

Gardeners Reap the Pain of Recession

While the economic crash has affected businesses from real estate to retail, gardeners like Martin Alamillo have been among the hardest hit as homeowners looking to save money dust off their lawn mowers and take care of their own yards.

Newsmakers

The Wellness Community-West Los Angeles, a non-profit organization providing support for people affected by cancer, has appointed Eric Salo as chairman.

Book Access Turns Up the Volumes

Rebecca Constantino credits her obsession with books to growing up without a TV. "We played outside until dark and then read," recalls the Los Angeles woman, now 45.

Taylor's Offers Lack of Pretension and Fair Prices

Taylor's food may be bland, but at least the restaurant is not pretentious.

Brentwood Developer to Build a Senior Project

A Brentwood-based developer of affordable housing has scooped up a 1.3-acre piece of land in Mar Vista, where it will build an apartment complex for seniors.

Needle Points

A Los Angeles acupuncture facility is adding imaging technology to its repertoire.

White Collar Defense Team Leaves Mayer Brown

Litigators Bryan Daly, Charles Kreindler and Peter Morris joined Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP at the beginning of January, giving the L.A. firm a significant boost in its white collar criminal capabilities.

Pedaling Peddlers

In this age of e-mail, bicycle messengers might seem like an anachronism. But you can still see some of them speeding around downtown and Century City.

Spanish Company Expands Manufacturing in East L.A.

Grifols USA, which specializes in therapies that treat blood ailments, is doubling its manufacturing capacity in East L.A.

AWR Makes Acquisition

AWR Corp, which develops software for high-frequency radio and microwave product design, said it acquired Simulation Technology and Applied Research Inc., a developer of three-dimensional analysis software.

Companies Get New Venue for Downtown Parties

Downtown businesses now have a new, sports-oriented meeting space that will allow them to take clients and staff to view major local events on huge screens while enjoying a lunch or snacks.

Mayors: OC-LA No. 2 in U.S. Job Losses in '09

The O.C.-Los Angeles-Long Beach area is expected to suffer the second-largest drop in jobs among U.S. metropolitan areas this year, with only the New York City area being worse, reports the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Iger Earned $31 Million in 2008

Walt Disney Co. said Chief Executive Robert Iger received total compensation of more than $30.6 million in 2008, up 11 percent from the year before.

Lessons Learned

Antonia Hernandez comes from a modest Mexican-American background; she now heads the California Community Foundation, one of L.A.'s largest non-profits.

Council Candidates Adopt a Pro-Business Stance at Forum

L.A.'s Westside is anti-development, but six candidates vying to replace exiting City Councilman Jack Weiss took a pro-business stance at a forum last week.

NextMedium Comes Under Its Next Ownership

Newport Coast Investments LLC has agreed to purchase NextMedium, an L.A. company that sells software to manage advertising product placements in TV, film and online video. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Eatery on the Run

Maria's Italian Kitchen is continuing its expansion with a downtown eatery that features both fine dining and a takeout service for busy execs.

Chip Company Suing Ex-CEO

International Rectifier is accusing its former CEO of stealing its technology to launch a rival company.

State Will Need More Educated Workers

Promising models of partnerships between schools, employers and trade groups should be ramped up, writes Mara A. Cohen-Marks.

Out With the New, In With the Newer

Harold L. Katz writes that Century City landmarks have become an endangered species.

County Finds Public-Works Spending No Cure-All

A drive through Riverside County takes in neighborhoods of deserted homes, boarded-up businesses, busy unemployment offices -- and crews working on millions of dollars in new public projects. But while the county's investments put thousands to work, unemp

Non-Profit in Drive to Ease Gridlock

Developer Jim Thomas has spearheaded the formation of a non-profit that will promote short-term inexpensive solutions to L.A.'s gridlock.

Not in Great Shape

Big 5 Sporting Goods shares are down more than 60 percent since the beginning of last year, but shares of rival L.A. company Sport Chalet are down even more. What happened?

