Stories for May 2009

Friday, May 29

State Fund Files for 15 Percent Rate Hike

The State Compensation Insurance Fund, the workers' compensation insurer that has long held the lion's share of the state's comp market, said it has filed for a 15 percent mid-year rate increase.

A Solar Plant That's Worth Its Salt

Santa Monica energy firm SolarReserve has licensed technology from Rocketdyne that would us molten salt, water and the sun's heat to produce electricity. The technology was proved workable in a pilot project near Barstow in the 1990s.

DreamWorks Animation Plans to Boost Film Production

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. plans produce more movies annually to increase revenue from theaters, television and licensing, its chief executive told an investor conference.

Kilroy Prices $175 Million Public Offering

Kilroy Realty Corp. said it has priced a public offering of 8.75 million shares of common stock at $20 per share. The net proceeds will be used to pay down debt.

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 May 29, as Wall Street saw increased consumer confidence and higher commodity prices as indicators of an improving economy.

Thursday, May 28

Crown Media Gets Debt Offer

Crown Media Holdings Inc. said that Hallmark Cards Inc. has offered to recapitalize $500 million of the cable television network operator's debt in exchange for convertible preferred stock and new debt.

Disney's ESPN Eliminates 100 Jobs

Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN sports network has eliminated about 100 positions following the sports network's freeze on hiring and executive pay.

LAX Aims to Put Shopping, Eating on More Flight Plans

LAX officials hope to lift the airport's image of having mediocre offerings. Plans call for renovating the bars, fast-food outlets, restaurants, newsstands and retail shops inside eight terminals.

Lions Gate Sells Stake in TV Guide

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. said it will sell a 49 percent stake in its recently acquired TV Guide channel to a group comprised of One Equity Partners and media entrepreneur Allen Shapiro for $125 million.

L.A. Venture Firm Partners with Best Buy

Los Angeles media venture capital firm Velocity Interactive Group said it has changed its name to Fuse Capital and will become the manager of a new fund financed by big box retailer Best Buy.

Wednesday, May 27

Kerkorian Tightens Grip on Oil Firm

Billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian has gained tighter control over Delta Petroleum Corp. as the top executive of the struggling oil-and-gas producer stepped down and a Kerkorian ally was installed as chairman.

Bratz Maker Files Appeal

MGA Entertainment Inc. has filed an emergency appeal, asking a U.S. appeals court to halt the transfer of its Bratz fashion doll line to toymaker Mattel Inc.

DaVita, a Fortune 500 firm, Moving to Denver

DaVita Inc., one of only 14 Fortune 500 companies in Los Angeles County, said that it plans to move its corporate headquarters from El Segundo to Denver to take advantage of cost savings and that city's more central U.S. location.

Fro-Yo Wars Heat Up for Summer

Specialty frozen yogurt sales jump 20 percent in summer. But in the midst of the recession, not everything is perfect in Fro-Yo Land. Just how badly do the mainly SoCal makers of chichi frozen yogurt want folks to buy their pricey, probiotic-stuffed stuff

Health Net Settles with Hospitals

Health Net said that it has reached an agreement to pay at least $1.95 million to California hospitals that were not paid when patients?individual insurance policies were rescinded.

Koretz Declares Victory in L.A. City Council Race

Former Assemblyman Paul Koretz has declared victory the hotly contested race for the 5th Council District seat, but opponent David Vahedi disputed his claim.

Tuesday, May 26

Gonda Sells L.A. Office Complex

The investment company of former billionaire Louis Gonda has sold an office complex in the Miracle Mile area for $44 million in one of L.A.'s biggest commercial real estate sales of the year.

Disney Rebranding European Stations as Disney Channel

Walt Disney Co. will rename Jetix television channels it acquired in five Central and Eastern European countries earlier this year as the Disney Channel, expanding that format's programming to 12 million households.

Amgen Obtains Rights to Heart Drug

Amgen Inc. said it will pay its partner Cytokinetics Inc. $50 million for rights to its heart-drug program, which includes a promising experimental heart-failure drug.

Mozilo Has Several Defensive Options

Angelo Mozilo, former chief executive of the onetime mortgage leader Countrywide Financial Corp., faces lawsuits including from states and stockholders. The complexity and number of cases may work to his advantage.

High-Profile Members Split at SAG

SAG's bitter internal battle over its contract ratification has intensified, with high-profile members such as Melissa Gilbert and Martin Sheen taking sides.

Abraxane Gets Boosts From Journal Article

Abraxane, a drug designed to be less toxic than standard chemotherapy, did a better job of keeping cancer at bay in women whose breast cancer had spread, said U.S. researchers in a new study that could boost wider use of the Abraxis Bioscience Inc. produc

Monday, May 25

Will Businesses Bear Brunt of Budget Balancing?

Businesses are bracing for tax and fee hikes after the election day defeat of budget-balancing measures.

Koreatown Eateries Button Up

Koreatown restaurants are abuzz with table buttons that let customers hail their waiters.

Hollywood Ending?

Show biz news site TheWrap.com hopes to click with young Hollywood.

Holding On to Recession's Hard-Earned Lessons

Ted Lux hopes the recession's tough lessons have sunk in with American consumers.

Maker of Race Car Extinguishers on Fast Track

A British manufacturer of specialized fire extinguishers for race cars is hoping to speed up sales by opening a Santa Fe Springs facility.

Business Owners Brace for Attack of 'Job-Killers'

He already had enough problems in this down economy. Now Nathan Sindel has more to worry about.

Restoration

James N. Wood came out of retirement to revive the fortunes of the J. Paul Getty Trust.

South Bay Strip Mall Pulls In Real Estate Shopper

Multitenant retail properties and strip malls are being targeted by investors because they often offer the promise of steadier rents ?and with one Long Beach property ?big-name tenants.

L.A.'s Super Bowl Dream Delayed Another Year

Ed Roski Jr.'s dream of bringing the Super Bowl to Los Angeles will have to wait until at least 2014. The NFL announced last week that New Orleans will host the 2013 championship game at the Louisiana Superdome.

New Chapter in Namvar Bankruptcy Case?

Embattled businessman Ezri Namvar is seeking changes to his personal bankruptcy case that could have major implications for his personal finances and those of his numerous creditors.

Inhaled-Insulin Developer Now Waiting to Exhale

Mannkind can breathe a little easier after the application for its inhaled-insulin product was accepted by the FDA.

Taking Another Look at Condos

Even though architect Doug Hanson designed and dreamed about the Concerto condo project in downtown Los Angeles, seeing it in person is entirely different.

Virtually in Beverly Hills

Global Business Centers lets companies have Beverly Hills phone numbers and addresses without moving there.

New Owner Has Big Plans To Grow Startup Showcase

Twiistup has given the L.A. tech community a place to see what the up-and-comers have on the front burners in an informal mixer environment. Now the event's going pro.

Clean Air Program Revs Up Truck Sales

Ports?vehicle replacement program buoys area truck dealers.

Charney Has More to Say About Woody

American Apparel's Dov Charney felt muzzled in what he saw as a free-speech fight with Woody Allen.

News of the Week

Los Angeles County will be shedding jobs through 2011, according to a forecast from economists at California State University Long Beach.

Scam Artists Find L.A. Ripe For the Picking

A recent uptick in SEC fraud cases here shows how L.A.'s unique population attracts schemers and thieves.

Up for a Challenge

Social networking site IBeatYou.com hopes its contests give it a competitive advantage over rivals.

Tropical Blast

Rum maker looks to shore up sales by partnering with a reef-conservation foundation.

Spanish-Language Broadcaster Seeks Virtual Lock on Programs

Digital divide over streaming shows on the Internet has dragged Univision and Televisa back to court.

Newsmakers

Patina Restaurant Group has named Fred Wolfe president. Wolfe was previously president of Real Mex Restaurants, a Cypress-based Mexican restaurant chain.

Dishing Out PR Tips at A Discount

A group of women PR execs holds get-togethers to offer business advice at a discount.

Regional Report

The city of Lancaster and solar energy firm DayStar Farms Inc. have teamed to develop a park to encourage research and development of solar power.

Mergers & Acquisitions Report for April

Despite a small number of transactions, the Los Angeles mergers and acquisitions market in April benefited from a pair of billion-dollar-plus deals that pushed the total value to its second highest level in eight months.

Job Choice Makes Scents for Pittsburgh-Born Perfumer

Perfumer Sherri Sebastian literally began developing her nose for business at an early age. The only real question for the Pittsburgh native was how to turn her passion for fragrances into a profession.

Busway Shouldn't Get a Pass

Carl Olson thinks the MTA is headed in the wrong direction with a plan to expand the Orange Line in the West Valley.

Emily Litella Had It Right

Charles Crumpley sees shaky evidence behind a series of public scares.

Saturday, May 23

Report: Playboy Being Shopped for $300 Million

Playboy Enterprises, the far-flung empire founded by Hugh Hefner in 1953, is quietly being shopped around for $300 million, according to sources.

Friday, May 22

Alarcon Proposed Bank Branch Incentive Program

Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarc & #243;n is proposing to give banks incentives to build branches in L.A.'s low-income neighborhoods, where many residents rely on pricey payday lenders and check-cashing outlets for financial services.

Update: Judge Ends Temporary Receivership Over MGA

A federal judge in Riverside has ended a court-appointed official's receivership over MGA Entertainment Inc. as the Van Nuys toy maker continues to fight turning over its Bratz doll franchise to El Segundo rival Mattel Inc.

$300 for Designer Jeans? Sure!

Expensive denim is jumping off the racks, even as fashion sales fizzle in general. People say the pants are a relative bargain and affordable luxury.

J & J; to Buy Cougar Biotechnology

Johnson & Johnson said it will buy Los Angeles cancer drug developer Cougar Biotechnology Inc. for about $894 million in cash.

DirecTV Sued Over Early Cancellation Fees

Satellite TV provider DirecTV Group Inc. has been sued by a New Jersey consumer who claims its early cancellation fees are "unlawfully high and inadequately disclosed."

Update: Los Angeles Jobless Rate Falls Slighly

In a sign that the L.A. economy may be nearing bottom, the county's unemployment rate fell three tenths of a point in April to 11 percent, according to state figures released Friday.

This Week's Biggest Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal's index of the 200 largest local public companies closed virtually flat for the week ended May 22, ending a choppy week in the overall markets ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.

Thursday, May 21

Air Force to Regain Control of Tanker Bidding

The U.S. Air Force is expected to resume control over a long-delayed aerial refueling airplane competition between Northrop Grumman Corp. and Boeing Co., a Pentagon official said.

A Golden (State) Opportunity

By rejecting by nearly two-to-one the political establishment's $16 billion in higher taxes, spending gimmickry and more borrowing, California voters this week said it's time government faced the same spending limits that the recession is imposing on ever

OSI Gets Airport Security Order

OSI Systems Inc. said its security division was awarded a $3 million follow-on order to supply its Rapiscan X-Ray scanning systems to the U.S. Transportation Security Administration.

Hot Topic Shares Downgraded After Weak Guidance

Hot Topic Inc. shares fell 14 percent early Thursday, a day after the teen apparel retailer reported better-than-expected first quarter earnings but gave weaker guidance than Wall Street expected.

More Thrills From Prices Than the Rides

With few new rides and attractions, Southern California theme parks will be offering bargain prices to lure recession-weary vacationers opting for "stay-cations" this summer instead.

Sales Slump Hits Semtech's Profit

Semtech Corp. shares fell more than 7 percent early Thursday, a day after the semiconductor maker said first-quarter net income dropped 39 percent as cost-cutting failed to offset slower sales.

Wednesday, May 20

King Family Fighting Over Spielberg Film Deal

Two of Martin Luther King Jr.'s children are threatening to throw a wrench into Steven Spielberg's plans to bring the late civil rights leader's life to the big screen.

Image Entertainment Hires New Financial Advisor

DVD distributor Image Entertainment Inc., which recently ended an protracted, unsuccessful attempt to be acquired by a company that couldn't come up with the financing, apparently is ready to jump into the M & A; pool once again.

Dodgers Launch Female-Oriented Broadcasts

The Los Angeles Dodgers have launched what is believed to be an unprecedented series of game broadcasts aimed at their female fans.

Court Dismisses Lawsuit Against Jakks

Jakks Pacific Inc. said that a federal appeals court dismissed a lawsuit filed by World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., which had accused the Malibu toy maker of bribery and other actions.

Actors Union To Vote on Contract

The Screen Actors Guild mailed out ballots this week, with key union leaders recommended that the union's 120,000 members approve a contract offer from Hollywood studios.