'Tort Deform' Could Keep Los Angeles a 'Judicial Hellhole'

L.A.'s place on a list of "judicial hellholes" is deserved due to shakedown suits and excessive damages awarded, according to Maryann Maloney.

Car Crisis Rolls Into Ad World

The crisis in the automobile industry and shrinking budgets in Hollywood are hurting L.A.'s many ad firms.

REGIONAL REPORT

Eastman Kodak Co. has sold the Kodak Hollywood Campus in Los Angeles for $31.4 million to Thompson National Properties LLC.

Friday, January 16

Mattel Buys French Game Maker

Mattel Inc. said it bought Sekkoia SAS, which makes the board game Blokus. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Kerkorian Ex-Wife's Attorney Files Suit

One of the divorce lawyers who represented the ex-wife of Kirk Kerkorian in her bitter child support battle with the billionaire filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging that his conversations with Lisa Bonder Kerkorian were illegally wiretapped

Judge OKs Tribune's Short-Term Financing

Los Angeles Times parent Tribune Co. passed an early hurdle in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy case when a U.S. bankruptcy judge signed a motion authorizing the continuation of a short-term financing arrangement worth $300 million.

WellPoint to Cut 3.6 Percent of Work Force

Blue Cross insurer WellPoint Inc., which had its origins in the Los Angeles area, said it is cutting about 1,500 positions nationwide, becoming the latest health insurer to reduce staff.

Rentech Refinances Subsidiary

Shares of Rentech Inc. rose 9 percent after the developer of synthetic fuels and chemicals said it reached an agreement with lenders to amend a $53 million loan for its fertilizer products business.

Northrop Gets Contract for Second Ford Carrier

Northrop Grumman Corp.'s shipbuilding division has been awarded a $374 million contract for preliminary work on the second Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier, the Defense Department said.

Film, Porn Shoots Sought by L.A. Homeowners

An increasing number of recession-pinched Los Angeles homeowners turning to Hollywood for help, offering their houses as sets for feature films, commercials and even adult movies.

Las Lomas Land Files Appeal

Lawyers for a developer whose $100 million lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles was dismissed last month filed an appeal in hopes that litigation can move forward.

Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal's index of the 200 largest local public companies closed down for the week ended Jan. 16. The week's losses were tied to poor retail sales and jobs data, and a Friday rally wasn't strong enough to erase them.

Thursday, January 15

South Beverly Park Gains Access in Dispute

In the ongoing battle of the Beverly Park estates, South Beverly Park claimed victory after a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled that the guests and invitees of the exclusive community may enter through the gates of neighboring North Beverly.

Famous Hollywood Nursing Home, Hospital to Close

With annual operating losses of $10 million threatening to bankrupt the Motion Picture & Television Fund, fund officials said they must close the landmark nursing home and hospital that have served Hollywood's stars, camera operators and makeup artists fo

Long Beach Port Traffic Drops

Cargo container shipments through the Port of Long Beach dropped 11 percent in 2008 the biggest single-year decline in more than two decades and in stark contrast to 2007 when the port had its busiest year ever.

DreamWorks Buys Projects

Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks studio will start production on its first films by May after buying 17 projects from Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures, according to a person with knowledge of the plans.

Govenor Calls for Action on Budget Crisis

Calling for "a year of political courage," Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger asked for nothing in his State of the State address Thursday except a solution to California's deepening budget woes.

CKE Completes Refranchising Program

CKE Restaurants Inc. said it sold 11 Hardee's restaurants in Missouri to Rising Stars LLC to complete its refranchising program. Terms were not disclosed.

Another LNG Pipeline Cancelled

Yet another proposed natural gas import project off the Southern California coast has fallen through as Australia oil and gas giant Woodside Petroleum Ltd. said it was dropping plans for an offshore buoy and pipeline system due to changing market conditio

Maguire Increases Stake in Firm He Founded

Maguire Properties Inc. shares jumped 24 percent Thursday after founder Robert F. Maguire III said he increased his ownership in the real estate investment trust and its operating partnership to more than 19 percent, and intends to become more active in t

Oversee.net Reduces Staff

Internet domain name company Oversee.net said it has laid off 38 employees nearly a fifth of its workforce in anticipation of what it says will be a difficult economic environment this year.

Wednesday, January 14

SAG Proceeds with Status Quo

Moderates within the Screen Actors Guild fail to oust hard-line negotiator Doug Allen but they do manage to undercut his authority over the actors union.

Platinum Equity Acquires Stake in Real Estate Company

Daum Commercial Real Estate Services said Platinum Equity has purchased a majority stake in the Los Angeles real estate services company. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Port of L.A. Shipments Down

The Port of Los Angeles experienced a 6 percent drop in cargo shipments in 2008, ending more than two decades of steady growth, according to figures from the port.

National Lampoon to Delist

Beleaguered comedy company National Lampoon Inc. said it plans to voluntarily delist its common stock from the NYSE Alternext exchange and move to the over-the-counter Bulletin Board.

Chase Sets Date for WaMu Conversion

Washington Mutual's days in California are now officially numbered. JPMorgan Chase & Co. plans to rename the 708 California branches to Chase Bank by March 30.

Mandalay Media's CEO Leaves

Mandalay Media Inc. said Bruce Stein, its chief executive, has left the company "to pursue other opportunities."

Trustee Challenges Sale of IndyMac Bank

The trustee overseeing the liquidation of IndyMac Bancorp Inc. challenged the $1.3 billion sale of the company's banking unit and is seeking documents from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Hi-Shear's Net Income Increases 22 Percent

Aerospace contractor Hi-Shear Technology Corp. said Wednesday that profit in its fiscal second quarter rose 22 percent on higher revenues and lower operating costs.

California Pizza Kitchen Expects Loss

California Pizza Kitchen Inc. said it will report a fourth-quarter loss next month as it absorbs impairment charges, but said it otherwise would have had a higher than expected profit for the period.

Tuesday, January 13

SAG Close to Booting Chief Negotiator

Screen Actors Guild board members have moved closer to ousting the guild's chief negotiator in a revolt against his handling of contract talks with the studios and impatience over bargaining strategy in the face of a worsening economy.

Occidental Wins Major Bahrain Contract

Occidental Petroleum Corp beat two competitors to win a rare contract from Bahrain to expand production from an aging 36,000 barrel-a-day onshore oil field.

L.A. Film Production Fell in 2008

Regional film production dipped to its lowest level in 15 years by the end of 2008, with blame laid not on the economy or labor uncertainty but on the loss of projects to other locations.

Superior Industries to Close Local Plant

Auto parts supplier Superior Industries International Inc. said it will close its original manufacturing facility in Van Nuys, cutting about 290 jobs in order to shrink costs amid a strong decline in demand for new vehicles.

Amgen to Sell $2 Billion in Bonds

Amgen Inc. is selling $2 billion in debt in a two-part sale that will be split evenly between 10- and 30-year bonds, which have been given high ratings by the major rating services.

Pelican Products Makes $200 Million Acquisition

Pelican Products Inc., which makes plastic injection-molded protective cases, said it acquired competitor Hardigg Industries, the world's largest manufacturer of roto-molded protective cases.

Sportsmen's Lodge Auction Set

On New Year's Eve, champagne flutes with a Sportsmen's Lodge logo toasted the end of a 63-year San Fernando Valley tradition. Those glasses will be included among the thousand lots auctioned on Tuesday from the now closed historic banquet hall.

Jacobs Announces Two Contracts

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. said it received separate contracts to provide engineering and consulting services in California and in Georgia.

Monday, January 12

TV Advocate

Henry Schleiff channels his love for TV into his job as CEO of Hallmark Channel parent Crown Media.