Voters Reject State Budget Measures

California voters gave an strong thumbs-down to five ballot measures that elected officials were relying on reduce a now likely $21.3 billion deficit in the state budget. In Los Angeles, voters rejected Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's pick for city attorney,

Tuesday, May 19

WMA-Endeavor Merger Prompts Layoffs

The consolidation of talent agencies WMA and Endeavor began in earnest this week as executives informed more than 100 agents and other staffers that they would be let go as of May 31.

Crown Programming Head to Leave

Hallmark Channel operator Crown Media Holdings Inc. said that David Kenin, the executive responsible for the development of its popular secondary movie channel, has decided to leave the company at the end of the month.

Zenith Wants Rate Increase

Zenith National Insurance Corp. said that its workers?compensation insurance subsidiary has filed for a 4 percent base rate increase.

Warner Music to Sell Debt

Warner Music Group Corp. said that it will offer $500 million in senior notes and use the net proceeds to repay a portion of its existing debt, part of a plan to get its lenders to improve their debt terms.

Monday, May 18

Valuing the Rich

Tracking the ups and downs, entries and departures of the area's financial elite.

Parent Company Looking to Add Addiction Centers

Promises Treatment Centers attracts a clientele that pays cash, so its owners say they haven't been hit hard by the downturn. In fact, the centers need to add beds.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Jeffrey Katzenberg #32

Entertainment executive delivered DreamWorks Animation's best-ever first quarter. However, stock price still down 22 percent from last year,

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Tom Gores #10

Founder of private equity group Platinum Equity did relatively well given focus on buying and resuscitating distressed companies.

Convention Plays With Image Again

E3 gets serious about restoring fun to the annual video game convention.

Woody Allen, American Apparel Settle Suit

Woody Allen has agreed to a $5 million settlement in his lawsuit accusing American Apparel of using his image in a billboard advertising campaign without his permission.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Charles Munger #17

Berkshire Hathaway could not steer clear of economic turbulence and suffered worst year on record -- bad news for the holding company's vice chairman.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Marc Nathanson #39

Nathanson started Mapleton Investments LLC, Westwood firm that invests in real estate and media-related companies, both of which were pummeled by financial crisis.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Peter Lowy #48

Another rough year for world's largest mall owner Westfield Group, company founded by Lowy's father.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Alan Casden #11

Casden's real estate portfolio fell like others, but drop cushioned by large portfolio of apartments an investment class that has better withstood recession.

Wealthy Cry on the Shoulders of Their Advisers

Financial advisers increasingly find themselves in the role of grief counselors.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Tom Werner #43

Boston Red Sox didn't make it back to World Series last year, but television show producer's team saw its value appreciate slightly.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: A. Jerrold Perenchio #9

Since selling Univision Communications to Saban's private equity consortium in 2007, Perenchio has not made large investments, preferring to keep money in family investment firm Chartwell Partners.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Ron Burkle #5

Self-made mogul's holding company Yucaipa Cos. kept powder dry as recession hit, but this year added stakes in companies whose shares have since appreciated.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Anthony Pritzker #24

Brutal year for Pritzkers, billionaire Chicago family that made fortune in heavy industry, hotels and other businesses.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Stewart & Lynda Resnick #21

Stewart and Lynda Resnick's retail and agricultural empire Roll International Inc. saw growth slow.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Michael Milken #29

Milken's holdings include Knowledge Universe, company whose subsidiaries provide educational services and products. Educational sales were soft last year.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: John Tu #31

Rough year for co-founder of Kingston Technology Co. Fountain Valley memory chip manufacturer saw sales fall $500 million as chip prices plummeted.

Wealthiest Angelenos 2009: Doctor Is In

Thanks to a remarkable payday last year, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong vaulted to the top of the Business Journal's list of Wealthiest Angelenos this year.

Making Headlines

Newspaper vets think they have a winning formula to help their new weekly flourish.

Kerkorian Buys More Shares of MGM Mirage

Kirk Kerkorian has carried through with plans to acquire more shares of struggling casino operator MGM Mirage, according to a regulatory filing. But the L.A. billionaire's percentage ownership of the company has decreased due to the company's issuance of

Newspaper Chain to Put Price on Online Content

Newspaper chain is making headlines with a plan to charge nonsubscribers a fee to read online content.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Frank & Jamie McCourt #27

Couple among few winners of L.A.'s financial elite, with much of credit going to handling of Dodgers.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Alec Gores #16

Gores held steady over the past year thanks to his Gores Group's high-tech orientation.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: David Geffen #6

Tough year for former record label impresario and DreamWorks co-founder.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Aubrey Chernick #41

His digital technology investment firm Ignition Capital LLC has seen two primary investments ?conservative blogging site Pajamas Media and British video-streaming site Vividas Group PLC ?tumble in value.

New Orleans Native Gave No Quarter While Pursuing a Career in Journalism

Unlike a lot of his peers in the journalism business, Alan Citron has pulled off the transition from newspapers to the world of new media.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Howard Marks #35

Bear market has been so brutal even Marks, an accomplished distressed debt investor, took it in the shins.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Jeffrey Greene #18

While most of his peers lost huge sums of money, Greene cashed in on the housing bust.

REGIONAL REPORT

Long Beach Memorial Medical Center has been named one of the nation's top 125 hospitals by non-profit research group Consumers' Checkbook in a study sponsored by AARP the Magazine.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Steven Spielberg #7

Legendary director-producer continues to draw income from past hits, and scored another with fourth installment of "Indiana Jones" series.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: John E. Anderson #12

Owner of Topa Equities holding company admits taking big hit over past year, especially from 14 auto dealerships.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Jerry Bruckheimer #45

New to list, Bruckheimer is biggest producer in Hollywood not named Steven Spielberg.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Lowell Milken #36

Significant investments with private holding company Knowledge Universe, which has stakes in numerous education-oriented companies, business sector that hasn't escaped downturn.

Taxi Drivers Hail Lift of Ban on Parking at Home

A proposed ordinance that would allow taxis to park overnight in L.A. residential neighborhoods is getting the kind of support that cab companies would prefer to do without.

NEWS OF THE WEEK

Los Angeles County will be shedding jobs through 2011, according to a forecast by economists at California State University, Long Beach.

Update: American Apparel Shares Plunge on Loss

American Apparel Inc. shares fell more than 17 percent Tuesday, a day after after the trendy apparel maker reported a first-quarter net loss worse than Wall Street expected.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Steven Udvar-Hazy #49

AIG stock lost 97 percent of value in 2008, wiping out most of fortune that Udvar-Hazy amassed after selling jet leasing company to insurance giant 36 years ago.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Neil Kadisha #33

Qualcomm Inc. chairman owns about $570 million worth of stock in San Diego wireless communications giant; shares have held their own.

CALENDAR & EVENTS

Events of interest to Los Angeles' business community.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Edward Roski Jr. #13

Owner of Majestic Realty Co., with its huge industrial portfolio, didn't escape collapse of real estate market.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Bruce Karsh #34

Karsh, president and portfolio manager of Oaktree Capital Management, holds stake in money manager equal to fellow co-founder Howard Marks.

Reaping Bountiful History

Farmers Market at Fairfax and Third will celebrate turning 75 by going back to its roots.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Haim Saban #8

He lost big on 2007 purchase of Univision Communications, but creditors stand to lose more in heavily leveraged deal than Saban, who personally only put up $300 million.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: David Murdock #4

Murdock acknowledges he's been hit by downturn as much as anyone. Major holdings include Dole Food Co. Inc. and developer Castle & Cooke Inc., whose real estate portfolio is down about 35 percent.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: William Barron Hilton #15

Since 2007, when Hilton sold off family hotel empire and personal stock in Las Vegas casino, has kept low business profile.

State Agencies Penalize Pair of Local Businesses

Two Los Angeles County companies have recently been hit with stiff penalties for advertising and environmental violations, state regulators announced this month.

Q & A;: Cheryl Saban

Cheryl Saban discusses her life before and after marrying media baron Haim Saban.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Frederick 'Ted' Field #37

Field's project to make music download site ArtistDirect a winner backfired.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Sumner Redstone #14

Redstone hit particularly hard by financial crisis. Controlling stakes in CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc. have taken a pounding.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Robert Addison Day Jr. #39

With holdings that include Florida property and financial stock, founder of Trust Company of the West could not avoid the economy's wrath.

Korn/Ferry Appoints New CFO

Staffing company Korn/Ferry International said it appointed a experienced retail industry executive as chief financial officer, with its current CFO moving to an advisory role.

Beverly Hills Has Its Chamber Seeing Red

The Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce is battling the city over a reduction in funding.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Gary Michelson #23

Spinal surgeon and inventor's wealth largely drawn from $1.3 billion-plus patent settlement from Medtronic in 2005 for his surgical devices.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: John Shea #42

Shea, whose wealth is largely tied to his privately held homebuilding business, hit hard for second year in a row.

Strange Bedfellows

Gotcha Covered doesn't find it a stretch to make sheets and cases for unusually shaped mattresses and pillows.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Ming Hsieh #47

Co-founder and chief executive of Cogent Systems Inc. another beneficiary of post-9/11 security surge.

Winning 'Amazing Race,' Going Back to Work

For almost six months, Victor Jih had to keep a million-dollar secret.

Portfolio Night to Let Students Show Their Stuff

From Kuala Lumpur to New York, advertising agencies and graduating students have been checking each other out on one special night each year since 2002.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Stephen Bing #46

Bing inherited New York real estate worth $600 from his grandfather 20 years ago, but plummeting real estate values resulted in a big wealth write-down this year.

Can Miramax Survive?

Filmmakers wonder how long Disney will stay committed to its specialty label, especially as its media rivals pull out of the independent movie business.

Increasing Lanes, Traffic

Terence Young contends the traffic programs in other cities show mass transit is the best way to ease congestion.

A Wealth of Movement

Charles Crumpley notes that the rich definitely did not get richer in a brutal year.

Truckers Deflated by Clean Air Program

The ports?clean truck program could mean the end of the road for some companies.

TVN Entertainment and Avail Media Merge

Sherman Oaks video-on-demand company TVN Entertainment Corp. said it was merging with Avail Media in Reston, Va.

L.A. Landlords Face Costly Sign-Off

New L.A. sign ordinance could pull the plug on landlords using signage rights to land top tenants.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Alfred Mann #19

Lost in bankruptcy of general aviation jet maker Eclipse Aviation, but L.A.'s best-known entrepreneur may hit the jackpot once again with latest company, MannKind Corp.

Competing DJ Titles Spin Tangled Web of Discord

The developers of rival DJ video games battle to turn the tables on one another.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Rick Caruso #20

Real estate developers have been crushed, but Caruso has done better than most.

Topsy-Turvy Year Churns List of Richest Residents

Though their pain may not inspire much sympathy, L.A.'s richest residents suffered through their worst year on record.

Wealth Takes a Hit

Few escaped the recession this past year, including L.A.'s wealthiest residents, whose cumulative net worth declined a staggering $32 billion.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: David Whitmire Hearst Jr. & George Randolph Hearst Jr. #25 & #26

Recession has been brutal for media companies, but the grandchildren of legendary publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst lost less than many.

Yes, I Look Fabulous, But Inside I'm Saving

In a place where appearance is almost everything, hard times are summoning a distinctly Hollywood response: maintaining a fabulous facade on the cheap while paring expenses behind the scenes.

A Whole Lot of Greene

Jeffrey Greene joined the ranks of local billionaires after betting against subprime mortgages.

Survey Finds Retail Sector Swamped With Space

A new research report on the local retail real estate market paints a grim picture, with the Los Angeles County vacancy rate hitting a 10-year high in the first part of 2009.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Robert Maguire #29

First time on list for commercial real estate developer and former chief executive of publicly traded Maguire Properties Inc. who disclosed assets to Business Journal.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Michael Eisner #44

Eisner's net worth tumbled largely because of 43 percent drop in Disney stock price.

Virtual Assist

Women's association launches Web site to answer members' business questions.

Lawyers Settled on Small When Opening Firm

Wanting to concentrate on law more than management, three former Irell & Manella LLP partners have set up their own firm.

Report: Relativity Media Seeks Controlling Stake in MGM

Ryan Kavanaugh's film company Relativity Media is aiming to take control of a major portion of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., which is in the process of trying to restructure a crushing $3.7 billion in debt, according to individuals involved in the transaction

Newsmakers

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has promoted Jeffery L. Peltola to chief financial officer and Cecilia K.T. Weldon to chief administrative officer.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: George Joseph #30

With most of his wealth tied up in his Mercury General Corp., Joseph's net worth took hit as shares fell 27 percent.