NEWS OF THE WEEK

L.A. billionaire supermarket mogul Ronald Burkle's Yucaipa Cos. has accumulated 7 percent of Whole Foods Markets Inc. shares over the past two months, and said in a regulatory filing that it intends to become an activist shareholder.

Positive, Negative in '80s Revival

In this week's '80s flashback, Charles Crumpley likes talk of privatization but will pass on the poison pill.

Water Company's Stock Sinks as Accounting Mistakes Bubble Up

Confidence in Southwest Water's stock is drying up in the wake of accounting issues.

DirecTV Starts New $2 Billion Buyback

Opting to spend its cash on its own stock rather than capital projects, DirecTV Group Inc. said it had finished a $3 billion share repurchase program and its board approved a new $2 billion buyback.

No Reservations

Plans to raze the Century Plaza hotel for a condo project may run afoul of historic preservationists.

Gulp ... They're Back

Some local companies are reviving the 1980s tactic of the poison pill to ward off takeovers.

Neighbor Blitzes Stadium Proposal

Opposition from neighboring city Walnut could throw an NFL stadium plan for a loss.

Investment Company Answers Distressed Calls

L.A-based multifamily investment company Monem Corp. had a busy December. Monem bought three multifamily properties during the month two in Koreatown and another in Venice for a total of about $5 million.

Depths of Downturn Illustrated by Layoff Numbers

Fourth quarter layoffs show the recession's impact has spread to almost all sectors of the local economy.

Avery Dennison Hits Pitfall in China

Pasadena's Avery Dennison is under federal investigation after it said it might have violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits U.S. companies from bribing foreign officials.

No Easy Choices for Univision

Univision will face tough choices if it loses a programming suit with Televisa, writes Julio Rumbaut.

Pilot's Spirit Soars as Executive Director of Non-Profit

Fifteen years ago while renting an airplane at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, entrepreneur Alan M. Dias came across a circular for Angel Flight West.

Industrial Bakeries No Longer Feeling State Heat

Industrial bakeries appear to have won a round in the regulation wars when state officials responded to their complaints and eased up on a proposed regulation requiring inspections for large bakery ovens.

Raising the Bars

Montebello crib maker Million Dollar Baby is enjoying a second round of healthy growth.

Bringing Order to the Court

L.A. lawyer Jesse Debban has always played basketball as a hobby, but the 27-year-old took it up a notch when he began competing in tournaments hosted by the Landau Lawyers League, a local sports organization that caters to law firm personnel.

Electric Car Maker Gets Big Buzz

Miles Automotive seeks to convert buzz about electric cars into big sales for its new sedan.

Newsmakers

American Apparel, a downtown Los Angeles-based apparel manufacturer and retailer, has appointed Adrian Kowalewski to executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Pasadena Medical Device Developer Files for Chapter 11

Arbios Systems Inc., which has been developing an alternative to traditional kidney dialysis, said it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and may sell the company while working with its creditors.

Startup's New Sage Advice Comes With Hint of Apple

How does a little-known startup land one of the biggest names in tech on its board of advisers?

Wedbush Morgan to Acquire Pacific Growth Equities

Wedbush Morgan Securities said it entered into an agreement to acquire the assets of Pacific Growth Equities LLC, a San Francisco investment banking and institutional brokerage specializing in emerging growth companies in life science and technology.

Fighting Back

Event bookers at Hollywood's Music Box have boosted sales with a flexible approach and martial spirit.

American Business Bank Sees Growth in Quarter

American Business Bank said its fourth quarter net income rose 10 percent from a year ago, largely because of a marketing campaign that boosted deposits and its assets base.

Is Public Ready For Privatization?

The recession might provide the impetus for Los Angeles to privatize some of its services.

Fluid Investments

John T. Boal thinks the government should invest in steps to curb water usage.

REGIONAL REPORT

Boingo Wireless Inc., a Santa Monica-based Wi-Fi services business, has reached a deal with Internet phone company Skype to allow Skype customers to access Boingo's 100,000 Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide.

Positive Spin

PR firm Talent Resources isn't afraid to use celebrities' less appealing attributes to push products.