Business World Could Boost Non-Profits by Donating Skills

Charities need the skills of business community members as much as money, writes Tony Buzzelli.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Mel Gibson #50

Movie star and producer Gibson returns to list as several Angelenos saw their huge fortunes decimated.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Kirk Kerkorian #3

Few have fallen further than majority owner of MGM Mirage, who has seen value of his MGM holdings drop 50 percent on concerns over mounting debt and declining tourism.

Update: FDA Accepts MannKind's Afresa Application

Valencia biotech MannKind Corp. said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration accepted and is now reviewing its application for the inhaled insulin drug Afresa.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Barbara Davis & Family #40

Widow of legendary oil and entertainment tycoon Martin Davis lives quietly in West L.A. area off remains of late husband's estate.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Donald Sterling #22

Sterling has seen far better years. Vast majority of wealth derives from portfolio of 135 apartment properties, a real estate segment that suffered less but still hit.

Former Customers Team Up to Salvage Jet Maker

Frustrated former customers have joined an effort to get a struggling jet maker off the ground.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Patrick Soon-Shiong #1

Befitting a year in which fortunes based on real estate and finances were pummeled, L.A.'s newest billionaire king is none other than a bespectacled scientist.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos: Eli Broad #2

L.A.'s best-known philanthropist saw his once-$5.3 billion stake in insurance giant AIG evaporate during last year's credit crisis.

Saturday, May 16

Consumer Class-Action Suits on Trial

Consumer class-action lawsuits in California, which have encountered mounting skepticism from courts, face a major test in a tobacco case to be decided Monday by the state Supreme Court.

Geffen Seen as Still Eager for N.Y. Times' Stake

David Geffen continues to be seriously interested in buying a sizable piece of the New York Times Co. or taking it over completely, but is wary of antagonizing the controlling Sulzberger family, according to people familiar with his thinking.

Friday, May 15

American States Water Sells Offering

American States Water Co. said it sold 1 million shares at $31 each, with proceeds from the offering to be used to repay short-term debt.

Chamber Lists 'Job Killer' Bills

The California Chamber of Commerce announced that it is opposing 27 proposed state laws, calling them "job killers" that would harm the state's business climate if passed by the Legislature.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Talks With Lenders

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. is in talks with lenders to restructure $3.7 billion in debt, the movie studio confirmed.

Updated: Port Traffic Falls Again

The Port of Los Angeles said the number of 20-foot cargo containers moved through their port fell by 12 percent in April compared to a year ago. Long Beach port officials earlier reported a 27 percent decline at their port.

Physicians Formula Says CFO is Leaving

Physicians Formula Holdings Inc. said Chief Financial Officer Joseph Jaeger would be leaving the company at the end of the month for family reasons. The mass market cosmetics company has named a board member as interim CFO.

Kaiser Hospital Fined for Privacy Breach in Octuplet Case

California health regulators has fined Kaiser Permanente's Bellflower hospital $250,000 for failing to keep employees from snooping in the medical records of Nadya Suleman, the mother who gave birth to octuplets in January.

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 May 15 as mixed economic news chilled a spring rally in the overall markets.

RealNetworks Sues Disney

RealNetworks Inc. has sued Walt Disney Co. and other movie studios, claiming they have conspired to eliminate competition in the DVD market.

Thursday, May 14

Governor: Deeper State Cuts Likely If Ballot Measures Fail

In his annual May revise, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled two new visions of the state budget - bleak and bleaker. Even selling the Los Angeles Coliseum and Sports Arena is on the table.

Race Track Redevelopment Moves Ahead

The Inglewood Planning Commission has endorsed a proposal for a $2.1 billion mixed-use development project at the 238-acre site of the iconic Hollywood Park race track.

Forecast Sees Continued Clouds for L.A.'s Economy

L.A. County will be shedding jobs through 2011, according to a new forecast from economists at California State University Long Beach.

Former KB Home Official Settles with SEC

Gary A. Ray, KB Home Inc.'s former head of human resources, has agreed to pay more than $550,000 to settle government allegations that he engaged in stock-options backdating.

DirecTV Told to Stop 'Misleading" Ads

A federal court judge in Missouri has told DirecTV Group Inc. to stop running ads that imply bankrupt competitor Charter Communications Inc. might stop offering cable TV service.

Wednesday, May 13

SEC Poised to Charge Mozilo With Fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission staff is readying civil fraud charges against Countrywide Financial Corp. co-founder Angelo Mozilo, in what would be the highest-profile government legal action against a chief executive connected to the financial cr

Kerkorian Plans Larger MGM Mirage Investment

Kirk Kerkorian's casino operator MGM Mirage said it plans to raise $2.5 billion through stock and bond offerings to pay off some of its more than $14 billion in debt and strengthen its balance sheet.

Better Wage Package Sought for Airport Workers

The Los Angeles City Council has voted to move ahead with raising the living wage paid by airport employers who do not offer health benefits, a move that could eventually spread citywide.

Sour Loans Hurt Regional Banks

The slumping market for commercial real estate -- viewed by many as the next big shoe to drop on the economy -- now threatens to drag down regional banks as they struggle to collect on loans made against shopping centers and office buildings.

Gemini Partners Launches Short-Term Secured Fund

Gemini Partners Inc. has launched a fund to provide short-term secured debt financing for small to middle-market companies, filling a niche that has persisted since the credit crunch began last year.

American States Water Plans Public Offering

Water utility operator American States Water Co. said it would sell 1 million shares to repay short-term debt.

Tuesday, May 12

Farmer Brothers Loses Less

Farmer Brothers Co. said its quarterly net loss fell as its late February acquisition of Sara Lee Corp.'s direct-store delivery business began contributing to revenue.

Costs Widen Cougar's Loss

Cougar Biotechnology Inc. said its first-quarter loss grew as late-stage clinical trials of its experimental prostate cancer therapies increased the company's research and development costs.

Geffen Reportedly Offered to Buy NY Times Stake

Media mogul David Geffen tried to buy a stake in the New York Times Co from hedge fund Harbinger Capital Partners, but was rejected, a source with knowledge of the matter said.