Hard Times on Ventura Boulevard

A year into the recession, business leaders say 2009 could be especially tough for mom-and-pop businesses in the San Fernando Valley, with thousands of shops expected to shut their doors.

California United Turns Away TARP Funds

California United Bank said its directors decided not to accept an $8.3 million capital investment from the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Capital Purchase Program, for which the Encino bank recently received preliminary approval.

County Median Home Price Falls to $345,000

The L.A. County median home price fell to $345,000 in December, a 32 percent year-to-year decline.

Ensuring Non-Profit Bang for Bucks

Roger Reck encourages CEOs to make sure their corporate donations are being put to good use.

SAG Board Runs Lines for Ensemble Meeting

It didn't take long for the afterglow of the Golden Globes to burn off in the festering fog of the Screen Actors Guilf contract strife. As SAG's leadership attempts to convince members local and regional of the necessity of the strike authorization, e-mai

Friday, January 9

KB Home Loss Narrows, But Still Worse Than Expected

KB Home reported a narrower fourth quarter loss but warned the home building industry will continue to struggle this year.

The Week's Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal's index of the 200 largest local public companies closed down for the week ended Jan. 2, as overall markets fell after government data showed the labor market deteriorated further last month.

L.A. Store on Macy's Closure List

Department-store operator Macy's Inc. said it will close underperforming stores in Los Angeles and 10 other cities and lowered its forecast for the fourth quarter after one of the weakest holiday seasons in years.

Work Begins on Pacoima's New Costco

Plaza Pacoima, the 209,000-square-foot project, will feature the first Costco built in Los Angeles in a dozen years. The $78-million retail hub, which also will include a Best Buy store, is expected to revitalize the Valley community.

Disney Proposes New Theme Park in Shanghai

Walt Disney Co. and the Shanghai municipal government have signed a project proposal that lays out the broad legal and financial framework for Disney's first mainland theme park, slated to open as early as 2014 at a cost of $3.59 billion.

CalAmp Receives $9 Million Settlement

CalAmp Corp. said Rogers Corp. agreed to settle a lawsuit over the performance of a Rogers printed circuit board laminate material used by CalAmp in its wireless products.

Thursday, January 8

En Pointe, MRV Get Nasdaq Warnings

En Pointe Technologies Inc. and MRV Communications Inc. said separately they had received letters from the Nasdaq Stock Market warning that both technology companies are not in compliance with its rules.

Weinstein Co. Reduces Stake in Genius Products

Genius Products Inc. and The Weinstein Co. LLC said an affiliate of Quadrant Management Inc. acquired a 60 percent ownership interest in their jointly owned film distributorship, Genius Products LLC.

Northrop Grumman Combines Divisions

Northrop Grumman Corp. said its two South Bay-based business sectors will merge as part of a larger corporate restructuring to streamline the business.

Housing Downturn Hits L.A.-Area Rents

After rising for several years, rents in the Los Angeles area are declining because of the economic recession and depressed home prices, researchers, real estate agents and property managers say.

Burkle Has an Appetite for Whole Foods

Yucaipa Cos. founder Ron Burkle has taken a bite out of troubled organic grocer Whole Foods Market Inc., which is facing a Federal Trade Commission challenge to its 2007 purchase of rival Wild Oats Markets Inc.

Sales Up at American Apparel

American Apparel Inc. announced strong same-store sales increases in its fourth quarter, a contrast to news of dismal sales for other retailers across the country.

Red Rock Makes Acquisition, Names CFO

Red Rock Pictures Holdings Inc., a film and entertainment marketing company, said it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire ComedyNet.TV Inc. in a stock deal. The company also named a new chief financial officer.