Ticketmaster Earnings Plunge

Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc. said its first-quarter profit fell 78 percent as ticket sales slowed in part due to the poor economy. The company also has received approval from its lenders to merge with Live Nation Inc.

Bruckheimer to Launch Video Game Studio

Jerry Bruckheimer, the producer of action films and television shows such as "Top Gun," "Black Hawk Down" and "C.S.I," now thinks video games are where the action is.

Ixia to Buy Catapult

Calabasas Internet technology company Ixia said it has agreed to buy Catapult Communications Corp., a Silicon Valley digital telecom test systems supplier, for about $105 million.

Monday, May 11

Face It. They're Gross

Advertising execs put lid on creativity with face-shaped caps for condiment bottles.

Note to Readers

We continue to have intermittant difficulties with the Business Journal's web site related to last week's technical problems. We appreciate your patience.

Family Feasts

The Four Drago brothers have indulged a healthy appetite for launching restaurants.

HCP Sells Equity Offering

HCP said it completed a $440 million public offering of 20.7 million shares of common stock.

Home Sales Rise in April as Prices Continue Slide

Home and condo sales were up month to month in April while prices remained relatively stable.

Calabasas Renewal Helps Valley Fill Some Space

A long-term lease has been struck in Calabasas, keeping a longtime tenant in place in a hard-hit corner of the San Fernando Valley office market.

Businesswoman In Touch With Her Feminine Side

Roll International co-chair Lynda Resnick talked about remaining feminine while competing in the working world at the Business Journal's Women Making a Difference Awards Luncheon.

Newsmakers

Ahmed Zewail has been appointed to the U.S. President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Reality Check for Woody Allen

Charles Crumpley thinks Woody Allen may be helped, not hurt, by appearing on American Apparel ads. Crumpley also has a rare kind word for Skechers.

Burger Cookers Make It Through First Year - With Burn Marks

Considering that their eatery, O!burger, serves $7.99 burgers not exactly value-meal deals in this recession co-founders Martha Chang and Andy Soboil are relieved their West Hollywood fast-food place has survived its first year a milestone for any r

Local Firm Goes to Mat In Team-Building Exercise

Some workers may fantasize about punching out their boss. Chris Lyman, chief executive of a local tech company, is giving his employees a chance to do just that.

In the Know

Intellectual property attorney Morgan Chu dropped out of high school, but would later go on to rack up four graduate degrees.

Brother Rises to the Challenge

Restauranteur Celestino Drago is aiming higher as in five or six miles higher by expanding into catering for airlines.

Helping Survive Dog Days

A local pet food maker is helping dog owners weather the down economy with free bags of chow.

REGIONAL REPORT

Platinum Equity, a Beverly Hills private equity firm, has acquired a majority stake in Canvas Systems LLC, an IT equipment supplier in Norcross, Ga.

NEWS OF THE WEEK

DirecTV, the satellite television provider, said it would merge with a division to be spun off from Liberty Media in an all-stock transaction that will give media mogul John Malone and his family a 24 percent voting stake in the new entity.

Charney Says Suit Is Nothing Personal

American Apparel attorneys are ratcheting down the rhetoric in the company's fight with director Woody Allen.

DTS Expects Weak Profit in 2009

Entertainment technology company DTS Inc. is forecasting a fiscal 2009 profit below Wall Street estimates, despite reporting a first quarter above expectations.

Forecasters See Brighter Future at Small College

Cal Lutheran poaching the economics team from UC Santa Barbara was not in the forecast.

Plan to Split Air Force Contract Divides Bidders

After years and years, the question remains: Who will build the Air Force's next-generation refueling tankers?

A Deflating Byproduct of Recession

Ted Lux fears a deflating side-effect to the economic downturn.

Tech Company Pursues Card-Carrying NBA Fans

An El Segundo technology company has signed a licensing deal that allows it to sell NBA-branded jerseys for $1 each. Trick is they're virtual jerseys for online avatars.

Party Poops Planner

Public relations specialist Carl Terzian is perplexed about a party for his firm's 40th anniversary.

L.A. Public Works Proposal Would Boost Unions

A new L.A. city public works proposal would give the cold shoulder to nonunion construction contractors.

Last Lap for Some L.A. Horse Owners

Thoroughbred owners have found the market for their animals wane along with horse racing in California.

Grocery Stokes Healthy Competition

Natural foods grocery chain Henry's expects to reap some green with its low-price approach.

CALENDAR & EVENTS

Events of interest to Los Angeles' business community.

Native of Canary Islands Builds a Nest in Los Angeles

When Carlos Sosa, a native of a small town in the Canary Islands, arrived in Durango, Colo., 22 years ago as an exchange student, he didn't think he would end up staying.

Hulu's Tug of War With TV

As online viewership surges, media companies reconsider the wisdom of sharing their content for free with sites like Hulu.

Primed To Produce

New owners of Numero Uno see plenty of room to grow the grocery chain.

Shoe Maker Opts For French Accent To Gain Traction

Shoe maker K-Swiss hopes to gain traction by switching focus from a female-targeted line to a French one.

Turnaround Targets Too Tempting for Equity Firm

A deep recession is not such a scary thing for Platinum Equity.

SoCal's Widening Talent Deficit

Patricia Palleschi would like to see more steps taken to nurture executive talent and businesses in California.

Saturday, May 9

Judge Refers Lawyer for Prosecution in Dole Fraud

A judge is referring a Los Angeles lawyer to federal prosecutors and the State Bar over his involvement in lawsuits that she found were part of a massive fraud by purported Nicaraguan banana workers against U.S. food giant Dole.

Summit Strategy Avoids Temptations

Despite its heavy investment in the teen-friendly "Twilight" saga, Summit Entertainment is trying to avoid the temptation to turn its slate into all vampires, all the time.

Friday, May 8

Power-One Gets Infusion

Power-One Inc. said that Silver Lake Sumeru had completed a $56 million investment in the Camarillo power conversion technology company.

California Pizza Earnings Beat Expectations

Despite a drop in same-stores sales, California Pizza Kitchen Inc. released better-than-expected earnings in the first quarter, citing lower cheese prices and in-house cost controls.

Receiver: Pang's Fund Was a 'Piggy Bank'

The court-appointed receiver in the Danny Pang case criticized the California financier for running his investment firm like a "personal piggy bank," and claimed that abuse and mismanagement along with a faltering economy had left a hole of between $400 m

Hotel Workers Group Sues Hyatt

Workers at the Hyatt Regency Long Beach Hotel filed a class-action suit against the hotel's owners alleging that management failed to pay overtime and provide adequate meal and rest breaks.

Van Halen Confirmed for 'Guitar Hero'

Activision Blizzard is releasing three new music-based video games this year -- "DJ Hero," "Guitar Hero 5" and "Band Hero" -- and has confirmed that "Guitar Hero: Van Halen" is on tap.

Live Nation's Loss Widens

Live Nation Inc., the world's largest concert promoter, said that a drop in attendance at its North American concerts lead to a larger first quarter loss than a year ago.

Edison Earnings Fall

Edison International said its first quarter earnings fell 16 percent on lower power prices and generation levels, particularly for its wind power operations. The profit still exceeded Wall Street estimates, although revenue was lower.

Thursday, May 7

Economic Experts Say Valley on the Mend

The San Fernando Valley's economy has pulled out of recession but is now in a holding pattern that could continue the rest of the year, the head of CSUN's economic research center said.

SoCal Edison Gets Approval for Alternative Energy Plants

State regulators have approved two long-term gas-to-energy contracts for Southern California Edison.

DirecTV Earnings Drop

DirecTV Group Inc. said that its first-quarter profit fell 46 percent as it offered discounts and other promotions to attract and retain satellite TV subscribers.

Warner Music Loss Widens on Write-Downs

Warner Music Group Corp. shares fell 11 percent Thursday after the recording company reported a larger fiscal second quarter loss as its recorded music sales fell more than expected.

In-N-Out: Can Perfection Survive?

As the iconic Los Angeles burger company's future is sorted out, a connoisseur urges, 'Don't change!'

Wednesday, May 6

United Online Beats Expectations

Online services provider United Online Inc. reported better-than-expected first quarter earnings on revenue growth from some recent acquisitions.

ValueClick Downgraded on Outlook

Shares of ValueClick Inc. fell more than 5 percent Wednesday after the company was downgraded for providing a quarterly outlook that was more cautious than Wall Street expected.

Health Net Moves to Quarterly Profit

Despite enrollment declines, Health Net Inc. said gains from higher premiums and government contracts enabled it to report a profit in the first quarter compared with a loss a year earlier.

THQ's Quarterly Loss Widens

THQ Inc. said that losses in its fiscal fourth quarter increased as video-game sales dropped and the company continued taking restructuring charges. The loss exceeded analysts' projections.

Disney Looks Beyond Traditional Studio Model

Walt Disney Co is developing an Internet subscription service and may consider trimming studio output after the division posted a 97 percent decline in operating income.

Ichan's Bid for Lions Gate Debt a Bust

Activist investor Carl Icahn received a paltry $583,000 worth of convertible bonds for his extended tender offer for all of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.'s $316 million in public debt.

CEO of Hallmark Channel Parent to Step Down

Crown Media Holdings Inc said Chief Executive Henry Schleiff was stepping down and he would be replaced by William J. Abbott, executive vice president of advertising sales.

Image Entertainment Signs Deal with Universal Music

Image Entertainment Inc. said it signed a five-year distribution deal with Universal Music Group to distribute Image's music and music-related urban programming in Europe, Africa, South America and the Middle East.

Tuesday, May 5

Allen Seeks to Block Testimony in American Apparel Case

Woody Allen has asked a judge to stop American Apparel from putting his former longtime companion Mia Farrow and his wife Soon-Yi Previn on the witness stand as it defends itself against his claims it used his image on billboards without permission.

Lower Herbalife Quarter Still Beats Expectations

Herbalife Ltd. reported better-than-expected first quarter results, saying growing demand in the U.S. and Asia-Pacific regions for its weight loss and nutritional supplements offset slower sales in other markets.

K-Swiss Sells Royal Elastics

K-Swiss Inc. said Tuesday it had completed the sale of its Royal Elastics laceless fashion footwear brand to an investment group called REH, which is headed by the label's Los Angeles-based product design director.

Numero Uno Markets Sold to Private Equity Firms

Los Angeles private equity firm Nogales Investors Management LLC and a Houston partner said that they have completed the purchase of the Numero Uno Markets, the grocery chain founded by George Torres, who was convicted last month on federal racketeering c

True Religion Reports Surprising Quarter

True Religion Apparel Inc. said its first quarter net income rose 10 percent as the premium denim maker's consumer-direct and international businesses grew despite weakness in the retail industry.

A Legal Battle of Trump Proportions

To angry buyers, the heart of the dispute over a Los Angeles' builder's failed luxury vacation home complex is this: If Donald Trump is identified as the Baja project's builder, is he liable if the actual builder fails?

Live Nation to Sell Three Theaters

Concert promoter Live Nation Inc. said it plans to pay down debt by selling three well-known Boston theaters, including the Boston Opera House, for about $22.5 million.

Lower Disney Profit Still Beats Expectations

Walt Disney Co. said lower revenue and profits at its theme parks and movie studio contributed to a 46 percent drop in second quarter net income. Earnings narrowly beat Wall Street estimates, though revenue was slightly off.

Monday, May 4

Ducommun Profit Drops on Charge

Ducommun Inc. said its first quarter net income was cut in half due to a charge related to the bankruptcy of a customer, but the company's results beat analyst expectations.

Capstone Turbine Plans Equity Offering

Capstone Turbine Corp. shares fell 15 percent Monday after the producer of low-emission microturbine systems said it plans an equity offering with select investors that should net about $11.2 million.

Public-Private Partnerships Solid Basis for Infrastructure Plans

The state's new infrastructure projects should be grounded on public-private partnerships, writes Kurt Ramey.

Business Looks to Spike Hike in Workers' Comp

Ever since the Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau in March recommended a 24 percent increase in employer premiums, pressure has been mounting on the bureau and state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner for relief.

Mercury General Reverses Year-Ago Loss

California property-casualty insurer Mercury General Corp. on Monday beat Wall Street expectations by reporting a first-quarter profit, reversing a year-ago loss, helped by investment gains and cost-cutting.

CALENDAR & EVENTS

Events of interest to Los Angeles' business community

DirecTV to Merge with Liberty Entertainment

Liberty Media Corp said it is scrapping its Liberty Entertainment spinoff of broadcasting and programming units, which includes a majority stake in satellite TV provider DirecTV Group Inc. A new, larger parent company will be rolled into the DirecTV Group

Reading L.A.'s Fortune

Charles Crumpley finds the Fortune 500 numbers don't add up in L.A.'s favor.