Wednesday, January 7

MGA Can Sell Bratz Through 2009

U.S. District Judge Stephen Larson said late Wednesday MGA Entertainment Inc. can continue to manufacture and sell the popular Bratz doll line at least through the end of 2009 retail season. Larson last month imposed a permanent injunction on MGA after a

Calavo Growers Has Record Quarter

Calavo Growers Inc. reported record profits for its fourth quarter, with net income soaring 235 percent to the highest total in the company's history on a nearly 10 percent growth in revenues.

Sumner's Discontent

His company's stock is diving, the debt is mounting, and the legendary 85-year-old chairman of Viacom and CBS may now be forced to sell off chunks of his empire. But even more painful for Sumner Redstone may be the rift dividing his family. The tale of a

Home Depot Pulls Plug on Planned Store

After a four-year battle with the city of Los Angeles and community activists, Home Depot Inc. has decided to pull its plans for a store in Sunland-Tujunga.

DTS Makes $7.5 Million Acquisition

DTS Inc. said it acquired Neural Audio, a Washington audio technology business that licenses branded products for the creation, distribution and playback of music, movies, broadcast programs and video games.

Curtain Rises on Televisa-Univision Trial

Mexican media giant Grupo Televisa accused its longtime television partner, Univision Communications Inc., of heavy-handed tactics and financial shenanigans during the opening day of a high-stakes trial in Los Angeles.

L.A. Parking Meter Hikes Fuel Debate

Los Angeles City Council members are questioning the city's recent decision to raise rates at parking meters, saying it may cost the city tax revenue.

Marvel Sues MGA

Marvel Entertainment Inc. has filed suit in New York County Court against MGA Entertainment Inc., claiming that the Van Nuys toymaker breached the terms of its licensing agreements with the comic book entertainment company.

Tuesday, January 6

Tetra Tech Acquires Nuclear Services Firm

Tetra Tech Inc. said it acquired Haselwood Enterprises Inc., a nuclear science and engineering company in Tennessee, for an undisclosed amount.

General Growth Settles Glendale Mall Lawsuit

General Growth Properties Inc. said it reached a $48 million settlement with Caruso Affiliated Holdings LLC over unfair business practices related to competition for tenants at competing mall sites in Glendale.

U.S. Court Upholds L.A. Ban on Billboards

A federal appellate court Tuesday issued a ruling upholding Los Angeles' citywide billboard ban, handing a rare victory to the city in its uphill battle to regulate outdoor signs.

Jacobs Engineering Announces Three Contracts

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. said it received contracts for construction projects related to San Francisco's water supply, a University of Oklahoma power plant, and diesel projects for ExxonMobil Corp.

Court Clash Could Alter Spanish-Language TV Landscape

A real-life soap opera in Spanish-language television -- a saga of family legacy, corporate ambition and allegations of treachery -- is expected to shift Tuesday to a federal courtroom in Los Angeles.

Skechers-Inspired Children's Clothing Line Planned

Footwear maker Skechers USA said it reached a licensing agreement with Adjmi Apparel Group in which Adjmi will design a Skechers-branded children's clothing line that is to launch in the fall.

TV Guide Properties Sold -- But Not to Original Buyer

Just three weeks after its sale to TV producer Allen Shapiro's private equity firm One Equity Partners, TV Guide Channel and TVGuide.com have found another buyer in the form of Lions Gate.

Mayor Creates Trade Advisory Group

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has launched a Trade Advisory Council to boost tourism, foreign investment and exports.

CytRx's CFO Resigned, Replacement Named

CytRx Corp. said Mitchell Fogelman resigned as chief financial officer and John Caloz, who had been chief accounting officer had been promoted to succeed him.

CKE Signs Texas Franchise Deal

CKE Restaurants Inc. said it signed a franchise deal with RWJP Star Enterprises that includes opening at least 121 Carl's Jr. restaurants in Texas over the next 10 years.

Monday, January 5

Holy Cross spends more time on spin than fixing problems

TWO VIEWS: Wayde Hunter says Providence Holy Cross Medical Center is focusing on spin and not on solving problems.