Losing Popularity Contest, MySpace Tries a Makeover

As Owen Van Natta, the new chief executive of MySpace, starts his second week at the sprawling social network , he faces an acute demographic problem.

Newsmakers

Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP, a downtown L.A.-based law firm, has appointed Roland J. Tong and Kathryn Tyler partners.

NEWS OF THE WEEK

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has added the Century Plaza Hotel to a list of endangered historic places, setting up a legal battle between preservationists and the landmark hotel's new owners.

Judge Approves Magna Entertainment Asset Sale

A Delaware bankruptcy judge has approved proposed sale procedures for certain assets of horse track owner Magna Entertainment Corp., including Santa Anita Park.

Kieffer Named to UC Regents Board

George Kieffer, a prominent L.A. attorney and business leader, has been nominated by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to the University of California Board of Regents.

Schools Draw Some Big Fish

Big names from industry, Hollywood and politics have been lined up to speak at local graduations.

Stretching Out

ReachLocal has a firm grasp on helping businesses advertise online.

Laying Down Law

Downtown L.A. firm Allen Matkins has rolled back salaries for first-year associates.

Small Trucking Companies Gain Some Traction in Port Ruling

Small trucking companies have more room to maneuver after a judge axed some provisions of the ports' clean truck programs.

Cruise Control

Long Beach and L.A. ports are looking shipshape after some recent cruise line expansions.

Arden Sells Calabasas Building in $7 Million Deal

Arden Realty Inc. has sold one of its three remaining buildings at a Calabasas office project to an owner-user. The building had sat largely vacant for nearly a year.

MannKind Narrows Loss in Quarter

MannKind Corp. reported a smaller-than-expected loss for the first quarter, due to lower clinical development costs for its inhaled insulin drug Afresa, which it recently submitted for U.S. regulatory approval.

Control, Recovery Hot Topics at Milken Conference

Plenty of blame and predictions were parceled out at a Milken Institute conference on the financial crisis.

Riverside Unleashes Second Wave of Port Protest

The city of Riverside has struck again at a port expansion plan.

Hammering the Little Guy

Michael Katz fears the city's crackdown on signage will impair small businesses' ability to promote themselves.

Oil Company Burned Through Reserves

Oil and gas company Breitburn has been running on fumes as commodity prices have plunged.

Area Firm to Try Its Hand At Talent Representation

Asbury Communications, a local PR agency that specializes in hyping graphic art studios and postproduction firms, has launched a talent management division.

Receiver Starts Dressing Up Maker of Bratz

A judge has placed MGA in receivership while the toymaker's CEO battles to hold on to the Bratz doll line.

TV Networks Uneasy About Declining Advertising

One analyst forecasts a 15 perecent decline in prime-time ad revenue, leading CBS to unleash a marketing blitz to boast that it is the most-watched network and NBC to unveil its fall lineup two weeks early.

MGM Mirage's Profit Falls 11 Percent

Kirk Kerkorian's MGM Mirage said its first quarter profit fell just 11 percent, as the sale of the Treasure Island resort offset lower revenue from canceled conventions and lower spending due to the recession.

Charitable Infusion Spurs Hospital Expansion Plan

A $12.1 million gift from a longtime supporter will enable Good Samaritan Hospital to break ground later this year on an $80 million-plus outpatient surgery and medical office pavilion.

Solid Gold Guest List for 'Self Worth'

L.A.'s business elite came out to celebrate Cheryl Saban's newest book "What Is Your Self Worth? A Woman's Guide to Validation" at a party hosted by Saban's husband, media mogul Haim Saban, former studio executive Sherry Lansing and Beverly Hills soci

Stimulus Funds to Aid Youth Jobs Program

Federal stimulus funds will allow Los Angeles to boost the number of teens hired in the city's summer jobs program, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced on Monday.

Jack Kyser: Money Quotes

Economist Jack Kyser has made a career of breaking down L.A. by the numbers.

Tease photo

Interactive Marketing Exec Sports Winning Track Record

While growing up in Baltimore, interactive marketing executive Harshal Sisodia said that his career plans didn't always click with his parents.

North, South Put Price on Community

Northern and southern residents of a tony enclave near Beverly Hills remain divided over gate and street access

Striking a Balance

Unions need to join in sacrificing to revive California's economy, according to Harold L. Katz.

REGIONAL REPORT

Simulations Plus Inc., a Lancaster developer of software for the pharmaceutical industry, has received a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant worth $525,000 from the National Cancer Institute.

Ranch Dressing

Topo Ranch's Southwestern-style duds tap into the family history of the clothing company's co-founder.

Saturday, May 2

Pondering Redstone's Reticence

Whatever happened to Sumner Redstone's impatient streak? The Viacom chairman has rarely shrunk from drastic action to juice the stock price, whether firing CEOs (twice) or even breaking up the company. But lately, as Viacom has underperformed the cable-ne

Friday, May 1

Ducommun to Open N.Y. Plant

Ducommun Inc.'s new subsidiary in eastern New York will begin manufacturing parts in a new facility next week, the company said.

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 May 1. Despite mixed economic and earnings news late in the week, investors extended the overall markets' recent gains.

The Edge's Green Pitch for Malibu Riles Residents

U2 guitarist The Edge plans to build his eco-friendly home on Malibu, Calif. beachside property. But some are concerned his homes might tamper the delicate coastline.

Update: Countrywide's Mozilo faces trial in Florida

A federal judge has ruled that Angelo Mozilo, former chairman and chief executive of Countrywide Financial Corp., should be tried in Florida in a civil case focused on deceptive trade practices.

Big 5 Shares Soar on Outlook

Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp. shares soared after the sporting goods retailer reported first quarter earnings and a second quarter outlook that exceeded Wall Street expectations.

Here's the Story on Berkshire's Munger

Warren Buffett is synonymous with Berkshire Hathaway Inc., getting credit for billions of dollars in big deals that have made him an icon to investors around the world. But on the one day a year when he faces his shareholders, at his side will be his long

Profit Drops at On Assignment

Staffing firm On Assignment Inc. said its first quarter net income fell 31 percent because of a drop in demand for staffing services in the health care and life sciences industries. Profits beat expectations, but the company gave second quarter guidance t