CalPERS Took Huge Gamble at Worst Time

Newhall Ranch, whose developers ended in bankruptcy court, stands as a stark symbol of the troubles haunting the the California Public Employees' Retirement System's real estate portfolio.

CKE Adopts Stockholder Rights Plan

CKE Restaurants Inc. said its board approved a one-year poison pill a stockholder rights plan it claimed would protect current stockholder interests in any unsolicited acquisition attempt.

Los Angeles Firm Tackles Cost of Super Bowl Ads

L.A.-based advertising agency Cesario Migliozzi LLC is giving eight clients a shot at the Super Bowl.

Disabled Man's Crusade a Bane to Business Owners

If your counters are too high or parking spaces too narrow, beware of disabled activist Thomas Mundy. He and others like him say lawsuits are the only way to enforce ADA compliance.

Grinding Gears

A bike shop owner spins his wheels trying to figure out L.A.'s bicycle registration process.

On the Fly

Goodness Manufacturing partners headed to L.A. to launch an ad firm with no clients in tow.

Modest Proposals for 2009

Charles Crumpley weighs in with what he'd like to see for Los Angeles in '09.

Made His Play

Jakks Pacific co-founder Stephen Berman wasn't playing around when he committed to the toy business.

California Businesses Get Breather on New Laws

2009 dawns with few new laws on the books for California companies.

Zimans Take Perspective of Social Consciousness

Richard and Daphna Ziman, among the Business Journal's other Power Couples of the Year, flex their strength through powerful unions.

SouthWest Water Sells Wholesale Business

SouthWest Water Co. said it sold its wholesale wastewater business in Texas, bringing in $2.8 million.

NFL Bid Passed To Handful of Voters in Town

The question of an NFL team coming to L.A. County may by answered when 100 City of Industry residents vote on a $500 million bond issue.

Glaser Weil Veterans Together Again at New Firm

Barak Lurie and Daniel Park made friends when they worked together at Glaser Weil Fink Jacobs & Shapiro LLP.

Sweet, Petite

Two Mini dealerships are carving out a big niche in car sales.

Angelenos Set To Join Obama In Washington

The Obama administration has a few area attorneys and others packing their bags for D.C., while some Bush appointees are heading back to Los Angeles.

Hollywood Park's Closure Means Stable Business

This horse-racing season at Santa Anita Park will last 84 days, but it may get longer next fall with the closure of the track at Hollywood Park, which is scheduled for Aug. 1. As a result, other facilities will expand their seasons because track owners an

SAG Factions Search for Support

While Screen Actors Guild members got some relative peace during the holidays, the airwaves were not completely silent. In the matter of the recently delayed strike-authorization vote, voices on both sides of the debate continued to chatter and cajole.

Newsmakers

944 Magazine, a West Hollywood publisher of city lifestyle publications, has named Valarie Anderson publisher for its Los Angeles edition.

Third-Party Investors Likely to Feel Legal Heat

Local attorneys have been spending the last few weeks fielding calls from L.A. clients that invested in the alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme of New York fund manager Bernard Madoff.

REGIONAL REPORT

OriginOil Inc., developer of a technology to transform algae into an alternative fuel, has been named one of the 50 Hottest Companies in Bioenergy by Biofuels Digest, a daily newsletter tracking the biofuels sector.

Investment Company Gets $85 Million Lifeline

Duesenberg Investment Co., an investment vehicle of billionaire real estate mogul John Anderson, has completed an $85 million refinancing of its 1900 Avenue of the Stars office building.

UTi Names Chief Executive

UTi Worldwide Inc. said it appointed Eric W. Kirchner, a former UPS executive, as its chief executive.

Allure of Downtown Reels In Supplement Maker

It's a new year and new digs for Herbalife Ltd. The maker of nutritional and weight-loss supplements last month completed the move of its headquarters from Century City to the AEG Building at downtown's L.A. Live.

Banking on New Business

With more than two decades of banking experience under his belt, Alan Thian decided in 2006 to strike out on his own and start a business bank.

Resnicks Step Out as Leading LACMA Sponsors

Stewart and Lynda Resnick, among the Business Journal's other Power Couples of the Year, flex their strength through powerful unions.

CUTTING IT CLOSE

American Apparel's healthy sales can't seem to stop controversy from growing and shares from falling.

Los Angeles losing jobs, beds as hospital project languishes

TWO VIEWS: Kerry Carmody, Providence Holy Cross Medical Center CEO, writes that jobs and public health are at risk from delays to the hospital's expansion.

Look, Up in the Sky, It's Christian Audigier's Brand!

Fashion figure Christian Audigier's designs have moved beyond just clothes. HobbyTron.com, a San Fernando company, is producing a line of remote-control toys featuring the L.A.-based designer's popular Ed Hardy look.

Well-Pedigreed Attorneys Take the Outsource Route

Axiom Legal Solutions backs up businesses with high-pedigree temporary attorneys.

DOUPLE PLAY

Boston transplants Frank and Jamie McCourt haven't blinked in L.A.'s spotlights as co-owners of the Dodgers. They are the Business Journal's Power Couple of the Year.

Industry, Walnut Meet on Stadium Concerns

Walnut city officials, led by Mayor Joaquin Lim, plan to meet with Industry city officials to discuss a proposed NFL stadium, officials said.

Collateral Damage

Billions lost by investor Bernard Madoff has pinched funding for groups such as a local campaigner for prisoner's rights.

Polo Lounge Offers Taste of Sentimental Classicism

Beverly Hills Hotel's Polo Lounge remains a draw with traditional cuisine and atmosphere.

California Pizza Kitchen Names COO

California Pizza Kitchen Inc. said Sue Collyns has been promoted to the newly created position of chief operating officer. Collyns, the Los Angeles-based restaurant chain's chief financial officer, will continue to perform the duties of CFO and will hold

L.A. Port Pays for Truck Replacements Despite Fund Shortage

The Port of Los Angeles plans to pay $44 million to buyers of clean trucks, but motor carriers foresee a fund shortage.

NEWS OF THE WEEK

Internet entrepreneur Elon Musk's Hawthorne startup, Space Exploration Technologies Corp., better known as SpaceX, is one of two recipients of NASA contracts to ship cargo to the International Space Station in a historic commercial outsourcing agreement v

Saturday, January 3

Tips for Green Investing in 2009

In these dismal times, is it financially smart to do the environmentally right thing? Here's advice on navigating a sector fraught with risks.

Friday, January 2

IndyMac Bank's Sale May Be Announced Today

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. plans Friday to announce the sale of IndyMac Bank to at least five investors, including J.C. Flowers & Co. and Paulson & Co., according to people familiar with the matter.

IndyMac Bought by Consortium

As expected, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. confirmed that a consortium of private equity and hedge fund firms, including J.C. Flowers & Co. and Paulson & Co., has agreed to buy the assets of IndyMac Federal Bank in a deal valued at $13.9 billion.

TARP Investment in City National Probed

Can a $400-million injection of federal bailout money to the "bank to the stars" in Beverly Hills really help revive the troubled U.S. economy? That's one of the questions the Treasury Department's inspector general is asking in a review of the decision t

Overseas Box Office Record Broken

Things may be tough economically around the globe, but the major Hollywood film distributors still managed to gross record high overseas box office in 2008, garnering an estimated $9.9 billion, up 4 percent from 2007's $9.5 billion international total.

This Week's Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal's index of the 200 largest local public companies closed up big at the end of a holiday-shortened week ended Jan. 9. Wall Street began 2009 with a big rally that sent the Dow Jones industrial average up more than 250 point

SAG Looks for Stability

The Screen Actors Guild is starting 2009 with a civil war raging over a possible strike. While much of the town's been shut down for the past two weeks, SAG's internal firefight over its divisive strike authorization vote has escalated.

U.S. HealthWorks Makes Acquisitions

U.S. HealthWorks Medical Group said it bought two occupational health care centers in the north county.